In Memory of Vivian (Yabby-You) Jackson

© 2010 Norman Samuda-Smith




Sunrise: August 14 1946   Sunset: January 12 2010


Vivian (Yabby You) Jackson, the legendary Jamaican record producer passed away at the age of 63 in Clarendon Jamaica, January 12 2010.  He was one of seven children and left home when he was twelve to find work. Although he hadn’t made any new recordings in recent years, he contributed a number of significant productions to the Jamaican record industry in the mid 70’s, not only from his own group, Yabby You and the Prophets, but also from other artists whom he nurtured in their early recording days; especially Michael Prophet and Wayne Wade.

Yabby You became seriously ill in his teenage years while working at a furnace facility. The effects of malnutrition had left him hospitalised and on his release, he was left with severe arthritis which had partially impaired his legs. As a result, his physical condition was a consequence of him losing his job and he began hustling a living on the streets of Kingston.

An early recording he made at King Tubby’s Studio in Waterhouse, Kingston 11 in 1972, would eventually lead him to the recognition he so rightly deserved. A deeply spiritual man, his music had a mystical passion. In the 70’s, when you talked about roots, rock, reggae, you were talking about Mr Vivian (Yabby You) Jackson.

He eventually founded his own record label in Kingston Jamaica and went on to release his recordings on the Grove Music Label in London. His ability to create unique rhythms with haunting horn phases and vocal styling, gave him a very distinctive sound.

So this is for you Kings and Queens who remember the Reggae dance hall vibes of the 70’s, the trailer-load of sound systems and the legendary Yabby You record label; when we all used to sing along to Yabby You favourites like Zion Gate 

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

PSALMS 149; verse 3

PANTHER NEWSLETTER salutes a true legend of Roots, Rock, Reggae music; Vivian (Yabby You) Jackson, who passed away January 12 2010 in Clarendon Jamaica.

Til next month – Everyting Bless


*All rights reserved.  No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the writer Norman Samuda-Smith.*


2 Responses to “NORMSKI’S ARTICLE”

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