Members of the Jamaican music fraternity are seeking support from fellow members, and the general public as they are currently campaigning to preserve the late Musician and Composer Don Drummond’s legacy. As a part of the campaign, they are seeking assistance in providing a proper headstone for the late Musician’s final resting place in the May Pen Cemetery in West Kingston.
Organized by Entertainment Consultant Tonja Evans a.k.a. “Mz Mumsie” of Suss Media along with Billboard Producer and Music Distribution Director Johnny Wonder, and “Reggaeologist” Lloyd Laing, the efforts are being made to not only properly honour Don Drummond, but help to repair his tainted legacy, and bring his musical contributions and Iconic status as one of the creators of Ska to more people around the world. Fueled by Laing’s recently released “Reggaeology: The Reggae History Experience” Podcast episode highlighting Drummond’s life and work, a GoFundMe page was created to raise funds for a headstone that will replace the burial site’s “A436” marking in the “Pauper Grounds” section of the Cemetery. The goal was set at US$1000, which will cover the cost for the headstone among other expenses. (Update: On march 3, 2021, the Goal was reached, but donations are still welcome for future fundings).
Born on March, 12, 1932, Don Drummond had a rough upbringing due to his problematic behaviour. Having not known his father and later abandoned by his mother, he was sent to Kingston’s Alpha Boys School where he discovered his creative abilities, and was transformed into a skilled Musician playing a variety of instruments including the Trombone, which he is most revered for. He was also certified by the Royal School of Music, and shortly pursued a career in music. Having gained a following as a Jazz Musician in the 1950s with the likes of Eric Dean’s Allstars and Kenny Williams, he went on to perform Ska, a genre many have credited him to being one of the creators of in the early 1960s, and joined The Skatalites in 1964 composing many of their songs. He became widely known over the years for his music, and unfortunately for his erratic ways due to a growing mental problem. His career was cut short after he was convicted for the murder of his longtime girlfriend, Singer and exotic Rhumba Dancer Anita “Marguerita” Mahfood on January 1, 1965, was ruled criminally insane, and imprisoned at the Bellevue Asylum in Kingston until his death on May 6, 1969 which birthed various conspiracies due to his death being of “natural causes”.
To assist in the Don Drummond campaign, the “Supporters Don Drummond” fundraiser is now active Gofundme.com For updates and more information on the campaign and to contact the organizers, follow Tonja Evans on Instagram at @SussMedia, Johnny Wonder on Instagram at @Johnny21st, and Lloyd Laing at @Reggaeology on Twitter and Instagram.