On July 5, 2019, the band Third World staged a show entitled “Third World and Family Celebrating 45 Years” at The Casino in Dania Beach, South Florida. The iconic reggae band shared the stage with a variety of special guests, including Pluto Shervington and Diana King.
While 2018 was the actual 45th anniversary year, Stephen “Cat” Coore, Third World founder, said the band had no shows at that time in Florida, which is where most of its members reside. So he contacted people in Dania Beach and decided to hold the celebration this July with artists he calls “Florida people” like Shervington and King. Shervington enjoyed considerable popularity as a singer and songwriter in the early to mid-1970s at a time when Third World was “a band to watch.” King’s super hit “Shy Guy” made its mark in the 1990s during a transitional period for Coore and his colleagues.
Commenting on the band’s long career, Coore cited the ability of members Richie Daley and Bunny Rugs to keep the bank together following the departure of Ibo Cooper and Wille Stewart. He called this period one of the band’s high points and added he was happy that the band has been able to “run the race.”
Cooper, who was a co-founder of Third World, and Stewart left the group in 1996, which left Coore, Daley, and Rugs to continue their efforts from the classic lineup that had so many hit songs in the 1i70s and 1980s. These included “Now That We Found Love,” “Try Jah Love,” “Girl From Hiroshima,” “Lagos Jamming,” and “Reggae Ambassadors.” Singer Rugs died in 2014, and percussionist Irwin Carrot” James died in 2018.
Twelve individuals were honored during the celebratory show in recognition of their various roles with the band over time.
The current Third World lineup includes singer A.J. Brown, Toney “Ruption” Williams on drums, and keyboardists Norris Webb and Maurice Gregory. The band has recently performed in Greece, France, Malta, Germany, and South Africa.
A single titled “Loving Your Is Easy” from the new album has been released, the official release date for the album has not been revealed beyond a statement that it will be in August of 2019. This will be the first set of new songs from the band in five years. The album is produced by Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.
Photos by Addy Chin