Trevor Blake, who coined the word ‘Merritone’, honoured in NY
Trevor Blake, who coined the word ‘Merritone’, the first Jamaican sound system to venture overseas, taking “merri music” to cities such as London, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, New York, Hartford, Toronto, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, DC, was on Sunday honoured with a special award by organisers of the annual Tri-State Family Funfest in Long Island for his contribution to the development of the sound system industry in Jamaica and the diaspora.
Trevor, along with his famous brothers, Winston, Tyrone and Monte, operated the popular Turntable Club in St Andrew, where the Merritone Talent Search was first launched in the late 1960s.
“My dad started this Merritone family music at the age of 15,” Blake’s daughter, Elaine Hulegy, said as she accepted the award in his honour.
“Unfortunately, he could not be here, but he wanted me to extend his sincere ‘thank you’ to all his fans worldwide. Have a wonderful evening and keep partying in the Merritone spirit,” she said.
Caribbean Food Delights CEO Sabrina HoSang Jordan and her extended family were the recipients of the annual Family of the Year Appreciation Award, in acknowledgement of the family’s long-standing commitment to the greater Jamaica/Caribbean-American community in the Tri-State area. A few years ago her father, entrepreneur Vincent HoSang, and his Family Foundation assisted with the purchase of a mobile health clinic equipped with state-of-the-art dental and medical equipment. Caribbean Foods Delight are also generous contributors to Team Jamaica Bickle, which provides housing, transportation and food for Jamaican and otherCaribbean athletes who participate at the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
“Individually and collectively, the HoSang family has given a great deal to the Jamaica community. They are the only family to have been recipients of this prestigious award twice. Sabrina, who represents the next generation, has taken over the mantle, has set a tremendous example for our young people, and is richly deserving of this award,” Allison said.
The energy level for the day’s entertainment was turned way up when show band Fab 5 took the stage in the afternoon, serving up old favourites like Shaving Cream, Jamaican Woman, Good Buddy, Wild Gilbert, and a medley of Festival songs, including Nuh Wey Nuh Betta Than Yar and Cherry Oh Baby.
The biggest ovation, however, was reserved for 71-year-old Stuart Orlando Morgan, former lead singer of ‘70s R&B group Blue Magic who crooned singalong classics such as La La Means I Love You, Sideshow, Spell, What’s Come Over Me, and Stop to Start. Morgan also delivered a short medley of Marcia Griffiths’ classics that resonated with fans.
“I love Marcia Griffiths,” Morgan shared with The Gleaner. “Her lyrics are stories and what makes it happen.”
Event organiser Allison lauded his sponsors and the “fantastic support” for a successful event.
“The Family Funday is back, and I am totally satisfied that we have been able to realise our goals,” an ecstatic Allison said after the event.