Tonight at The Hall at MP in Brooklyn, CEG and Soul’d Out Productions are celebrating the legendary Ernest Ranglin’s 84th Birthday with a night of reggae, ska and jazz guitar. Doors open at 6 with the show kicking off at 8, and the event is a first come first seated event with standing room at the bar. Ernest Ranglin himself is headlining the celebration, while Mihali of Twiddle and Tel-Aviv’s Yotam Silberstein will honor the legend with two opening performances. Tickets will be available at the door for $40, but can also be purchased in advance at this link. To preview the birthday party, I’ve put together 10 fun facts about Ernest Ranglin, and ended the article with a video of Mihali at Summer Camp explaining the importance of Ranglin on his life and musical consciousness. See you at the show, and enjoy this incredible vintage video of Jimmy Cliff and Ernest Ranglin jamming out in the 70s.
10 Fun Facts about Ernest Ranglin
- Ranglin was born in 1932 in Machester, Jamaica, and was originally a self-taught musician.
- Public radio broadcasting first began in Jamaica on 1959, and Ranglin was employed by the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation as a guitarist from 1958 – 1965.
- At the age of 15, Ranglin joined his first major band, the Val Bennet Orchestra, where he met life-long friend and musical accomplice, jazz pianist Monty Alexander.
- In 1962, the James Bond film, Dr. No, was filmed in Jamaica, and Ranglin was hired to compose music for the scenes in Jamaica.
- In 1964 Ranglin visited London to perform at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club under Blackwell’s Island Label. Initially the club’s manger was reluctant to let Ranglin perform, but after his first concert the crowd reception was so overwhelming that Ranglin earned a residency that lasted 9 months.
- Ranglin was the music director of The Melodians’ song, “The Rivers of Babylon,” which was covered by Sublime on their multi-platinum debut album, 40 Oz. to Freedom.
- In 1973 Ranglin was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his contribution to music.
- In an interview, Ranglin once spoke of Bob Marley:“He used to live in front of my house and I used to watch him play cricket on the sidewalk when he was a boy. I knew him well, we were good with each other you know. One day he came to the studio with a tune and I tried to fix it up a bit. I saw a good future in him. He was strict with the other fellows. He was very serious and trying his best to be proper. I thought he will become a great guy. He offered me a lifetime job to teach him. I would go on tour with him and show him how to compose, the right and proper way about harmony and all about the instrument. We didn’t speak of money but I know it would have been a good money. It might have been interesting, you know? Bob Marley may have ended up playing jazz!”
- In 2002 Ranglin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of the West Indies for his outstanding contribution to the development of music in Jamaica.
- In 2008 Ranglin was inducted into the Jamaican Music Hall of Fame by the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA).
To view the video of Mihali discussing Ernest Ranglin’s impact on his life and career, please follow this link to redirect to Facebook.