The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the life of one of Jamaica’s most beloved singers, Dobby Dobson.
He died yesterday, Tuesday, July 21, at the age of 78. According to reports, he died at around 4:30 p.m at a hospital in Florida. Tommy Cowan of Glory Music reported the sad news to the Jamaica Gleaner.
“I was told a couple days ago that he was in a bad way. He had Alzheimer’s for a while now and was in a home, then he was diagnosed with COVID.”
Dobson, who was fondly known as the Loving Pauper, a name he got after one of his most famous songs, began singing while he was a student at Central Branch School in Kingston and at Kingston College, where he sang in the chapel choir. He started his career in the 1950’s and sang popular songs like That Wonderful Sound and Mexican Divorce.
He found success as a solo singer in the 1960s, after recording with Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid. He was a member of both The Virtues and The Sheiks and recorded “Loving Pauper” with Reid, which became his signature tune.
Dobson, never let fame get to him and kept his job as a salesman and proof-reader for the Jamaica Gleaner. In 1971, he again found success at the charts after he recorded That Wonderful Sound for Rupie Edwards, which sold over 40,000 copies in the Caribbean, and was followed up by another hit Endlessly, which became a minor hit on the UK Singles Chart.
He moved into production, where he helped Barrington Levy in the early part of his career. He eventually moved to the US but kept performing at both the Reggae Sunsplash and the Reggae Sumfest festivals.
On the 49th anniversary of the country’s independence, the Governor-General of Jamaica conferred the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer (OD) upon Dobson, for his contribution to reggae music and representation of Jamaican culture.
Following a successful career, Dobson became a born-again Christian and recorded several gospel albums. His death is indeed a significant loss for Jamaican music.