Reggae artiste Freddie McGregor was honored with his own day by the Hartford Court of Common Council, which officially named August 14 as Freddie McGregor Day. He was presented with a certificate proclaiming Freddie McGregor Day during the city’s annual West Indian Independence Celebration, which is held every August to mark Jamaica’s independence.
Commenting on the honor to the Jamaica Observer newspaper, McGregor said he was happy to be recognized by the Connecticut city as he has performed there several times and that he always has a good time with fans. He added that he is proud and humbled when he receives any recognition for the work he loves to do. He was honored for his more than 50 years of service in promoting and performing reggae music. “I appreciate every single one of these accolades and I’m grateful to all my fans in Jamaica, the Caribbean and Diaspora. This is more reason for me to continue working because without the music there would be no Freddie McGregor,” he said.
The establishment of Freddie McGregor Day joins a long list of accolades he has received during his career. His other honors include receiving the keys to the city of Miramar, Hollywood, and Palm Beach in Florida and citations from New York.
The official proclamation issued by the city of Hartford, which was signed by City Councilwoman Shirley Surgeon, reads, “Mr. McGregor has made significant contributions to the art form of reggae music. He created many hits and worked with talented artistes and musicians whose music has inspired many current artistes and continues to inspire future musical talents.”
Jamaican singer, musician, and record producer Freddie McGregor was born in Clarendon, Jamaica, in 1956 and began his career in music when he was just seven years old. Together with Ernest Wilson and Peter Austin, McGregor formed The Clarendonians in 1963. He was known as “Little Freddie” when the group began recording on the Studio One label. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, McGregor worked with the producer Niney the Observer as well as being part of the resurgent Studio One. He became very popular in the early 1980s with his recording of “Bobby Babylon.” His other popular hits were “Big Ship,” “Push Comes to Shove,” and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely.” He established his own Big Ship recording label in 1983. In the 2000s, McGregor released the “Signature” and “Anything for You,” with the latter receiving a Grammy nomination. He became a follower of the Rastafari religion in 1975 and is a member of the Twelve Tribes organization. He received a Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 from the Institute of Caribbean Studies.
Photo: Freddie McGregor Instagram