Monday, January 3, 2011

In Memoriam/ Resolutions: Gregory Isaacs - Write Myself a Letter

Gregory Isaacs: Write Myself a Letter


In 2010, the world lost three important reggae artists, Yabby You, Sugar Minott, and Gregory Isaacs. Isaacs was probably the best known. He is credited with creating the reggae style known as “lover’s rock”, which obviously involved love songs. Isaacs wrote many such songs, and he set the mark in reggae for how to sing them. But Write Myself a Letter is an unlikely cover. The original version, which you will find below, was a classic early jazz song by Fats Waller. The conversion of the song into a reggae number shows the rare musical imagination that Isaacs possessed. He also did a fine version of House of the Rising Sun.

Isaacs’ stage persona was all lover, except when he performed his protest songs. But off-stage, he battled an addiction to cocaine for most of his life, and he spent time in and out of jail. This hard lifestyle finally claimed him in 2010.

Bonus track:

Fats Waller: I‘m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter


To be honest, I did not set out to do a transitional post at all. The first song I thought of for our new theme was this classic by Fats Waller. The singer’s resolution is to not allow himself to be lonely. I wanted to find an interesting cover version to go with it, and that’s when I discovered the Gregory Isaacs version. He certainly deserves to be honored, so I’m glad it worked out this way.

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