Inner Circle to Honor the Legacy of Roots Reggae Legend Jacob Miller

Inner Circle to Honor the Legacy of Roots Reggae Legend Jacob Miller
Jacob Miller

By Howard Campbell

SOUTH FLORIDA – The roots-reggae explosion of the 1970s produced its share of heavyweight artists. One of them was Jacob Miller, pound for pound one of the era’s great singers.

Miller, former lead vocalist for the Inner Circle band, died in an auto accident in Kingston, Jamaica 40 years ago. He would have celebrated his 68th birthday on May 4.

In recognition of the milestone, Inner Circle and the worldareggae.com website will honor his legacy by playing his songs and recalling his larger-than-life personality.

On May 5, Inner Circle continues the tribute to their former colleague with correspondence through Instagram (@badboysreggae) and Facebook: Inner Circle.

In October last year, Miller as well as Inner Circle co-founders Roger and Ian Lewis, were awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for their contribution to the country’s music industry.  The OD is Jamaica’s sixth highest honor.

Third World guitarist, Stephen “Cat” Coore knew Miller for eight years. He saw him in the afternoon of the day he died; they were supposed to meet again in the evening to celebrate Third World’s tenth anniversary.

He said Miller’s uniqueness as an artist and person made him magnetic.

“He had his own vibrations, his own personality. Jakes never tried to be Elvis Presley or Bob Marley; he had his own style and stuck with it,” Coore stated.

Miller, who joined Inner Circle in 1975, had returned from Brazil with Marley and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, in March. Island, which had Marley and Inner Circle on its books, opened an office in the South American country.

At the time of his death, the jocular Miller and Inner Circle were in the process of recording New Age Music, their second album for Island Records.

A cousin of British singer Maxi Priest and Jamaican-American rapper Heavy D, Miller started his recording career at the famed Studio One in 1969.

With musician/producer Augustus Pablo, he cut a series of hard-hitting roots songs like Each One Teach One in the early 1970s.

His greatest commercial success came with Inner Circle through songs such as Tenement Yard, Standing Firm and Forward Ever Backward Never.

 

 

 

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