Two Studio One deejays, Winston “King Stitt” Sparks, and Jim Brown, aka Gymnastic, will head for France today Wednesday, May 12, to represent the famed record company founded and operated by the legendary Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd who died suddenly on Tuesday of last week.
They will be appearing on two festivals in France organised by promoter, Morti Diter. The first one, Roubaix Festival, runs from June 14 to 16 while the other, the JA (Jamaican) Festival, takes place on July 30 in Nimex.
“Both Stitt and Gymnastic were invited to perform on these festivals. Stitt will be spinning some Studio One classics, while Gymnastic’s stint will see him performing as a deejay,” Lou Gooden, administrator at Studio One, told the Observer.
Gooden said that both Stitt and Gymnastic will meet with members of the press before returning to Jamaica for the thanksgiving service for their late mentor/producer and head of Studio One, “Sir Coxsone” Dodd, who will be buried on Saturday, May 22.
King Stitt is a veteran deejay who started as a selector for the Sir Coxsone Downbeat sound system when it ruled the dancehall in the 50s and early 60s. He was a prodigy of his namesake, the late mike master, Winston “Count Matchuki” Cooper.
The news of the France assignments came hours after the world was rocked by the news of the passing of Stitt’s legendary producer, “Sir Coxsone“. Overcome by grief, Stitt, forcing back the tears, choked on the words as he said: “I can’t tell how a feel right now, but Sir D (Coxsone) was like a father to me, and he would want me to go (to France), so I’m going to go and come back in time for the funeral”.
Not so well known is Stitt’s stablemate from Studio One, Gymnastic, who has been waiting for his big break for sometime now. Gymnastic has done recordings such as Love in the Dancehall, Calypso Calypso, and Pirate in combination with deejay Rapper Roberts with whom he also recorded his most popular effort, Minister For Ganja.
“A just di Studio One fire wi a keep burning, yuh nuh. Dem sey wi a goh a France goh represent Studio One, Mi and di great King Stitt. So wi just a goh deal wid it and come back”, Gymnastic said.
Gymnastic, too, was clearly upset at the passing of Dodd.
“The ole world fi know sey, right now, Mr Dodd mean everything to me. Musically, spiritually, fatherly,” the former disc jockey of People’s Choice sound system said. In days gone by, Gymnastic also operated a set from Mangoose Town, (57 Waltham Park Road and the home of Pique Lawn), called Smith the Weapon, with which ace-old school DJ, Dillinger was associated.