Chris Blackwell

I didn’t expect to hear abou Island Records during presentation about rum destileries but hey, there we go …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Blackwell
Blackwell revisited his family’s legacy in Jamaica’s banana, coconut, and rum export industries in 2009, when, at the age of 72 years, he introduced his own brand of rum, “Blackwell Black Gold“, onto the alcohol market.[13] The beverage is made from Jamaican sugar cane, water, and yeast, and aged in American oak barrels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwell_Rum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Records
http://iconmagazine.se/portfolio/this-island-life/

1937
Christopher Percy Gordon Blackwell born in London.

1954
Is expelled from elite public-school Harrow in northeast London and moves back to Jamaica.

1955
Nearly dies of exhaustion after a boating incident. Saved by Rastafarians.

1958
Starts up Island Records in Jamaica, the first LP getting catalogue number CB22 from his initials and age.

1961
Gets a job as production assistant for the first James Bond film Dr. No, filmed in Jamaica. Forced to choose between the film or music industry. A soothsayer guides him to the latter.

1964
After moving back to London two years earlier to risk everything on music, he gets an international hit with the 16 year young Millie Smalls’ My Boy Lollipop.

1972
Island Records part-finances the first international Jamaican film The Harder They Come. The soundtrack, performed by lead-actor Jimmy Cliff, creates a buzz around reggae in the US.

1973
Bob Marley and The Wailers’ Catch a Firecomes out. It sells a bare 14,000 copies in the first year.

1977
Releases Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Exodus. The record goes into the Billboard Top 20 and makes Bob Marley a superstar.

1977
Builds Compass Point studio near the Bahamas’ capital Nassau. Soon Island artists like Grace Jones and Robert Palmer as well as international stars like AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, and David Bowie travel here to record with head producer Alex Sadkin.

1980
Signs Irish rock group U2, who don’t make much of a splash at first.

1981
Bob Marley dies and Cat Stevens announces that he won’t be recording music again. Chris tires of the industry.

1987
U2’s fifth album, The Joshua Tree, becomes the UK’s fastest ever selling record and tops the Billboard chart for nine weeks in a row.

1989
Chris sells Island Records to Polygram for 262 million dollars. He still remains until 1997 as A&R.

1995
Buys land around Ian Fleming’s old villa Golden Eye and opens his first Jamaican luxury hotel of the same name.

1998
Starts up independent film and music company Palm Pictures, which distributes semi-alternative films like Dig!Sex & Lucia,and The Basketball Diaries.

2001
Is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bono pays tribute.

2009
Island Records celebrates 50 years with not only a BBC documentary but also a book, both titled Keep On Running.

 

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