Harry J Passes On, Long Live The Liquidator!

harry-jHarry Johnson AKA Harry J of Liquidator and so many other boss recordings has died the Observer reports.

He produced so many classic tunes in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It’s another massive loss to the Reggae community. He was so well known that even Billboard picked up the story with a long in-depth history of his recoding career.

Jamaican producer and musician Harry Zephaniah Johnson, 67, credited with producing what is widely considered the first reggae single “No More Heartaches” by the vocal harmony trio The Beltones, passed away on Wednesday, April 3 in his Westmoreland, Jamaica birthplace, succumbing to complications from diabetes; Johnson leaves four children and three grandchildren.

Born on July 6th, 1945, Johnson, better known as Harry J, initially entered the music business as a bass player with The Virtues prior to becoming the group’s manager. Shortly thereafter, he took a job as an insurance salesman but his love for music continually beckoned. He booked time at producer/sound system owner Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One in 1968 and recorded The Beltones. The resultant debut release on Johnson’s Harry J label, “No More Heartaches,” is considered a defining record heralding the emergence of the reggae beat as distinctive from its rock steady predecessor.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.