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'Daddy' Friday As Cultural Legend


Dear Source,
It truly pains me to write this following excerpt. I am a native St. Thomian who has been living throughout the mainland and internationally for the past 15 years as a member of the U. S. Air Force and now as a private citizen. I first met Friday in 1981 on John Brewers Beach, performing as a member of "Eddie and the Movements" and I could remember like it was yesterday how Friday had the crowd in an uproar…it was the beginning of something special. Then in 1985, as me and my posse were forming a band of our own, I saw Nick and jokingly said, "We're coming for your crown"! And instead of dismissing me, he said, "That's alright man, we need more competition out de to make our music strong." That's the kind of person he was…always true to his craft. By coincidence, in 2003 I was returning to Atlanta from St. Thomas after my mother had just passed and Nick sat next to me going back. We talked about our families, and, of course, I had to give him my 2-cents worth of advice about adding a female singer to the band like some of the other soca bands in the region that often imitate the awesome JamBand. He just smiled and said that the band has entertained that idea a couple of times, however, they were the originators of this style and everything was working out just fine. The last time I talked with Nick was during Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta; it was just a quick- Wha g'waan man. I could tell he was not feeling so well…and now the news of this past week has got me feeling numb, and how ironic I thought as I heard the news of the passing of a great V. I. Legend, Nick "Daddy" Friday…ironic because I finally got my copy of JamBand's 2005 CD on Tuesday October 4th 2005; the same day as their leader lost his time with us on the "Rock." Many years I kept in touch with my local culture through the JamBand's music. Their sound was the V.I.'s signature on soca/calypso. My deepest condolences go out to his family, and the rest of the JamBand. His short time with us has left an indelible memory on me and my family's heart. Move over, Marvin Gay, Bob Marley, Luther Vandross…the Angels will be doing JamBand Style. Here comes "Daddy Friday"!
R.I.P., my Brother.
Big Ray – Atlanta

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