With the passing of legendary reggae producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee, another of the cornerstones of Jamaican music takes his place in history.
Edward O’Sullivan Lee was born in the Greenwich Farm section of Kingston, Jamaica in 1941. He entered the music industry in 1962 via his brother-in-law, singer Derrick Morgan, landing a job as a record plugger for Duke Reid’s famed Treasure Isle label.
By the mid-’60s, Lee was working with Ken Lack’s Caltone imprint, producing his first record, Lloyd Jackson & the Groovers’ “Listen to the Beat,” in 1967.
His first significant hit, Roy Shirley’s “Music Field,” followed later that year on the WIRL label, and upon founding his own label, he reeled off a series of well-received sides including Morgan’s “Hold You Jack,” Slim Smith’s “My Conversation,” and Pat Kelly’s “Little Boy Blue.”
The search engine AllMusic.com called Lee “one of the most influential and prolific producers in reggae history, (for) pioneering the art of the dub — expanding the parameters of studio technology like no Jamaican producer before him, with his engineer, the equally legendary King Tubby,”
In his later years, Lee was one of the key contributors to the famed re-issue label Blood & Fire, contributing songs from his own catalogue of recordings to the esteemed imprint. He continued to produce music throughout his life, independently releasing his work with partners Jet Star, Greensleeves, Super Power and VP Records among others.
A great chronicler of the music, “Mr. Lee had a gift for remembering minute details about things,” said Christopher Chin, CEO of VP Records. “He knew the history of many of the sessions and riddims and how the music developed. He was kind and helpful in sharing his knowledge with others.” Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin continued, “Bunny worked a lot at Randy’s, we knew each other as kids and he was a close friend to the family.”
Within hours of Bunny Lee’s passing, tributes and stories about his greatness were shared on social media by members of the Reggae fraternity. VP Records extends its condolences to the family of Edward O’Sullivan Lee (Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee).
Enjoy this 2014 interview with Bunny Lee alongside Daddy U-Roy and Danny Pepperseed via World-A-Reggae: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1KyChJ4jPU