Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jamaica Honors Saxophonist Headley Bennett

By Associated Press

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Jamaican government has bestowed one of its highest civic honors on a saxophonist who played on the first song recorded by reggae icon Bob Marley.

Saxophonist Headley Bennett, 74, was awarded the Order of Distinction on Monday along with 157 other people during the annual National Honors and Awards ceremony.

Bennett is one of Jamaica's most prolific musicians. He has worked with some of the biggest names in reggae, including Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, co-founders with Marley of the band The Wailers.

Marley was a 17-year-old solo act in 1962 when Bennett played on his first song, "Judge Not," a ska number produced by Leslie Kong.

Also receiving the Order of Distinction, Jamaica's sixth highest civic honor, were keyboardist Michael "Ibo" Cooper and guitarist Stephen "Cat" Coore, co-founders of reggae band Third World.

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