Beres Hammond, one of the artistes billed to perform at the
'One Love Party'.
THE BREEZE of September's Hurricane Ivan may have blown
sand and looters into the home of broadcaster Owen 'OB'
Brown and his wife, singer Shirley McLean, but there has
been a positive side to the storm for the couple.
"The love that has been coming out has been
overwhelming," Brown said, noting that just the words of
support from the public have been very comforting.
It is a level of support that has transformed his
emotional response to the looting of the family's Caribbean
Place, Harbour View, home, the looters doing far more damage
than the hurricane itself. "I was very, very angry at
first," Brown said.
Two months after the hurricane meandered along Jamaica's
southern coast, the sentiment will become something that can
be seen and heard in one location, the Ranny Williams
Entertainment Centre on Hope Road in St. Andrew, when
Entertainers in Support of Owen Brown and Family present an
after work jam titled 'One Love Party' tonight, beginning at
The selectors and performers for the party reflect
Brown's over 30 years in broadcasting, when he started
'Sound to Sound', the second ever all-Jamaican music show,
on the now defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC).
There will be music from Bunny Goodison, Winston 'Merritone'
Blake and Wee Pow, as well as the younger spinners of music
such as Kurt Riley, Arif Cooper and Marlon Young.
Karen Smith and Beres Hammond are among the more seasoned
performers who will take the microphone intermittently over
the course of the party, while Chuck Fender, Mr. Perfect,
Chezidek and Queen I-Frica will represent the new surge of
roots music. Also billed are Hugo Barrington, Professor
Nuts, Anthony Cruz, Charlie Chaplin, Captain Barkey and
Richie B, Jenny-Jenny and Tony Young are among the MCs.
Brown explained that the party was not his idea, naming
Luciano, Sly and Robbie, Dean Fraser and Jamaica Federation
of Musicians (JFM) president Desmond Young among the driving
forces. And it was not as if he and Shirley McLean were
sitting down and waiting on anyone to get their house, which
they will be returning to, back in order. Repairs started
two days after the hurricane.
"While my mind was turning around about how to deal with
this thing, they just came up with this idea. While things
were looking grim, there were people around me planning and
that sort of wiped away the anguish," Brown said.
The family evacuated their home ahead of Hurricane Ivan,
despite doubting the warnings of the tempest's severity. It
was actually a work night for Brown and the rest of the
family stayed with other family members. Looting did not
cross his mind. "I do not know if it was naiveté or not,"
The looters struck twice on consecutive nights, the
second time worse than the first. Fortunately, the records
that are critical to his job were spared both the storm and
the looting, the latter taking care of clothing, appliances
Brown emphasised that the 'One Love Party' will not be a
matter of charity. "We don't want people to come just
through sympathy. We want people to have a good time," the
father of four said