Posts tagged ‘Robbie Shakespeare’


Happy Birthday Robbie “Basspeare”

Robbie Shakespeare1978

September 27, 2011

Born on this day in 1953: Robbie Shakespeare, session bass player.

Best known for being 1/2 of the iconic duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

The salt and pepper duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare is well known as being the “masters of groove and propulsion”. The names Sly and Robbie are synonymous with Reggae music. The rhythm kings Drum and Bass are at the heart of popular music and for the last 30 years Sly and Robbie have been considered the best. They are also estimated to have played on or produced 200,000 recordings.

The duo changed the face of reggae several times: in 1976, they introduced a harder beat called “Rockers”, which quickly replaced the then prevalent “One drop” style, then introduced the “rub a dub” sound in the early 1980s. Sly and Robbie were important in developing the trend towards computer assisted music and programming in the mid 1980s.

They have obviously been a big part of the Jamaican music scene in which they have played for virtually every prominent Jamaican artist from Beenie Man to Sean Paul to Peter Tosh, Black Uhuru, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Jimmy Cliff and others.  Not only that, they have been one of pop music’s most sought after rhythm sections, playing for and producing such stars as Ben Harber, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, Sting, Doug E Fresh, Carlos Santana, Robert Palmer and No Doubt.

Let’s tip one back for Robbie today.  Throw a little reggae on the turntable in honor….chances are Robbie Shakespeare is playing on it.