Bob Andy goes back home: Reggae pioneer dies peacefully at 75 years old

Iconic reggae singer, Bob Andy (Keith Anderson) one of Jamaica’s most revered songwriters has gone home to the angels, 54 years after his seminal hit I’ve Got To Go Back Home.
Bob, who had been battling cancer, died at his home in Stony Hill, St Andrew, Jamaica on Friday, March 27 at 75 years old.

Check out Bob Andy’s Sun Shines For Me as recorded by Bob Andy himself and also by Gregory Isaacs and A J Brown. Or listen to Too Experienced by Bob Andy, or by Barrington Levy or by any of the 10 other artists who have recorded the song. Or, My Time, sung by Gregory Isaacs and by Barrington Levy; Feeling Soul, sung by Ruddy Thomas, Fire Burning sung by Marcia Griffiths and all also sung by Bob Andy, the writer. I Don’t Want to See You Cry sung by Ken Boothe — ok, you get the message; Bob Andy was one of Jamaica’s most prolific and celebrated songwriters, some say the greatest.

When he died he left a void that no one currently seems able to fill. While Jamaica has produced a lot of singer/songwriters, most of them write for themselves only. Bob Andy wrote for others and for himself.

Bob’s greatest international success would have come during the early 1970s when he and Marcia Griffiths, as the duo Bob & Marcia, made the British charts with Nina Simone’s Young Gifted and Black in 1970, making the top five. They followed up with Pied Piper which reached number 11 on the charts in 1971.

Some of our absolute, definite favourite Bob Andy songs that he has written, whether sung by himself of others include: I’ve Got to go Back Home, Desperate Lover, Too Experienced, Feeling Like Jumping, I Don’t Want to See You Cry, Unchained, My Time, Really Together, Feeling Soul, Sun Shines For Me, and Fire Burning.
A true mark of the quality musician Bob Andy was, lies in the fact that while he wrote several hits for himself and other artistes, he was humble enough to salute the good work of others by recording their songs. Some of these include Games People Play (Joe South), Young Gifted and Black (Nina Simone & Weldon Irvine) and Pied Piper (Artie Kornfeld & Steve Duboff).

At 75 years old Bob would have seen and done it all, as the saying goes, and so it could be said he lived a full life.
Thanks Bob, for the good music, the message, the memories, and may your soul Rest In Peace.

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