Henry “Junjo” Lawes – 1960-1999

by Sep 8, 2019Articles, Obituary

Henry "Junjo" Lawes - 1960-1999

Artist Info

Henry “Junjo” Lawes | 1960-1999

Career: Producer

Selective Album Discography

  • A Live Session With Aces International (Greensleeves, 1982)
  • Barrington Levy – Hunter Man (Burning Sounds, 1983)
  • Barrington Levy – Englishman (Jah Life, 1979)
  • Barrington Levy/Frankie Paul – Barrington Levy Meets Frankie Paul (Arrival, 1984)
  • Buro – Buro (CSA Records, 1983)
  • Charlie Chaplin – Sound System (Arrival, 1984)
  • Coco Tea – Weh Dem A Go Do… Can’t Stop Coco Tea (Volcano, 1985)
  • Don Carlos – Day To Day Living (Greensleeves, 1982)
  • Frankie Paul – Pass The Tu-Sheng-Peng (Greensleeves,1984)
  • Hugh Mundell – Mundell (Greensleeves, 1982)
  • Israel Vibration – Why You So Craven (Arrival, 1981)
  • Johnnie Ringo – Riding West (Jah Guidance, 1982)
  • Johnny Osbourne – Never Stop Fighting (Greensleeves, 1982)
  • Josey Wales – The Outlaw Josey Wales (Greensleeves, 1983)
  • Leroy Smart – Temptation (Crystal, 1985)
  • Little John – Ghetto Youth (Jah Guidance, 1983)
  • Michael Prophet – Certify (Burning Sounds, 1983)
  • Michael Prophet – Gunman (Greensleeves, 1981)
  • Michigan & Smiley – Downpression (Greensleeves, 1981)
  • Nicodemus Vs. Toyan – DJ Clash (Greensleeves, 1982)
  • Ranking Joe – Saturday Night Jamdown Style (Jah Life, 1980)
  • Scientist V. Prince Jammy – Big Showdown (Jah Guidance, 1980)
  • Tony Tuff – Come Fe Mash It (Volcano, 1983)
  • Toyan – How The West Was Won (Greensleeves, 1981)
  • Wailing Souls – Firehouse Rock (Greensleeves, 1981)
  • Yellowman – Zungguzungguguzungguzeng! (Greensleeves, 1984)
  • Yellowman & Fathead – Bad Boy Skanking (Greensleeves, 1982)

Henry “Junjo” Lawes (1960 Kingston, Jamaica – 1999 London, England). This year it’s 20 years ago the man was shot in London in 1999.

Henry & Barrington

Henry “Junjo” Lawes, born in the Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica, started his career in the business singing in a group called Grooving Locks. Response was poor and he switched to producing. After a short period working as an assistant producer for Linval Thompson, releasing his first productions on Thompson Sound and Jah Life, he teamed up with upcoming artist Barrington Levy. The success of this collab was enormous with hits such as Collieweed, Shine Eye Gal and Looking My Love. The resulting album Bounty Hunter was a landmark in the development of the early dancehall. He set up his own labels, Volcano and Jah Guidance and Arrival. He also founded the highly popular sound system Volcano.

Roots Radics

He started working with the Roots Radics and a young engineer Scientist. They were responsible for the sound on the majority of his releases. His roster of artists included Michael Prophet, General Echo, Little John, Toyan, Barry Brown, Josey Wales, Eek-a-Mouse, Nicodemus, Frankie Paul, Don Carlos, Hugh Mundell, Linval Thompson, Captain Sinbad, Michigan & Smiley and the man who was reggae’s figurehead during the first half of the 1980s, Yellowman.

Volcano Crew 1984 Jamaica
Veterans

He was also pivotal in the reawakening the careers of several veteran artists. Former Paragons member John Holt scored big with Police In Helicopter and Sweetie Come Brush Me while Studio One veteran Johnnie Osbourne charted with Fally Lover and Icecream Love. Alton Ellis, Earl 16, Leroy Smart, Junior Murvin, Ken Boothe and Al Campbell were among other artists who benefited from Junjo’s producing capabilities. The Wailing Souls started out in the late 1960s and under the wings of Junjo they boosted their career in the early 1980s with some heavy duty 12″ singles and outstanding albums.

Clash

He was ahead of his time with the concept of two artists clashing on one album and the launching of albums of live dancehall sessions. His stable cooperation with Greensleeves Records, who released nearly all of his material for the European market, gave him international exposure.

New York

In 1985 he relocated to New York missing out the new wave of digital reggae and dancehall riddims that swept Jamaica. In New York he got involved in drug issues and had to spend six years in Riker’s Island prison. Returning to his homeland in 1991 he took up producing with up and coming talents like Ninjaman, Shaka Shamba and General TK. On 14 June 1999, he was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Harlesden, northwest London. The case remains unsolved.