The Cool Ruler / Young Digital Story

16/12/16 Curtis Young

Known affectionately as the ‘Cool Ruler’, Gregory Isaacs was a reggae superstar. Forging a successful career between the late 1960s up until his death in 2010, his legacy has been recently commemorated with an Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government and a Blue Plaque tribute at his former home in Harrow.

This is the story of the cool ruler, told by loved ones and people who were around him…

IN: “Now I wanna say…

OUT: …Red Rose for Gregory”

DUR: 10’00”


The first audio source in the story was recorded at a Gregory Isaacs Tribute Concert, which took place on 29th October at the Bridge Park Complex in London. I could only use speech from the concert as recording became distorted when music started.

I interviewed Linda (Gregory’s partner) on Monday 14th November at her home which they had shared in Harrow and where the Blue Plaque now stands.  She advised me that Ken Boothe, fellow reggae artist and friend of Gregory had some shows in the UK and that I should speak to him for my story. I managed to catch up with him on Wednesday 23rd November at Stingray Studio in Perivale where he had a recording session. I also went back to Stingray on Tuesday 6th December to speak with Carlton ‘Dillie’ Mcleod, who recorded and worked with Gregory for many years before his passing.

A Facebook post about the Blue plaque unveiling by Daddy Ernie on Tuesday 25th October inspired me so it was only right that I spoke to him. I interviewed him at his home on Monday 5th December where he enlightened me about his experiences with Gregory and also suggested I speak to Carlton ‘Dillie’ Mcleod as he had recorded many songs with Isaacs.

My final contributor was Keecia Ellis, the last child of another reggae superstar, Alton Ellis. It came up in a conversation that I was doing a story about Gregory and she offered to speak to me about her experiences meeting him on many occasions at shows he did with her father. I also realised it would be good to get a younger opinion in the piece as all the other contributors were from an older generation.

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