Gladdy Anderson 1934-2015
By: Brian Jahn
Category: Black Uhuru, Bob Marley, Bunny Lee, Culture, Dancehall Music, Jamacian Music, Jamaica, Jamaica Jazz, Jamaican Countryside, Jamaican History, Jamaican Music, Jamaican Musicians, Jamaican Reggae, Kingston, Kingston Jamaica, Live Reggae, Musician, Rastafari, Rastaman, Recording, Recording Studio, Reggae Classics, Reggae music, Reggae Musicians, Rock Steady, Rocksteady, Roots Radics, Roots Reggae, Ska, Skatalites, Trench Town, Tuff Gong
Gladdy Anderson, Jones Town (1997?)
Over the weekend we learned of the passing of another Reggae legend, pianist, Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson. He was a quiet guy with a good sense of humor. I had met Gladdy in Kingston many years ago was lucky to be able to sit in on several sessions he was involved in and it was always a pleasure to hear him play.
Gladdy had been a major player in Jamaican music since the late 1950’s when he started out at Treasure Isle with Duke Reid. Gladdy, who is often credited with coming up with the name Rock Steady, which he said describing the sound of Hopeton Lindo’s “Take It Easy”, which he just had played on. He was a session pianist who played with all the major players of the day, Roy Shirley, Alton Ellis, Derrick Harriot and more. In the late 1960’s he teamed up with singer Stranger Cole to perform as Stranger & Gladdy, recording tunes like”Just Like a River. His 1st solo recorded was a best seller in Jamaica when it came out in 1972.
Gladdy continued with much success working with all the major producers, artist & studios in Kingston. Below is a re-posting from a previous blog entry about Gladdy. We will miss his light touch and joyful sound. Jah Bless Gladdy.
“The legendary Jamaican pianist Gladstone “Gladdy”Anderson. In his 50 plus years playing the piano he can be heard on hundreds of classic recordings from artists like, Bob Marley, Black Uhuru, Mighty Diamonds, Barrington Levy, The Melodians, Yellowman, Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer, Toots, The Gladiators, Mikey Dread, Lee Perry, Herbie Mann and many, many others. He is credited as being one of the inventors of the Ska sound and also reportedly came up with the term “Rocksteady”. Some of his best work was as the leader of Gladdy’s All Stars in the 1970’s.”