Ruddy Thomas dies
From the JA Observer........
Veteran singer Ruddy Thomas dies
Monday, June 12, 2006
Jamaican music lost another of its stalwarts on Saturday night when Ruddy Thomas collapsed on stage while performing as part of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Popular Song Contest show in Portland.
Thomas was a finalist in this year's competition, having entered with the collaboration You Are Loved along with DJ Azee.
"He was performing his hit song Loving Pauper and in the middle of the song he collapsed," Boris Gardener, Thomas' friend of many years and himself a veteran musician, told the Observer Saturday night.
Gardener said that after Thomas fell, people at the show went over to him and, after realising that he was having a medical problem, put him in his producer 'Breezy' McKenzie's car and rushed him to hospital. But it was too late.
Gardener, also a top bassist who has a studio at his home, said it was only a few weeks ago that Thomas, 49, was there working on his (Gardener's) upcoming album - Reggae For Lovers And More - when he complained of chest pains.
"I checked his blood pressure and found that it was very high so I told him to go see his doctor," Gardener said.
"He went to the Heart Foundation and did an ECG and cholesterol test and should have gone back for the results on Friday," said Gardener. "But I guess because he was involved with the contest he never went back."
Thomas apparently started his musical career in the 1970s as a member of a group put together by the Blake brothers of Meritone fame. He came to prominence as part of the extended musical family of producer Joe Gibbs, gracing many of the producer's compilations, his Christmas albums notably among them.
He eventually went on his own, receiving national attention for his hit Loving Pauper. Thomas also scored a major Jamaican hit in collaboration with Susan Cadogan, with Feel So Good. Thomas had been a featured performer on the JAVAA Jammin' monthly showcases of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artists and Affiliates.
But his golden voice notwithstanding, Thomas will be best remembered in the industry as a meticulous, even workaholic studio engineer who mixed many albums, particularly during his many years at Dynamic Sounds.
"He mixed my hit I Wanna Wake Up With You," Gardener told the Observer. That song, a cover of a Mac Davis original, was a UK number one for Gardener in the late 1980s.
"He was always a perfectionist," Gardener said of Thomas. "He loved good music and would not bow to mediocrity."
Gardener said that it was only a few months ago that Thomas lost his two-year-old daughter who was sick. At the time of his passing he lived with his son in Patrick City.
My mate Kev met Ruddy Thomas at Boris Gardiner's house back in January (courtesy of BB Seaton)...he has a nice photo of the four of them (taken by Mrs. Seaton) and is feeling a bit "down" right now 🙁
RIP Ruddy 8)
Another tragic loss to the world of Reggae! These notices are appearing far too frequently lately. Guess it must be a generation thing.
When it came to singing you were alright!!!!
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