RIP Garth Dennis - Reggae Legend Flies to Zion
12/12/2021 by Press Release
Jamaican Reggae singing legend, Rudolph "Garth" Dennis was born December 2,1949 in Kingston, Jamaica. He passed away peacefully while sleeping on December 9, 2021, in Ontario, California after experiencing complications due to pneumonia.
Garth Dennis has the distinct and unique honor of being a member of two of Jamaica’s most loved, classic Reggae groups from Waterhouse, Black Uhuru and the Wailing Souls. Garth wrote, recorded, and toured extensively with both iconic groups. He also had quite a successful solo career. Garth also had a love for sports. Prior to his music career, he was a cricketer and football player.
He began his musical career in Trench Town at 19 Third Street. Influenced by his sister Joan Dennis, who was a member of the duo Andy and Joey. Watching his sister have a major hit song in 1964 titled Wondering Now, caused Garth to get interested and excited about the business of music. Another major musical influence was the Godfather of Reggae Music Mr. Joe Higgs, who is also a brother-in-law to Garth.
Garth Dennis, Don Carlos and Duckie Simpson formed Black Uhuru in 1972. After the group's early releases Garth Dennis left, going on to join the Wailing Souls in the mid-1970s, staying with the Wailing Souls during their successful Channel One era. Garth Dennis participated in the catalogue of Wailing Souls music from (1974-1983) that established the group as a premier harmony quartet from Jamaica.
Garth reunited with Black Uhuru along with Don Carlos and Duckie Simpson, and the group re-formed in (1989-1994). During that time, the group received 4 Reggae Grammy nominations for the following releases: Now 1990, Iron Storm 1991, Mystical Truth 1993 & Strongg 1994.
In 2015, Garth released his solo album called, Trench Town, 19 3rd Street. The album contains 12 songs that Garth was very proud of including one called “Eyes Open”. This song was used as inspiration to start a non-profit organization along with Robyn Reimer and Judy Mowatt, called Eyes Open Foundation. The non-profit group is dedicated to help improve the lives of children everywhere, but especially in Jamaica.
Recently, Garth collaborated with Earl Chinna Smith. It was a full-circle moment for Garth, since Garth’s recordings of the single: Slow Coach from 1974 features the spectacular guitar of Chinna Smith and was first recorded for Black Uhuru track and later re-recorded as a Wailing Souls tune.
In recent years, Garth Dennis focused his attention on the future and spent his time grooming the talents of his three sons, a group called Blaze Mob. Garth was very proud of his sons.
Garth Dennis is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jenje Dennis, his children: Andrea Dennis, Desta Dennis, Shaka Dennis, Gyasi Dennis, Saeed Dennis and Zenani Dennis. Grandchildren: Krystal, Shannon, Brendon, Bryant, Michael, Joshua, Jason, Katherine, Breanna, Brittney, Addyson, Destanel, Jahsia and Aleaha, Sade, Kyso, Ahyanna, Anaya, Kingston and Kaydon Garthy. Great Grandchildren: Aniyah, Maliyah and Da’Mari. His siblings: Patricia ‘Faithy’ Walker, Paul Walker, Joan Dennis, Franklyn Dennis, and Trevor Dennis.
Donations to help with the funeral expenses are greatly appreciated and can be sent through the Eyes Open Foundation website.
Garth Dennis Albums with Wailing Souls:
· Wild Suspense (1979), Mango
· Wailing (1981), Jah Guidance
· Fire House Rock (1981), Greensleeves
· Soul & Power (1981), Studio One
· Inchpinchers (1982), Greensleeves
· Baby Come Rock (1983), Joe Gibbs Music
· On The Rocks (1983), Greensleeves
· Stranded (1984), Greensleeves
Garth Dennis Albums with Black Uhuru:
· Now (1991), Mesa/Rhino
· Now Dub (1991), Mesa
· Iron Storm (1992), Mesa
· Iron Storm Dub (1992), Mesa
· Mystical Truth (1992), Mesa
· Mystical Truth Dub (1993), Mesa
· Live (1993), Sonic Sounds
· Strongg (1994), Mesa
· Strongg Dub (1994), Mesa