Larry Marshall – Unheralded Trailblazer

by Aug 26, 2017Articles, Obituary

Larry Marshall 1941-2017

Artist Info

Larry Marshall 1941-2017 

Career: Duo / Solo artist

Selective Discography


  • Presenting Larry Marshall (1973) Studio One (reissued (1992) Heartbeat)
  • I Admire You (1975) Black and White/Marshall/See Me Yah (reissued (1992) Heartbeat)
  • Dance With Me Across The Floor (1988), Conqueror
  • Come Let Us Reason (1992)
  • In Jah Corn Field
  • Golden Hits (1998) Discotex
  • I Admire You In Dub (2000) Motion (with King Tubby)
  • Throw Mi Corn Original Music


  • Move Your Feet / Find A New Baby
  • Wooden Heart / No Money No Love
  • Suspicion / Broken Heart
  • Find A New Girl / Come And Do It With Me
  • It Makes Me Feel
  • Thelma
  • Run Babylon
  • No Baby No
  • I Admire You
  • Heavy Heavy Load
  • You Lied
  • Can’t You Understand
  • Brand New Baby
  • Lie Them A Tell
  • Breada Anancy
  • Jah Fire
  • Nanny Goat
  • Show Me Love
  • How Can I Forget You Girl
  • It Dread In A Rome
  • In Your Arms
  • My Foreparent
  • Mean Girl
  • Captivety
  • Throw Me Corn
  • Together Now
  • They Say I’m Out Of My Mind
  • Ho Girl
  • In Your Arms
  • Let The Music Play
  • Shirley
  • Hush Up
  • How Can I Go On
  • Jah Jah Hear My Cry
  • The Ark Of Covenant
In a short space of time Reggae music has lost two reggae icons. Soon after Winston Samuels died, Fitzroy Marshall aka Larry Marshall passed away on Thursday 24th August 2017. Really striking that Winston Samuels and Larry Marshall, both living in Florida and sometimes confused with each other (think: “I’m Still Here” for Prince Buster), passed away within days of one another.

LARRY MARSHALL – 1941-2017

Larry Marshal was one of Jamaica’s greatest talents, a quintessential Jamaican voice, sometimes overlooked  even though he was one of the rulers in the Jamaican dance halls of the late ’60s and early ’70s. “Mean Girl”, Throw Me Corn”, “Keep On Pushing”, and “Nanny Goat” were dancehall standards and made him one of reggae’s top performers. His song ‘Throw Me Corn” has served as the riddim for countless thousands of remakes. “Nanny Goat” is often credited as the first true reggae song, and while this might be up for dispute, it is certainly one of studio One’s first reggae songs.

Larry Marshall was born in 1941 in Lawrence Park in the garden parish of St Ann, the same parish Bob Marley and Burning Spear come from. He was influenced by the revival church and folk traditions that had grown out of slavery. The intensity of the spirituals that he sang in his youth has always been a key element in his music. He has used his experiences as part of his expression. Songs like “Thelma”, “Shirley”, “I Admire You”, and “Can You Understand” are rich with emotion that can only come from living. But Larry Marshall sang about more than love though. The bitterness and struggle of ghetto life is brilliantly portrayed in songs like “Captivity”, “Jah Fire”, and “Heavy Heavy Load.” He was not only a great singer, but a great songwriter too.


Presenting Larry Marshall
Larry Marshall - Come Let Us Reason

Larry Marshall left St. Ann in 1957 and traveled to Kingston. There he started his recording career in 1962 with a song for Philip Yap’s Top Deck. Between 1962 and 1967, he had minor hits for producers such as E. Henry (“Too Young To Love”), Philip Yap (“Promise Is A Comfort To A Fool” and “Snake In The Grass”), Coxsone Dodd (“Please Stay”), and Prince Buster (“I’ve Got Another Girl” and “Suspicion”). His greatest successes came in the late ’60s when he teamed up with Alvin Leslie in the duo Larry & Alvin, recording hits for Dodd’s Studio One label. Marshall also recorded as a duo with Enid Cumberland, as Larry & Enid. In the early 1970s, he worked for Studio One as  writer, arranger, assistant studio engineer to Sylvan Morris and dub-plate seller, and the label released a compilation of his recordings, “Presenting Larry Marshall”, in 1973.

While at Studio One, Marshall arranged several recordings by Burning Spear, and also provided backing vocals. Morris left Studio One in 1974, prompting Dodd to offer the chief engineer job to Marshall, but he declined the offer, unhappy with the wages. After leaving Studio One in 1974, he released the 1975 single “I Admire You”, followed by an album of the same name. The dub version on the b-side of the single was one of the first to be credited to King Tubby. He released several singles in the mid ’80s produced by Gussie Clarke, including remakes of “Throw Me Corn” and “I Admire You”, and released further albums in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Larry Marshall also provided backing vocals on Junior Byles’ 1986 album “Rasta No Pickpocket”.

Marshall moved to Miami, and, having not received significant financial reward for his musical career, supported himself by working on building sites. In an interview for the Jamaica Observer he said: “I have not benefited financially from my songs that were released. A lot of them did well, but someone else collected”.

| Sources : Wikipedia, Jamaica Observer, Sleeve notes “Presenting Larry Marshall” and “I Admire You” |