Minister Grange Accepts Record Collection From Broadcasting Brothers For Jamaica’s Music Archives

Some three thousand records of Jamaican music from the vast collection of the Barnes brothers of broadcasting, Jeff, Winston and Ed have been turned over to the Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports for placement in the Jamaica Music Archives.

At a handing over ceremony at the Press Room at the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister Grange today (February 23) received from Jeff Barnes a sample of four albums and four 45s which form part the donation.

Minister Grange said the Barnes’ collection included music from Ska to Rock Steady through Reggae to the present and will be used in the rebuilding of the Music Archives, replacing the classical items which were stolen from the Radio Archives of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation collection just over a year ago. Those items spanned the various genres of Jamaican music over many decades.

She said the first set of records was coming from Jeff to be followed by contributions from Winston and Ed.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Jamaica, I say thanks to Jeff and the other Barnes brothers who have stepped up to the plate and have decided that they are going to hand over this valuable record collection built up over the years to us so that we can rebuild the archives,” she said.

The Minister said that the material will be preserved, secured and made accessible to students, composers, performers, and all those who wish to draw on the information.

“We have a rich culture and a rich heritage of which we should be proud and we are certainly very proud today of the Barnes brothers,” the Culture Minister added.

Minister Grange noted that “as we celebrate Reggae Month, we are putting in the right structures to build the capacity and sustainability of the music. We must consolidate the foundations laid over the years, seeing to it that we leave no one behind as we chart a path to assist the younger generation to understand from where we come so that they will know the direction to take as they move forward.”

The eldest of the renowned broadcasting bothers, Jeff, in his remarks said that with the “vibrant debate now taking place in Jamaica regarding our music, I think this is the right time to make this contribution. If this can help to preserve our culture and the music of Jamaica, then so be it.”

Youngest brother, Ed, said that it was a pleasure to be involved in the contribution, adding that “it is important that we get back in place some of that which went missing from the JBC as our history is so that youngsters will know about yesteryear.”

He said that although he was a sports caster, he had always had an affinity for music and he knew many in the world of sports loved music just as much.

Attorney-at-law and Entertainment and Copyright Specialist at MICYS, Joan Elizabeth Webley, informed that steps were being taken to ensure that the material was properly restored and stored.

“One of the initiatives that we will be pursuing is having the material posted on a website where international parties may be allowed access while we ensure that proper mechanisms are in place to protect the rights holders,” she said.

“It will all be in a controlled and properly monitored situation so that whilst the material is being accessed, it is done so for the benefit of the Jamaican people,” Miss Webley said.