Line Out Music & the City at Night

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vivian Jackson (1946-2010)

Posted by on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM


Vivian Jackson, also known as Yabby You the 'Jesus Dread', died yesterday in Jamaica. I was introduced to the spiritual and uplifting songs through his work with King Tubby. Jackson was a favorite of King Tubby, frequently benefitting from Tubby's dub production. Like most of the great reggae artists, not much is known about his life before he began recording. He was reportedly abandoned by his parents at an early age and found refuge in the Rastafari camps outside Kingston. During his childhood, Jackson suffered from malnutrition which led to a permanent disability that severely restricted his ability to tour properly later in life. Though he was cared for by the Rastafarians, Jackson was a Christian, thus the nickname Jesus Dread. If you are looking to explore the works of Yabby You, you would be well served by the Blood and Fire compilation titled Jesus Dread. It's a fantastic collection of his most important work and has phenomenal liner notes about each release. Scour used bins for this one. It's selling for well over $100 on Amazon and Ebay.

While searching for information on reggae music forums, I've seen many posts from people who were inspired by the music, lyrics and emotional impact of Vivian Jackson's work. It's telling that everyone points to a different track as their favorite in his catalogue. Many of his songs randomly pop into my mind; Conquering Lion, Run Come Rally, Jah Vengence, Warn The Nation & Love Thy Neighbor are frequently reverberating.

Here are a couple to get you started or remind you of his brilliance.


Comments (2) RSS

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Estey 1
Thanks so much for posting this, Brian. R.I.P. Vivian, and the "Jesus Dread" compilation will melt your heart and senses.
Posted by Estey on January 14, 2010 at 7:20 AM · Report this
He was a humble natty dreadlocks man.
He will be missed but his musical legacy will live on for a very long time I'm sure.

I remember listening to my first Yabby You record 'One Love, One Heart' as a youth.
That album made a huge impact on this suburban white teenager growing up in Orange County in the 80's. It bridged the gap between my protestant upbringing, my penchant for punk rock and new wave, herbs, and Rastafari. It was like listening to gospel music in church or something and it all just made sense to me. :)
Posted by Well Dread on January 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM · Report this

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