Sampalue covers Gregory Isaacs song

by Jun 12, 2024News

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Of the countless songs Phil Pratt produced, one is special to his son, singer/producer Garfield “Sampalue” Phillips. ‘All I Have is Love’ by Gregory Isaacs, released in 1976, was the Cool Ruler’s first number one single.

Sampalue recently covered the lovers rock classic with a deejay part by Kerry Lopez, his protege. The track is scheduled for release on June 15th, his father’s 81st birthday.

Even though they have a strong bond, Sampalue still reached out to the ‘old man’ for his blessing when he decided to cover ‘All I Have is Love’.

“I was going through my father’s catalogue, and there’s a CD called ‘Hits of The Past’. On it is ‘All I Have is Love’, I called my Dad and told him that I wanted to cover the song, and he laughed and said to me, ‘Are you asking for my permission to re-record the song’? I said ‘yes’, then he said, ‘my son, I’ve been working all my life for my children, and you are the one that followed my footsteps. Over the years, I have watched you become a producer, and also a restaurant owner like myself, so my catalogue is yours. It is my gift to you, I don’t need it’,” he disclosed.

After being ‘anointed’, Sampalue went about recording the song. He was not only determined to do the original justice; there was an urge to do something different, something that would please Isaacs, who died in 2010.

“I am now doing some work with Kerry Lopez, and I figured that I wanted to add a little twist by adding a deejay to the song and she was the first choice. She nailed it!” he exclaimed.

Sampalue is from Hannah Town, a community in West Kingston, which is walking distance from the famed Treasure Isle studio of pioneer producer Duke Reid. Pratt also operated his Sun Shot label there, producing songs such as ‘Talk About Love’ by Pat Kelly and ‘Strange Things’ by John Holt.

His son became a producer during the 1980s, operating the Diamond Rush label which is responsible for breaking an outrageous deejay named Lady Saw.

In recent years, he launched his own vocal career, recording a number of singles and an album, ‘Welcome to Hannah Town’, released in 2019. ‘Unmistakable’, his second album, is scheduled for release this summer.

(Photo contributed)

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