CPR Reggae

CPR Reggae

CPR Reggae

BOB Marley & the Wailers' Easy Skanking in Boston '78 is number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart. Released in February, it is the only title on that tally this year which has posted double-digit sales. Featuring two historic live shows at Boston's Music Hall from June 1978, the set has sold over 11,611 copies to date, according to Soundscan, the company that tracks retail and digital sales in the United States.

Three other albums in the Top 10 have also posted double-digit figures, but were released last year. Count on Me by Rebelution is at number two, posting sales of 225 copies during the past week. To date, the California band's third album has sold over 46,021 copies. Amid the Noise and the Haste by SOJA is at number four with sales of over 29,000 copies after 42 weeks on the chart. The Virginia band was nominated for a Best Reggae Album Grammy this year. They also performed at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in January.

San Diego, California band, Tribal Seeds, hold the number seven spot with their fourth studio effort, Representing. The album was released in May 2014 and topped the Billboard Reggae Album chart. To date, it has sold 10,986 copies. Since it was released in April last year, Chronixx's EP, Dread & Terrible, has sold 8,988 copies and sits at number eight. Former number one, Strictly Roots by Morgan Heritage, is down to number 12 after six weeks. It has sold 2,222 copies.

Singer Alaine is new at number 14 with her Ten of Hearts which has sold 55 copies. Ancient Future by Protoje, which spent one week at number one, is down to number 15. After 12 weeks, it has sold 2,390 copies. Grammy winner Fly Rasta by Ziggy Marley falls to number 19. Released in April last year, the album has to date sold 19,021 copies. After four weeks, Barrington Levy's AcousticaLevy has sold 194 copies to be number 21.

Vybz Kartel's Viking (Vibe is King) is at number 23 and has sold 1,127 copies since its release 12 weeks ago. His protégé Popcaan does better with Where we Come From which has registered 3,715 copies since its release last summer. That album sits at number 25.

On Billboard's Digital Reggae Singles chart, OMI holds the number one spot with Cheerleader. The song sold 87,895 copies over the past week, up from 59,138 copies the previous week. To date, it has moved 391,228 digitally.

Shaggy's I Need Your Love featuring Mohombi, Faydee and Costi is at number two. It sold 22,742 in the past week to bring its tally to 166,870.

According to a report in the Sunday Gleaner of May 31, 2015, Patricia Chin, co-founder of VP Records, says the label is celebrating the revival of vinyl. The veteran producer, who started the label with her late husband Vincent Chin in 1979, and has pushed reggae and dancehall music in the international market for over three decades, says the label has already started to re-press old vinyl records.

Ms Chin, who spoke with The Sunday Gleaner at the recently concluded Best of the Best festival in Miami, contends that vinyl is the heart of the music industry, and represents the true sound of music. "I feel happy and positive that they are bringing back the vinyl, because it was very popular 50 years ago, and it's like gold ... it never changes. You get the real sound like in the studio, if the vinyl is not the heart of the music, then I don't know what is," said Miss Pat, as she is affectionately known.

At Best of the Best, VP Records erected its own museum as Miss Pat and her staff used the event as an avenue to promote Jamaican music, as well as raise awareness of the almost fairy tale journey of reggae and dancehall genres. Among the items on display were T-shirts, photos of iconic musicians, an old school cassette radio, a turntable, and of course, vinyl records.

Miss Pat reportedly told The Sunday Gleaner that while the youth are attached to new technological developments, over time, they will grow to appreciate vinyl. "There will always be a fan-base for the vinyl, and the youth will catch up. The sound systems are there, and I am mostly happy to see when some persons from the new generation are pulling towards the collection of vinyls. The youth will want to connect with their past, because that is the only way they can know their future," she said.

According to Miss Pat, the mathematics of cost will find a way to work itself out. "Fifty years ago, there were not many turntables, they were expensive and people found a way to get them, so we can do it from scratch. The factories are still in Jamaica, we just need to reopen them. Companies are there who have rights to music and were struggling because of the CD takeover. For VP Records, we have 50 years of music in our collection and we intend to start pressing even more," she said.

She disclosed that the label had increased the pressing of vinyl records for Shabba Ranks and Yellow Man among others. "We have Channel One vinyl, Gussy Clarke vinyl, Penthouse vinyl, Prince Buster and so much more, but in the coming years, you will see more," she said.

Calling all Singers, Songwriters, Producers, Promoters, Publicists, Radio DJs, Managers, Booking Agents, Record Label Owners, and all other music Practitioners.

Are you getting paid like you think you should? Do you have the basic information you need to ensure your success or is lack of information holding you back?

Don’t miss Who Mash Up Reggae – Part 5: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You, when business and music industry executive, Christina Grand, COO and Director of Operations at The Worldwide Reggae Music and Entertainment Embassy Limited, will share her experience and her insights into how lack of information has helped to mash up the reggae industry and what you can do about it. This forum will lay the groundwork for groundbreaking Reggae Embassy training scheduled for New York in the fall.

Don’t miss this important forum. Click on the image above for more details.

Understanding Intellectual Property

Writers, Songwriters, Poets and all other content creators, don’t miss this intellectual property forum when intellectual property (IP) attorney, Joshua Graubart will discuss the finer points of intellectual property, copyright, publishing and what you need to know about protecting your interest.

                WHEN:                      Thursday, May 28, 2015

                                                7:00 PM Sharp

                WHERE:                   CPRLive

                                                1199 Ocean Avenue, Suite 407

                                                Brooklyn, NY 11230

--Bonus-- A special presentation about the Tsu social media platform where you earn royalties for all your posts of original content will also be provided.

Don’t Miss It!

Not able to attend? CPRLive will stream the forum during the Real Talk timeslot, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM.

The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) an organization co-founded by Sharon Gordon & Carlyle McKetty made its mark in Reggae when it courageously celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary by staging International Women of Reggae, celebrating the feminine energy in reggae with a night of hits! The CPR team made the bold statement that an all female show can be successful by staging a grand event in the Walt Whitman Theater of the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College on Saturday, April 25, 2015.  The concert headlined by VP Recording Artist Etana,billed as the leading lady of reggaealso featured hit maker and veteran Nadine Sutherland; Shuga, Jamaica’s new sensation; Dancehall veterans Lady Ann and Junie Ranks; Canada’s Tasha T, 2015 Juno Award  nominee, and risings stars Chyna Nicole (New York) and Kristine Alicia (Florida). “This is what Bob Marley would want,” said Sharon Gordon in a recent interview conducted by Debra Lewis-Boothman.

It is no secret that reggae is dominated by males in all realms including business negotiations, investing, promotions, recording contracts, audio/lighting engineering, musicians for hire and working artists and it is very rare in the genre that we find an all female line up in a concert hall anywhere in the world. The night was filled with love songs, powerful messages, dance and entertainment, channeling the message of the unity and strength of the feminine energy in reggae and manifested in a professionally produced show sending a stronger message to the world. The success is being communicated through vivacious stories from members of the audience, stunning photography that captured the essence of each moment, brilliant archival footage and the invitation of the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts to return next year with another concert event, magnifying the power of the CPR mode of “working together to make things work.”  


The Coalition to Preserve Reggae had rehearsal times set for each artist with a full band and backing vocalists.  The band members were pleasant, professional and timely. Lenny (guitar and musical director), Carlyle McKetty (keys), Marvin (drums), Hoover (bass) and Ricky (keys) paid attention to each performer – no matter the success of the artist. At each rehearsal, which took place at a rehearsal studio in Brooklyn, backing vocalists Simone Gordon and Althea Layne-Hamilton did their part to ensure the integrity of the presentation.


Before the Show

CPR welcomed artists with dinner, providing full dressing rooms, perfect professional sound and lighting, thoughtful backstage communications, escorts for the artist, bottle water and VIP area with exquisite hor’ d’oeuvres and a carpeted reception in fine style. CPR members and volunteers,  including Andrea (Anmour) Holmes Seymour, Seba Damani Saunderson, Tyrone Roberts,  Radio Rahim  (original subject of Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” movie) CJ Saunders and more dedicated members were hospitable to artists, families and attendees.

Memorable Moments

Singer/Backing vocalist Simone Gordon warmed up the audience solo as Althea Layne-Hamilton (veteran backing vocalist) serenaded. Both Simone and Althea shared melodious voices backing all artists (except headliner Etana) for the evening. Yours truly, Chyna Nicole took audiences to the moon as they joined with me in singing my charted hit “Take Me to the Moon” “Love Me Forever cover” and more.


Kristine Alicia powerfully sang “Freedom Fighters” as audience pumped their fists for freedom. She also sang love song “Will You Still Love Me,” a cover.


Lady Ann delivered her hit “Informer” and had the audiences rocking and laughing to her humor and entertainment.


Junie Ranks also brought audiences back to original dancehall with her “Big and Ready,” and mesmerized guitar player Lenny with her seductive sultry rub during her performance.

Nadine Sutherland lit the entire Walt Whitman Theatre belting a string of hits including “Action,”  “Wickie Dickie,” “Babyface,” “Walk Away from Love,” and more! She danced, enthusiastically sung and gave a brilliant and memorable performance.

Tasha T delivered strong with “One Draw,” her charted hit “Bed of Fire”, and more bringing her cultural vibe to the stage!

Shuga sang her hit songs “Ride di Riddim” and more ending her set with the inspirational “Ebony,”  and received a standing ovation!

Etana, the headliner,glamorously dressed in a black and white gown was gracious on stage and sang like a bird. She smiled and gave little excerpts, speaking to the audience before many songs, including “Stepping out of Babylon”, “Jamaican Woman,” “Richest Girl,” and more from her recent release “I Rise”.  Etana has evolved beautifully dancing more and smiling during her performances. She rocked the audience and had them to their feet dancing.

The Reggae star ended the concert with a finale, welcoming all of the performers to the stage to sing her United Nations pick ‘Better Tomorrow” from her junior (3RD) album, and invited Lady G, from the audience to come on stage and join the ladies. Lady G told the audience she was there to support the event as an audience member and not a performer, but when Etana gave her the microphone, it was pandemonium!  She "tore the house down" with hits like Breeze Off” and more. The finale signaled a vision come to fruition and before it was over, Ms. Pat of VP Records and Ms. Gordon were on stage to congratulate all performers with floral arrangements and gift bags.


The ladies (L-R): Nadine Sutherland, Chyna Nicole, Shuga, Tasha T, Junie Ranks, Lady G, Etana, Lady Ann, Simone Gordon and Althea Layne-Hamilton with Etana’s Band.   Photo:  Melvin Calender

Accolades Galore

These are only a few of the accolades which continue to come:

“When is the next show on the tour?” an audience member asked.

Producer Chilla Clarke of Chilla Music Production offered his congratulations saying “Blessings Sharon Gordon, I must also thank you and Carlyle McKettyfor putting together the #1 show of the year so far. Coalition to Preserve Reggae (CPR) Professionalism turn way up. Respect!!!! “

If you missed this historic event of an all female line up, be sure to  contact CPR with requests.

To join The Coalition to Preserve Reggae and for broadcasts and updates, log on to www.cprreggae.org

Stay tuned for the next event!

“Wouldn’t this have been more powerful had a full house turned out to support the women?” said Sharon during a discussion with a CPR member.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:58

Unity in Action

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Editor’s Note: From her vantage point as a volunteer, Andrea Seymour-Holmes (Anmour), saw the IWOR event as a demonstration of unity in action. From her wide-angle view, Anmour wrote the following.

The first ever successful New York staging of an all female line up was held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Brooklyn College in New York. The International Women of Reggae was hosted by The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) and it was a momentous occasion! I saw women working together to make things work. Women are typically expected to bicker and behave like divas....not so! In front of and behind the scenes, these ladies were like loving sisters. Rehearsals were awesome jam sessions and the vibe was simply mellow. It was UNITY all the way.

The piece de resistance was Etana's finale, when she invited all the other ladies on stage with her to sing her song "Better Tomorrow", which was chosen by the United Nations as the anthem in the fight against Ebola. This is their anthem, but it spoke volumes to me as I saw a genuine camaraderie on stage....signifying that there will definitely be a better tomorrow for women in Reggae. This is only the beginning!!~~Anmour

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 17:54

Patrons Declare IWOR A Huge Success


On Saturday, April 25th, patrons traveled from near and far to join in a celebration of the feminine energy in reggae. The occasion was the recent staging of the International Women of Reggae (IWOR) at the Walt Whitman Theatre of the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts and before the night was over the event was hailed as a huge success. More than 72 hours later, the accolades continue to roll in. Here are but a few of the many messages CPR received via text message, email and telephone from patrons, performers and industry practitioners.

For Chyna Nicole, performer and a CPR member, it was “A great night in music history!”

Photo journalist Melvin Calendar said “Beautiful event: International Women of Reggae. Sharon Gordon and Carlyle McKetty make their mark celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their organization, The Coalition to Preserve Reggae (CPR) with a bold statement of celebrating the feminine energy - A Better Tomorrow.”

 “Big up yourself for a job well done!!! messaged patron, Grace Van Reil

Chilla Clarke, a music producer said “Blessings Sharon Gordon. I must also thank you and Bro Carlyle McKetty for putting together the #1 Show of the year so far. Coalition to Preserve Reggae (CPR) professionalism turn way up. Respect!!!”

 “This is so beautiful. I love his. WOW!!! Unity of the females; Empowerment; Oneness is greatness,” expressed Michibella Campbell, a CPR member. “Etana, Nadine Sutherland, Tasha T, Shuga, Chyna Nicole, Junie Ranks, Lady Ann, I am very proud of you all. Great performances.”

DJ Face Money of 1st Class Flight heard on Randy's radio had a few things to say: "Ms Sharon Gordon, you plus the ladies created history in many ways ....you've all accomplished what most promoters are scared to death to even attempt. Looking forward to an annual event. Fly out!!" He also added, "The ladies were stunning in their outfits. They performed well, but most important for me was the genuine unity among them. It wasn't a poker face thing neither. Thanks Ms. Sharon Gordon and the flight attendants. Definitely 1st class settings."

Patron Steppa Montana said “Awesome Ms. Gordon!!!!!!!! CPR International Women of Reggae: Epic and outstanding ladies.”

Performer Junie Ranks said “Last night’s Women in Reggae was HISTORY!! I loved every moment of it. Big up to all of us women in Reggae. Some see the glamour and the glitter and them think a bed a rose, it's not an easy road.”

Patron Paul Green offered that “This event was just a class act. Much respect to the organizers who've done a wonderful job over the years. Big up all the women in Reggae!”

Performer Tasha T noted “International Women of Reggae in Brooklyn, NY was off the chain!! Great positive vibes!! Big up to CPR!!”

Ms. Pat (Patricia Chin, founder VP Records): “It was a huge success. Historic. Everyone performed well. The CPR All Stars band sounded like an orchestra. The finale was beautiful. Great event.”

Journalist Melissa Noel said “This reminded me why Reggae was my first love, music wise. Messages; real music and real messages. Great night!”

Broadcaster Geanetta Shaw blasted “I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO proud of Shuga's performance this weekend at @CPRReggae International Women of Reggae Concert!!!! Mi done tell oonu watch out fi haar!!! Excellent excellent concert! Big up Lady G touching the mic!!! Ms G (Sharon Gordon) looked FABULOUS!!! You make it look easy!!! I like how Ms Pat Chin (VP Records) gave all the women flowers. Wikkid wikkid concert!!!”

Record producer and CPR member, Fitzroy Francis said “Ms Sharon Gordon, only you and team could create such a unified, historic event in this divided industry. Feeling so proud to be a CPR member.”

Social media commentator and CPR Selectress Mishibu Riddim Queen pointed out that, "Ms. G thing run so smoothly, that one can easily forget the enormity of the undertaking."

Radio Host/Musician, Al Smith: The event was great, the energy was good, people did not want to leave. Congrats CPR.

Jon Yanofsky, Director of the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts said “Congrats on pulling off the IWOR concert on Saturday night. It was a huge undertaking, but one which ultimately came off very successfully… you deserve tremendous credit for making the evening the memorable event that it was.”

Many have called for IWOR to be an annual undertaking and with proper underwriting support, it very well might be.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 14:18

My Take Away from the IWOR

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International Woment of Reggae L-R:Etana, Chyna Nicole, Junie Ranks, Lady Ann, Tasha T, Sharon Gordon, Shuga, Kristine Alicia and Nadine Sutherland.

Editors Note: Besides being the selectress at the International Women of Reggae, dj Riddim Queen is a social media commentator and had more than a few things to say about the event. Her commentary about the event follows.

At first I was a little nervous because I, personally, had a lot of last minute cancellations, many due to the Penn Relays, but as the hall started to fill up, I was reminded that most people don't know that you run a tight ship and will start when you say you will start; that will teach them to not come late to your events.

Anyway, all of the performances were great, but I have never seen Lady Ann live and didn't know about her testimony…it seems she got knocked down and suffered some nerve damage, which is pronounced in her walking as she noted. Her performance was impeccable and she really left me wanting more. I really thought she was going to come back on stage… I guess it was just me wanting to see more of her. Junie Ranks did her thing. Nadine Sutherland was just like when I saw her 20 years ago at St. Mary's Beach Bash; My God, she is just a ball of energy. Her sound is just as it is on records and she worked every part of that stage.  Tasha T did a remarkable job. Don't be fooled by her diminutive appearance, she has a big voice and knows who to use it. I watched her from the top of the auditorium and shed was gliding across the stage.

I think the show stealer would have to be Shuga. I saw her at Mingles do a quick run through, but had never seen her do a full set. I must say, it was like two different people. This was a polished, confident performer who delivered every note with every fiber of her being. She had the audience in rapt attention. I could hear people commenting on her performance while she was on stage, "Yah man, she bad," "Ah who da girl deh, she wicked!" She knew she did something to that crowd and at one point she got a little emotional, when she told them it was her first time performing in Brooklyn. I don't think it will be her last.

Kudos to the band, the CPR All Stars, the backing vocalists and the CPR team for stitching all of this together. It was a wonderful event, the sound was great. David Curtin, CPR member and archivist, said, he had never been inside the Whitman Theater before and was quite impressed with the acoustics. One woman who sat next to me said, "Next time don't keep it an any union hall." Ha ha ha! I guess she never read one back foot about the time! LOL! 

Brooklyn, N.Y., April 16, 2015... Brooklyn is getting ready for the convergence of resplendent songbirds set to take the stage at 8:00PM on April 25, 2015 for the staging of the highly anticipated International Woman of Reggae, #IWOR.

Over the past two months, the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) has beenon a feminine centered campaign to educate, entertain and engage reggae lovers all over the globe. The multi-part initiative which has been sharing about the enumerable contributions women have made in reggae music comes to a head with a diverse array of artists converging on Whitman Theatre, Brooklyn College on April 25th for the #IWOR event.

Headlining the #IWOR will be Etana who recently performed at the UN when her song "Better Tomorrow" was installed as the anthem for the international campaign to end ebola. Over the next two years, Etana will donate the proceeds from all downloads of the track to benefit children orphaned by Ebola. JC Lodge, widely known for the ‘80s mega hit Telephone Love will be there to remind that love can still be powerful and fun while former child prodigy and ‘90s sensation, Nadine Sutherland, responsible for hits like "Action" and “Anything for You” will be in the house reminding that more action and “not a bag o’ mouth” is what we need.

The constellation of stars also include 2015 Juno nominee Tasha T from Toronto, Dancehall divas lady Ann and Junie Ranks, emerging artists Chyna Nicole and Kristine Alecia and, making her Brooklyn debut, the fast rising Shuga.

From the month long celebration of women in reggae to mark Women's History Month, to the continuing CPR Songbird Challenge a social media challenge which implores reggae lovers to “whip out a phone and sing like a songbird” recording and posting 15-30 seconds of a favorite reggae song, CPR has engaged many, with Songbird videos flowing in from around the world via the web in support of CPR’s efforts to preserve and grow reggae music.

All of the festivities have contributed to a steady build up of momentum and with less than 10 days to go before the #IWOR event, many are counting down the days. CPR a ten year veteran of reggae preservation has hosted many events in times past, beginning with the 2005 staging of the annual Reggae Culture Salute but the International Women of Reggae #IWOR event is the first of its kind for the organization, in celebration of the 10 year journey. Sponsors include VP Records and Dennis Shipping.

Tickets to the event range from $30 to $60 with a special $100 VIP package that includes a post show meet and greet with the artists, refreshments, photo ops and more also available. Group discounts are available for choice seating but time is running out as the countdown continues.

Reggae lovers are urged to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to share in a night of hits in a celebration of the feminine energy in reggae music. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.cprreggae.org or call 718 421-6927


President Obama made headlines when he landed in Jamaica approximately 7:31pm on Wednesday night, the first US President to visit the Caribbean country in over thirty-three years.  Moments after arriving, the President made an unexpected visit to the Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road in Kingston to pay tribute to the world’s most notable and widely acclaimed reggae artist, Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley. 

The President’s spontaneous trip to the museum shows the power and reach that Reggae music has on the lives of world citizens near and far. Obama showed the world what reggae means to him; while touring the museum he was heard saying “I still have all the albums.” Reggae has continued to grow since the time of Bob Marley and there are many organizations in the front line striving to preserve this world renowned art form. 

One such organization based in NY is currently in their tenth year of striving to preserve reggae music. The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) was founded by two reggae lovers Sharon Gordon and Carlyle McKetty. The Brooklyn not-for-profit has been a staple in the community, having created a platform for speaking to issues that affects people within the music industry as well as in their community.  Each year, CPR hosts Reggae Cultural Salute, a multimedia event that commemorates the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia with a celebration of the relationship between reggae Rasta, Emperor Selassie and Jamaica. The event boasts a family atmosphere in which to learn about the history of reggae and the culture from which it was birthed.

Most recently, CPR teamed up with Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York to host the International Women of Reggae on April 25, 2015. The event, which marks the organization’s ten year anniversary celebrates the feminine energy in reggae. The headliner for the #IWOR concert is Etana (the Strong One) who recently made International headlines when her inspirational song “Better Tomorrow,” was selected as the theme song for the UN’s Campaign against Ebola. Etana has donated the proceeds from the song to the campaign and will be honored for this at the event.  For more information about how you can help in the fight against the Ebola epidemic, visit the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) at their website www.ebolaandbeyond.com.

To answer the question first posed, what do Obama, Bob Marley and Jamaica have in common, the word is Reggae! Reggae is known for its contagious beat, social commentary, healing properties and spiritual uplifting message and has crossed all barriers to touching the hearts and souls of millions across the globe, including President Barack Obama.

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