Another of the musicians I grew up listening to is singer/songwriter, Gregory Isaacs, also called the “Cool Ruler” for his soulful, heartfelt music. Isaacs’ hit single, My Only Lover, is credited as being the first song recorded in the lovers rock sub-genre of reggae.
He recorded with many of the top Jamaican producers of the 1970s including King Tubby, Freddy McGregor, and Lee “Scratch” Perry who also produced Bob Marley & the Wailers, and was one of the biggest reggae performers in the world, touring the UK and US.
Also in the 1970s, Isaacs signed first with Virgin Records then with Island Records and recorded Night Nurse, the album and single that saw him break through to a larger audience. In a prolific career, spanning 40 years, Isaacs released an estimated 500 albums and was nominated for four Grammy Awards, including for Brand New Me in 2010. In 2011, his album Isaacs Meets Isaac, which he recorded with Zimbabwean reggae singer, King Isaac, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
Isaacs, who was born in Kingston, died a year ago on October 25th at his home in London after losing his battle with lung cancer. He was 59 years old.