Lee Scratch Perry

A key figure in Jamaican music history, Lee "Scratch" Perry was an innovative, groundbreaking producer who crafted Bob Marley's early hits, helped pioneer the traditions of reggae and dub, and influenced everyone from The Clash to Beastie Boys. Born in Kendal, Jamaica, on March 20, 1936, he started his career at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One. Perry worked with Prince Buster on ska hits by the likes of The Skatalites and The Upsetters (including their classic "Return of Django") before his sonic experiments led to the sludgy bass lines, woozy skanks, and sparse drum rhythms that became reggae's trademark. His 1968 track "People Funny Boy" became the first to use a sample (of a baby crying), and he continued his musical evolution by working with Bob Marley and The Wailers on the albums Soul Rebels and Soul Revolution. He co-wrote and produced Junior Murvin's classic single "Police and Thieves," which was later covered by The Clash, and created a number of well-received solo albums from his Black Ark Studio, including 1974's Double Seven, 1975's Revolution Dub, and 1978's Return of Super Ape. He later went to work for Trojan Records before teaming up with British producers Adrian Sherwood and Mad Professor during the '80s and '90s. An appearance on Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty in 1998 helped introduce his music to a new generation, while a Grammy Award for 2003's Jamaica E.T. confirmed his ongoing status as one of reggae's architects and reigning leaders. Lee "Scratch" Perry lived in Switzerland during the final stretch of his life and remained prolific, releasing five records (including Dubz of the Root and Lee "Scratch" Perry's Guide to the Universe) in 2021 alone. That same year, he became sick with an undiagnosed illness and passed away in Lucea, Jamaica, on August 29, 2021. He was 85 years old.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Lee Scratch Perry

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.