Ernie Smith

Glenroy Anthony Smith is known around the world to all who have had the
joy and excitement of hearing him sing and play, as "Ernie". Ernie is a true
pioneer of Reggae Music, but this fails to convey the versatility, longevity and impact
of his illustrious career as a singer, composer, lyric writer, musician arranger and
....artiste supreme. Ernie plays mostly reggae but changes with ease to rock,
rhythm and blues, ballads, country music and gospel.

Born to a musical family - his father George played the guitar, mother, Linnette
sang, sisters Tezzie, Kay, Jean sing like larks and brothers are instrumentalists -
Paul, Bass, Peter, Sax, Patrick, Keyboards. Ernie has also passed his love for arts to
his children, Ojay sings and play drums, Sahara has excelled in Song and Dance.
Taasha chose the Navy and Seychelle is in college preparing for a medical career.

His professional musical career began in 1965, when he formed his first band,
the Vandals, from among his brothers, sisters and friends. His first recording in
1967 was an original composition, I Can't Take It. This was later recorded by
Johnny Nash as Tears On My Pillow. Four fantastic hits followed, Bend Down,
Ride On Sammy, One Dream, and Pitta Patta. In 1972, at the 3rd World Popular
Song Festival, of the Yamaha Foundation For Popular Music, in Tokyo, he won
the lion share of the Grand Prize, ahead of legends like Neil Sedaka, for his
presentation of his original composition, Life Is Just For Living. As a result, he
became the first Jamaican musician in the field of popular music to receive a
national honour from his Government. The award of the Badge of Honour for
Meritorious Service, together with his creativity, music and energy boosted his
popularity and fame both at home and abroad.


Through the well known booking agent Ronnie Nasralla, Ernie played Madison
Square Garden in 1973, (the Main room) and 1974 (The Felt Forum).
Engagements in Brazil, other Caribbean territories, the Mid-West, Eastern and
Western coasts of the USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Holland followed the
next few years. Migration to North America in 1976 was a necessary decision in
the aftermath of his controversial hit, "As We Fight One Another For the Power
and the Glory, The Kingdom Goes to Waste''. By 1979, Ernie was a well
established exponent of reggae music in Canada, and toured extensively
throughout that country. During his Canadian period, and later when he moved
to Florida, he received universal acclaim for his performances. To quote just
four reviewers: "If Cat Stevens sang reggae, he might choose to sing like Ernie
Smith". - Wilder Penfield III, The Toronto Sun. "To Behold Jah is simply one of
the most important albums to come out of Toronto... - Peter Goddard, Toronto
Star. "Jamaican musician Ernie Smith is excellent...What's most remarkable
about Ernie, aside from his geniality - and his beguiling way with an electric
guitar and... husky, warm voice - is his infinite repertory of songs..." - Sam
Hirsch, The Miami Beach Sun Reporter.". Enter Ernie Smith. The superstar of
the early seventies...for 40 minutes gave a crisp display of stagecraft and
entertaining..." - Howard McGowan, (1996).

Ernie returned home to Jamaica in 1989, after a 13 year exile. He was instantly,
back in demand on the hotel circuit, as well as corporate and private functions,
gala events, major stage shows and has more than once performed on Reggae
Sunsplash. Internation-ally his recent tours include, Belgium, London, the
Caribbean, Canada and as far afield as South Korea, where he once again scored a
first, bringing Live Reggae to Seoul and Muju. Ernie has a love affair with
music. He is a gifted songwriter and loves to sing, and delivers a warm, polished
show every time.

Music, Ernie feels, is the one thing that unties all cultures. The need for unity
among all people has been a recurrent theme in many of his lyrics, and reflects a
personal optimistic vision for the future:

...We shall all unite

For God, for Truth, for Right...

And every human with a heart will finally know

That we all must play a part, but not apart...

- excerpt from "Tribute to Mandela" on CD/Lp Dance Hall: Ernie Cleans It Up! -
(c) Ernie Smith (1994)

...Let the children play

No child should ever be so hungry now

Let the children pray

No child should ever be so angry now

Let the children stay

No child should ever be so lonely`

For the love of God

Love can find a way

Let it be today

- excerpt from "Let The Children Play" on CD`After 30 years - Life is Just For
Living - (c) Ernie Smith (1997).

Over the years, Ernie has maintained that there will be a fusion of reggae with
diverse musical styles. He has been proven right. His "Rebel Music" (1974)
included in this compilation is nothing short of prophetic.

With Ernie Smith time has no boundary, and today, is as vibrant and fresh as
ever and ready to move on through any challenge his musical journey may
encounter. This compilation is Ernie's offer to you, to enjoy, while discovering
or re-discovering a different side of Jamaican musicality and versatility.

For more on Ernie Smith, click on this text. . .