Freddie McGregor, aka Big Ship, is one of those reggae musicians who, although he’s been in the business since the 1960s, has remained relevant. Whether its ska, lovers rock, reggae, Roots reggae, dancehall or dub, Freddie’s done it. This versatility and his solid showmanship have earned him a loyal following both in Jamaica and internationally.
Freddie McGregor was born in Clarendon in June, 1956. In 1963, he and two other musicians formed the group known as The Clarendonians and recorded for Studio One, one of Jamaica’s best known labels. His popularity soared in the 1980 when he released a string of hits. He also started his own label, Big Ship, and later Big Ship Recording Studio, where he produced several reggae artists.
Freddie McGregor has over thirty albums to his credit and was nominated for a Grammy in 2003 for All For You.
I’ve seen Freddie in concert a handful of times in Jamaica and the U.S. The last time, I found myself near the entrance to the stage and when he finished his performance, I did something I never would have done even ten years ago — I went over, greeted him and asked to take my photo with him. He was very gracious and agreed. I got my photo and felt like a teenager and a groupie. But it was fun! Since then, I’ve not felt the least bit shy about introducing myself to musicians or getting them to sign my CDs when I see them at performances. Other than that, I leave them alone — it’s their private time.
Anyway, hope you enjoy these selections from Freddie as much as I do.