Soulful Sundays: Don Drummond

Ska trombonist and composer, Don Drummond, was one of the original members of the Jamaican Ska band, The Skatalites. He was educated at Alpha Boys School where he also taught. Drummond began his musical career with the Eric Dean’s All-Stars.

A household name in Jamaica in the 60s, pianist George Shearing rated him one of the world’s top five

Don Drummond, image from Wikipedia
Don Drummond, image from Wikipedia

trombone players. By 1965, Drummond had over 200 songs to his credit.

He suffered mental problems and in 1965, was convicted of killing Marguerita Mahfood, his longtime girlfriend, and confined to Kingston’s Bellevue Hospital, a mental institution.

In 1967, his adaptation of The Guns of Navarone hit the UK Top 10.

Drummond died in May, 1969, four years after being sent to Bellevue. He was just 37 years old.

Here are Man in the Street, which reached the Top 10 in the UK in 1965, and Jungle Reggae.

6 comments on “Soulful Sundays: Don Drummond

  1. Wow…what a sad ending. Made me think of Donny Hathaway because he suffered mental illness also, and was so talented, as Drummond. Sometimes, especially when young musicians go too soon, I wonder if, along with the fame, which can be a monster itself, if they are trapped in their own genius.

  2. That’s a good point, Totsymae. It’s hard to balance fame and genius. It’s difficult being a creative type — I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that — it can be a very lonely place for these really talented individuals who have been given the responsibility to see the world, and help the rest of us to see it, in an entirely different way.

  3. What a sad story on such a talented soul… There is something to be said about mad genius… TY!

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