Hugh Mundell

About Hugh Mundell

14 June 1962, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, d. 1983. Hugh Mundell made his first recording for producer Joe Gibbs, the unreleased ‘Where Is Natty Dread’, while barely in his teens. After this false start, his career really began when his precocious talent impressed session player/producer Augustus Pablo. Pablo enlisted his services as a DJ alongside Jah Bull on his Rockers sound system, and produced his first single release, ‘Africa Must Be Free’, in 1975. Several more singles were released over the next two years, including ‘My Mind’, ‘Don’t Stay Away Too Long’, ‘Let’s All Unite’ and ‘Book Of Life’, before the classic Africa Must Be Free By 1983, which was released in 1978, swiftly establishing Mundell’s name as a bright new roots star in the ascendant. Pablo further recorded Mundell on such sides as ‘That Little Short Man’, ‘Feeling Alright’, ‘Jah Says The Time Has Come’, ‘One Jah One Aim And Destiny’ and ‘Great Tribulation’. Sundry other recordings were undertaken in his DJ mode as Jah Levi, surfacing mainly on 12-inch releases. In 1979 Mundell tried his hand at self-production on ‘Stop Them Jah’ and ‘Blackman’s Foundation’, as well as producing the teenage ‘Little’ Junior Reid on his debut, ‘Speak The Truth’, which emerged on Pablo’s Rockers label in Jamaica. Another excellent song, ‘Rastafari’s Call’ appeared on Mundell’s own Muni Music label, while ‘Can’t Pop No Style’ surfaced in 1981 on Greensleeves, coupled with Junior Reid’s ‘Know Myself’. The same year, Mundell issued a co-produced album with Pablo entitled Time And Place, containing many of tracks previously released as singles, after which he broke with Pablo altogether, going on to record ‘Jah Fire Will Be Burning’ for Prince Jammy and Mundell for Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes. Ironically, it was in 1983, the year he prophesied for Africa’s emancipation on his first record, that Mundell was tragically shot and killed while sitting in his car after an argument over a fridge.


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