The Floridian Ballrooms in Pembroke Pines, Florida was certainly the place to be on Thanksgiving Eve to witness an epic night in celebration of 49 years in the business and counting for Jamaica’s legendary Stone Love sound system. Presented by Real Yute Promotions, the night was a huge success. The Floridian Ballrooms were jam-packed, and the patrons surely got what they came for and then some by way of high energy tune juggling and entertainment. What’s more, several other marquis sound systems were in the building and strutted their stuff alongside Stone Love Immortal. Those sound systems were: Supa Sound, Tony Matterhorn, Renaissance Disco, Coppershot, Innocent Sound, Agent Mvmt, and King Waggy Tee. And Stone Love featured a number of its selectors, including Billy Slaughter, G-Fuss, Ice Burg, Diamond, and Gugu Mental. Former Stove Love selector, Chico, also appeared.
Commonly referred to as ‘Stone Love Immortal’, the sound system was founded by Winston ‘Wee Pow’ Powell in 1972, who built the ‘sound’ from the ground up. Indeed, all of Wee Pow’s perseverance and hard work surely paid off in a big way in light of the fact that Stone Love has not only become a household name in Jamaica as one of the island’s most popular ‘sounds’, but also in reggae and dancehall circles across the world. As such, Stone Love is arguably among the most highly acclaimed Jamaican sound systems of all time and is one of the most in-demand sound systems all over. In the 1980’s, Stone Love Immortal famously played and kept sessions at the venerable ‘House of Leo’, where patrons would pack the house in order to witness Stone Love in action. And Stone Love is a multi-dimensional sound in that it plays virtually all musical genres—which is definitely at treat for those who attend.
Through the years and up to this day, Stone Love is held in high esteem and often touted as being the best in the business in the Jamaican music industry for its superior sound quality and exclusive dubplates, which have not only birthed the Father Pow record label, but also helped to establish the careers of a number of prominent reggae and dancehall artists, such as Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Wayne Wonder, Sanchez, Tanya Stephens, Capleton, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Daddy Screw, Tony Curtis, and Jigsy King—just to name a few.
In 2014, Mr. Winston Powell was honored for his contributions to Jamaican music on being awarded the Order of Distinction—which is conferred upon citizens of Jamaica who have rendered outstanding services to the country. Congrats to Father Wee Pow and Stone Love Movement in reaching such a remarkable milestone of maintaining the ‘sound’ in a position of prominence for so many years. And nuff respect is due to Real Yute Promotions for their energy in presenting Stone Love’s 49th Anniversary extravaganza to the masses. What a night it was!
All photos by Nick Ford, who lives and works in South Florida.