JaRIA Recognizes Bernard Collins for His Impact on Jamaican Music

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Bernard Collins, who co-wrote Sata Masa Gana, regarded by many as reggae’s official anthem, will be honored here on March 27 for his contribution to Jamaican music by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA).

Collins, along with brothers Linford, Carlton and Donald Manning, formed The Abyssinians which recorded the seminal song in 1969 at Studio One in Kingston. Released two years later, it was an instant hit in Jamaican dancehalls.

JaRIA Recognizes Bernard Collins for His Impact on Jamaican Music
Bernard Collins

The Manning brothers live in South Florida while Collins still resides near to Trench Town where the quartet are originally from.

He is also co-writer of two other popular songs by The Abyssinians — Declaration of Rights and Forward On To Zion. Those tracks are from the group’s 1976 album, Satta Massagana.

JaRIA Awards

This year, the JaRIA will recognize singer Beres Hammond with a Lifetime Achievement Award; musician/producer Haldane “Danny” Browne with a Extraordinary Impact on the Reggae Industry: Mentorship Award; Robbie Shakespeare and Neville Garrick – posthumous awards; engineers Richard Browne and Earl Smith Jnr; producers Stephen Stewart and Tommy Cowan; and sound systems Fatman Sound System and Road International.

Completing the list of awardees are percussionist Uriah “Sticky” Thompson and singer Pluto Shervington (posthumously); bassist Daniel “Danny Axeman” Thompson, deejay Sister Nancy, roots-reggae group Black Uhuru, and the Sagittarius Band.

Veteran broadcaster Clinton Lindsay’s groundbreaking feats on West Indian will also be acknowledged.

The JaRIA will introduce the Ibo Cooper Icon Award in memory of the third World band’s co-founder and keyboardist who died last October at age 71. This award will be presented to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts where Cooper taught for many years.