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Augustus Pablo

Horace Swaby (June 21, 1954 - May 18, 1999), better known as Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican reggae singer, popular during the last half of the 20th century. He was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica[?] and learned to play the organ[?] in high school. He also met Clive Chin; the Chin family owned an influential record store in Kingston. Swaby recorded "Iggy Iggy" in Clive's father's studio, Aquarius Records[?]. He took the name Augustus Pablo for this recording.

After releasing a few more singles, Pablo came out with "East of the River Nile", a unique blend of East Asian and Jamaican sounds, and the song became a moderate hit. He soon joined Now Generation[?] (Mikey Chung[?]'s band) and played the keyboard with them while his friend, Clive, began his own career as a record producer. Pablo and Chin recorded "Java" together, as soon as Pablo quit Now Generation and Clive was able to get the studio time. The song was a massive hit, and launched Pablo's solo career. He recorded with Chin and arous others, including Leonard Chin[?], his uncle, and Lee Perry. He scored another smash hit with "My Desire" (John Holt).

Fed up with his lack of income, Pablo formed a label with his brother, Rockers[?], and released a steady stream of well-received songs, mostly instrumental versions of older hits from Studio One[?]. In spite of his success with Rockers, Pablo's seminal 1974 album, Rebel Rock Reggae - This Is Augustus Pablo[?] was recorded with Clive and Pat Chin[?]. This was followed by a collaboration with the legendary reggae singer King Tubby to great acclaim, releasing 1975's Ital Dub[?].

In the later 1970s, Pablo turned to producing, including the hit "Black Star Liner" (Fred Locks[?]). He also worked with I-Roy[?], Jacob Miller[?], Horace Andy[?] and Freddy McKay[?]; this period was eventually commemorated with the critically acclaimed compilation King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown[?]. This was followed by East of the River Nile (1978, Black Ark[?]), another acclaimed hit album.

In the 1980s, Pablo's career slowed significantly. He had begun to establish an American audience, and released Risin Sun[?] in 1986 to good reviews and sales. He also produced several hit's, including "Ragamuffin Year[?]" (Junior Delgado[?]). In addition, Pablo toured extensively throughout the world, making a memorable live album in Tokyo in 1987. That same year, Rockers Come East[?] re-established his career, and he began to release a series of critically acclaimed though somewhat inacessible albums in the 1990s, including Blowing With the Wind[?] and also producing several, such as Night and Day (Dawn Penn[?]) and Jah Made Them All[?] (Yami Bolo[?]). Pablo died of a nerve disorder on May 18, 1999.



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