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Joe Gibbs

Biography

Without Joe Gibbs, reggae music would be a different beast. One of the genre's most prolific and influential producers, Gibbs got his start in the late 1960s rock steady era. A TV repairman by trade, Gibbs began selling records in his repair shop, a sideline which quickly evolved into making two-track recordings and, with some early assistance from Lee Perry, producing top hits for artists including the Pioneers and Ken Parker. As his operation grew, Gibbs successfully made the transition to the new reggae sound that would come to dominate the 1970s, and he went on to produce some of that genre's most influential recordings, including Culture's Two Sevens Clash. His long and fruitful relationship with Dennis Brown resulted in one of Brown's biggest international successes, "Money in My Pocket," and he played a major role in the sounds of the Heptones, Delroy Wilson, the Mighty Diamonds, Jacob Miller and Gregory Isaacs, among many others. Throughout his career, Gibbs kept talented collaborators at his side: he worked with a young Niney Holness (aka Niney the Observer), formed a production duo with Errol Thompson, and counted Sly and Robbie and Earl "Chinna" Smith as members of his house band. An elder statesman of reggae, Gibbs was also considered a genuinely nice guy, which made his loss in 2008 at the age of 65 all the more painful for the reggae community.
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