Earl ‘Bagga” Walker has passed away

by Dec 16, 2023Articles, Obituary

Earl "Bagga" Walker has passed away
Earl “Bagga” Walker: A Jamaican Music Icon

Reggae has lost another music icon. Bass player Earl “Bagga” Walker, a stalwart of the Studio One label and Twelve Tribes of Israel organisation, died on Thursday at MedStar Hospital in Maryland at age 75. About 17 years ago he had a stroke, which restricted his physical movements and his ability to speak.

“Bagga” Walker, born in Kingston, Jamaica, was an influential musician known for his remarkable contributions to the reggae and dub music genres. Growing up in the vibrant music scene of Kingston, “Bagga” was exposed to the rich musical heritage of Jamaica from a young age. He developed a deep passion for music and a profound understanding of the rhythmic complexities that define Jamaican music.

Rise To Prominence

“Bagga” Walker’s musical journey began in the 1970s when he emerged as a highly sought-after session musician, renowned for his exceptional skills as a bass player. Bagga’s collaborations with prolific producers and artists propelled him into the spotlight, earning him widespread acclaim for his unparalleled musical prowess. In particular his innovative approach to basslines and his adventurous exploration of sonic textures solidified his position as a trailblazer in the world of Jamaican music.

Credits

“Bagga”Walker’s bass play is heard on many Studio One tunes and countless other tunes by artists including The Gladiators, Augustus Pablo, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor, Ken Boothe, Half Pint, Junior Delgado, Burning Spear, Mikey Dread, and Sugar Minott to name a few. He played on songs like Freddie McGregor’s Push Comes To Shove, Sugar Minott’s Vanity, Johnny Osbourne’s Truths And Rights, Burning Spear’s Foggy Road, Horace Andy’s Skylarking, Still Cool’s To Be Poor Is A Crime, and was also the arranger of the Fred Locks roots classic Black Star Liner. In addition to his studio work, he toured with artists like Jimmy Cliff, Freddie McGregor The Gladiators, and I Jahman Levi.

Enduring Legacy

His legacy serves as a testament to the profound impact of Jamaican music on the global cultural landscape, ensuring that his musical genius will be celebrated for generations to come. Without doubt, “Bagga” Walker’s mesmerizing basslines will continue to resonate with music enthusiasts worldwide, serving as a testament to his enduring influence and creative ingenuity.

Sincere condolences to his family and friends. R.I.E.P

Fred Locks – Black Star Liner

Sugar Minott – Vanity

Freddie McGregor – Push Comes To Shove