record producer, Ken Khouri passes on
BASIL WALTERS, Observer staff
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
... recently named as an awardee for the Musgrave Medal
PIONEER Jamaican record
producer, Ken Khouri died early Saturday morning at age
The veteran studio operator was
one of the honourees at the 2003 Tribute to the Greats Awards -- the annual
salute to stalwarts of the music fraternity stage by King Omar's Promotions at
the Curphey Place in August. Khouri was recently named, by the Institute of
Jamaica, as an awardee for the Musgrave Medal for his contribution to the music
Born Kenneth Lloyd Khouri in
1917 in the parish of St Catherine, he is credited for establishing Jamaica's
first recording facility called Federal Recording Studio, now Tuff Gong, at 220
Marcus Garvey Drive .
associate, 84 year-old Winston Willis who worked with Khouri as plant manager
from the time that Khouri started the pressing plant, Records Limited, at 129
King Street in the mid-50s; commenting on the passing of his former boss said:
"He was very forgiving and sympathetic. I can't remember Khouri firing anybody."
Legendary producer Clement "Sir Coxsone"
Dodd shared some fond memories of Khouri whom he described as a nice guy.
"Me and him usually move closely, as I
was one of the earliest persons to record at his studios. Through me and him use
to move so good, people would say, I was his little black son. As a matter of
fact he usually had the rights for labels such as Decca, Capital and Brunswick,
and he would allow me to scratch off the labels which would give me a jump on
the market ahead of competitors before he would release them," Coxsone told the
And Gina Shoucair, one of
Khouri's three daughters, says she was happy she had a father like him.
"There could be no better father than
the one I had. We are going to miss him very much," she said.
In his recent book on Reggae music Lou
Gooden describes Khouri as follows: Stalwart, pioneer, visionary, all adequately
describes Ken Khouri. The entire recording industry in Jamaica owes a lot to
him. With a simple cutting machine and a version he started the development of
the music industry in Jamaica. Ken moved from recording simple birthday
function, to the start of recording artistes of mento music Lord Flea and Lord
Khouri retired in the 1980s.
The service of thanksgiving for the life
of Khouri, who also left behind three sons, will be held next Monday (September
29) at the Stella Maris Church at 10:00 am.