Max Romeo—

GROUNDBREAKING roots-reggae singer Max Romeo celebrates two milestones on November 22. It is his 70th birthday and also marks the artist’s 50th year in the music business.

The artist, born Maxwell Livingston Smith, observes the dual landmark with a show at his residence in Palm, Treadways, St Catherine. It will feature a number of artistes on his Charmax Record label.

The St Ann-born Romeo’s career began in the ska era of the early 1960s. He had a big hit in the United Kingdom in 1968 with the risque Wet Dream but recorded more sober material in the early 1970s with producers Bunny Lee and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

Max Romeo

Max Romeo

Working out of Greenwich Town in Kingston, Romeo cut a number of spiritual songs like Let the Power Fall for Lee. He had a number of hits for Perry including War Inna Babylon and One Step Forward which earned him an enduring following throughout Europe.

“For Max to be in demand as he is now, is a testament to his awesome God-given talent. It also sheds light on the power and acceptance of roots music worldwide,” said his publicist Tony Mack.

Among the acts on the Charmax label are Romeo’s sons Ruminal and Ronaldo as well as Jimmy Riley, singjay Ruffi-Ann and Nitro.

— By Basil Walters