Bunny Striker Lee is known to have one of the largest catalogues in the history of Jamaican music, with most of his best known work coming from the 1960s and 1970s. It was at this very studio on Burns Avenue in Duhaney Park that he recorded the hits of some of Jamaica's most notable talents including Peter Tosh, Lee Scratch Perry, Johnny Clarke and U-Roy to name a few . The site which was originally owned by the late great Joe Gibbs, now nestles the revamped production entity and museum under the operation of Gorgan Entertainment Group.
"Is mi son going do it now, the younger one. I will give an eye but I kinda hand it over to the younger generation," Bunny Lee told Jamaicansmusic.com. The event was organized by his son, Edward 'Striker 'Lee Jnr, who expressed, "I grew up in the music so it's only natural that I carry on my father's legacy." A part of preserving this legacy for the young Lee meant the addition of the museum to the studio building. The 26 year old explained, "We didn't want the history to just die, we want people to understand where the music is coming from; a lot of these young people they don't know, because I grew up in it I wanted to make sure people in my age group understand what Reggae is and where it's coming from."
In a similar breath for 'Tribute to the Greats Awards' promoter Kingsley 'King Omar' Goodison, the museum decked with rear vintage photos and instruments among other memorabilia, brought back memories. He noted the importance of the museum and declared that it was a good opportunity for people to get a sense of the history of Reggae and those instrumental to its development.
Other guests in attendance were equally delighted by the new instalment of Gorgan Entertainment. Among them producers King Jammy and Rodguen 'Blackbeard' Sinclair, artistes Trinity, The Mighty Diamonds, Dilinger, Tinga Stewart, Jah Michael, Johnny Clarke, Linval Thompson and Jimmy Riley. Musicians Bungo Herman, Robbie Lyn, Robbie Shakespare and Earl Chinna Smith also came out, along with sound system pioneers Hugh 'Redman' James (of Redman International) and Winston 'Merritone' Blake of Merritone Music to name a few.
The calibre of those in attendance speaks to the impact that Lee has made over his 50 year career. A part from a star-studded stage show line up it is very rare that one encounters these names in one room. Producer of the very first Reggae video program Rockers TV, Earl Chin professed to Jamaicansmusic.com, "Bunny Lee is foundation. My own career was based on Bunny Lee's contributing to the development of the evolution of Reggae music." Desmond Young, president of the Jamaican Music Federation shared similar sentiments saying, "I have been familiar with the work of Striker Lee for years. In fact he has been recognized by the JMF as if you check out his catalogue he has recorded most of the greats and has made an outstanding contribution to Jamaican music."
It was a good night for the history of Reggae music. It all came to an end with a mini "street dance" where artistes including new generation talents Kim Nain and Jedani as well as veterans Jimmy Riley, Tinga Stewart and The Heptones performed.
Striker Lee Jnr has great plans for the studio including several new projects. He also hinted that in celebration of his father's 50th milestone there are plans of a stage show for later this year.