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Augustus "Gussie" Clarke (born 1953, Kingston, Jamaica), is a reggae producer who worked with some of the top Jamaican reggae artists in the 1970s and later set up his own Music Works studio.
Clarke started working in the music industry by cutting dub plates. He made his debut as a producer in 1972, with U-Roy's "The Higher The Mountain". He established himself as the top producer of deejays in the early 1970s with albums such as Big Youth's Screaming Target, and I-Roy's Presenting I Roy, both regarded as among the best deejay albums ever produced. Through the 1970s and early 1980s he worked with artists such as Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Augustus Pablo, Leroy Smart, and The Mighty Diamonds, including the latter's influential "Pass the Kouchie" in 1981. Much of his output was released on his own Gussy and Puppy labels.
In the late 1980s, Clarke adapted to the new dancehall style of reggae, but stood out from other producers by attempting to produce glossier recordings with greater potential to cross over internationally.
In 1987 while still recording at Music Mountain and Dynamic Sounds studio, the first record to bare hints of this newly embraced digital sound came from the release of The Mighty Diamonds "The Real Enemy". "Gang War", the first single off the album released on his Music Works label showcased this new digi-roots style, keyboard and computer programming driven riddims, compared to the known traditional roots reggae sound with players of live instruments recording in the studio. This release stood out as the first transitional record for Gussie and his production incorporating old school roots reggae to the newly embarked digital dancehall riddims to take shape for the coming years.
In 1988 he launched his Music Works studio, equipped and ready to fully adopt the digital reggae era, successfully as a producer returned with hit records and singles for many Jamaican and UK artist alike. Gussie continued to gather some of the best songwriters, musicians, arrangers, engineers and mixers, Jamaica had to offer. The first two full length albums to showcase the masterfully crafted, dominant sounds of the Music Works studio, was The Mighty Diamonds "Get Ready" and Gregory Isaacs' "Red Rose For Gregory" both released the same year just months apart. And thus began the new sound of 90's Jamaica.
Soon many artists were turning up and securing studio time to record at the newly rebuilt recording studio. Gregory Isaacs' "Rumours" was the biggest hit on the Island the summer of 1988. J.C Lodge's "Telephone Love" was the biggest reggae hit of the same year in the United States. This hit single led to Gussie producing a full length album for Lodge in 1990 titled "Selfish Lover" which saw her team up with Shabba Ranks on the duet titled "Hardcore Loving", and later with Shabba Ranks' on "Telephone Love Deh Pond Mi Mind".
In 1989 Gussie brought two of the most influential reggae artists together Dennis Brown & Gregory Isaacs to record a massive radio hit titled "Big All Around". Following this same trend of "pairings" Gussie continued on the path with much success in Home T, Cocoa Tea & Shabba Ranks full set album and on the anthemic hit singles "Pirates Anthem" and "Stop Spreading Rumours". Gussie produced UK artist Deborahe Glasgow's self-titled album and spawned multiple radio hits. One massive hit titled "Champion Lover" stood out and was later paired with rising dancehall sensation Shabba Ranks for a cut to the same riddim titled "Mr. Loverman". Maxi Priest's "Just A Little Bit Longer" became an international hit as so was Shabba Ranks & Krystal's "Twice My Age". Many hits were coming out of the Music Works studio stable and Gussie continued to be a high profile producer way into the the late 1990s working with an ensemble of Jamaican reggae artists such as Tiger, Lady G, Papa San, Cocoa Tea, Freddie McGregor, and UK artists such as Maxi Priest, Aswad and US Jazz artist Courtney Pine.
In the mid 90's, Gussie predominantly released albums on the Gone Clear Distribution label for artists such as Mikey Roots, Daddy Rings, Dean Fraser, and Sasha to name a few. Soon after his final produced full length album for the late Dennis Brown titled "Stone Cold World" in 1999 for VP records, Gussie's productions quieted with the occasional one-off releases.
In 2006, Gussie produced the various artists one riddim compilation album titled "Consuming Fire" for VP records' Riddim Driven series. Per the back cover sleeve notes and following the Riddim Driven series for VP, Gussie was scheduled to release two additional riddim compilations called "Ocotogan" and "Groove Master". However as of yet, these have not been released. The same year saw Gussie as co-producer for international star Rihanna's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" released off her "Girl Like Me" studio album.