Hopeton Lindo Remembers the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown

by Howard Campbell

SOUTH FLORIDA – Among Dennis Brown’s millions of fans were his peers. Singers, like Hopeton Lindo, are not afraid to go on the record and say the Crown Prince of Reggae was their favorite artist.

According to Lindo, Brown never pushed his lofty title.

“Dennis was well-mannered, gifted and yet so humble, a genius at his craft. I can recall how he would always call me Mr. Lindo even though I told him repeatedly to just call me Hopeton,” Lindo recalled.

Brown died in July, 1999 at age 42. He would have turned 62 on February 1, which marks the start of Reggae Month celebrations in Jamaica.

Hopeton Lindo Remembers the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown
Dennis Brown

Lindo wrote Ragamuffin, the 1985 hit song by Brown and Freddie McGregor. It was produced by Gussie Clarke for whom the singer would record some of his last hits.

During the 1980s, Lindo was part of a prolific songwriting team at Clarke’s Music Works studio in Kingston, the Jamaica capital.

Along with Mikey Bennett and Carlton Hines, they wrote songs for Gregory Isaacs, The Mighty Diamonds, Home T, Shabba Ranks and J C Lodge.

No Camouflage and Jealousy, from Brown and Isaacs’ No Contest album, were also written by Lindo.

Writing for Brown, he said, was easy.

“Like with Gregory I was a Dennis Brown fan. Dennis had a voice, a presence…It’s like what’s going on with Beres (Hammond) right now,” Lindo explained.

Born in west Kingston, Brown crafted a remarkable career that started in 1968 with producer Derrick Harriott. His first hit song, released that year, was Lips of Wine.

The following year, he moved to Studio One and producer Clement ‘Coxson’ Dodd who guided him on hits like No Man is an Island and If I Follow my Heart.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Brown cut a number of sides that rank among reggae’s finest, including Westbound Train, No More Will I Roam, Wolf and Leopards, Baby Don’t do It, Love and Hate, Ghetto Girl, Revolution, Sitting and Watching, Love Has Found its Way, Inseparable and The Promised Land.

The last song South Florida-based Lindo wrote for Brown was My World Your World, which they began recording together. Brown died before it was completed, but his vocals, along with Luciano’s are on the track which was released in 2015 as part of Lindo’s album of the same name.

Click below to listen to My World Your World

Hopeton Lindo featuring Dennis Brown: My World Your World

South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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