Lammie, a musical pioneer

The Cayman Islands is a treasure trove bursting at the seams with undiscovered musical talent.

Lurking beneath the genteel facade of these tranquil isles are great names yet unknown whose
hands keep reaching out to the stars from the depths of anonymity, only to be frustrated in their quest by the many pitfalls and setbacks that assail.

Enter Lammie! A son of this soil, born on Valentine’s Day, 1954. Christened Charles Lambert Seymour, Lammie recognised his love for music from the tender age of five.

In those days, he said, two of Jamaica’s then premier radio stations, RJR and JBC, were the medium that whet his musical palate. The incessant drum beat of the music that belted out from his parents’ small transistor radio beat a steady path to the core of his heart.

Young Lammie, whose love of God rings true in his songs, stepped into the musical arena in 1968 with a group called Soul Revivals.

The group comprised Charles Gregory of Hopscotch Recording Studio, Jonathan ‘John’ Ebanks, George Powell (now deceased) and himself. In later years he transitioned to the group Memories of Justice.

Lammie at first played the bass guitar as he idolised Ashton ‘Family Man’ Barret who used to be Bob Marley’s bassy. Toots and the Maytals was another one of his influences.

This Caymanian star has recorded a number of songs and is presently working on two albums.

Among his more memorable recordings are songs like ‘Power’, ‘Right on time’ and a cover of the late Tyrone Taylor’s ‘Rainy Sunset’. His biggest tune to date is ‘Me and me Crew’, released in 1984 with Soul Revivals. The song was written by Errol Watler of Funky Tangs and was number one on the music charts in Jamaica and eight overall in the Caribbean region.

He has a few invaluable thoughts on how music has grown in Cayman.

‘They are teaching music in schools now, so the forum has been elevated from just raw talent to the implementation of technical skills. This is good for the longevity and the quality of Cayman’s music,’ he said.

Lammie now spends most of his time at his farm in East End. He lives in Randyke Gardens with his family – wife Judy, daughters, Kai-Lanae and Katherine and son Christopher. His other two children are Latoya and Toska.

Will the musical saga continue with his children? That’s left to be seen.

Check out Big Tune next week, with a look at Mitch ‘Jah Mitch’ Ebanks, another notable musical pioneer.

Give me a link up of any notable person in entertainment, of any genre or nation. We are many nations basking here under the sun but music speaks one language. Send your links to [email protected].