Hard to believe, but it’s 43 years since J. C. Lodge shot to stardom with Someone Loves You Honey, her cover of a country song made popular by Charley Pride. Produced by Joe Gibbs, it topped reggae charts in the United States, United Kingdom, and in The Netherlands.
Lodge, who is in her early 60s, is enjoying a career revival. Her song, Love Uprising, was number one on the South Florida Reggae Chart for one month in March. The song is from the Positive Transfusion compilation album, co-produced by My MM Productions, a company operated by Orville Marshall and Wayne Armond of Chalice.
Based in London, where she was born, Lodge acknowledged the ups and downs of her career which started in Jamaica during the late 1970s.
“At any stage of their career, an artiste needs to feel appreciation for their work, but perhaps it is even more meaningful when you’ve dedicated 42 years of your life to something and you’re still at it. Despite consistently having releases, through the years, several of them have slipped by unnoticed, due to the difficulties many of my producers have faced in garnering attention or support for their product,” she said.
Success on the South Florida charts has helped Lodge snare gigs in the Sunshine State including Pluto And Friends in July 2022 and Reggae Meets Soul last March. She is scheduled to perform on May 14 at Red Rose For Gregory alongside soul greats, The Manhattans, Deniece Williams; and Etana.
That show, which takes place in Kingston, is an annual salute to Gregory Isaacs who died in October 2010. He and Lodge were part of the formidable Music Works camp of producer Gussie Clarke in the 1980s and 1990s.
Clarke produced her 1990 album, Selfish Lover, which contained hits like Telephone Love, Selfish Lover, Love Me Baby (with Tiger), and Hardcore Loving (with Shabba Ranks).
Yet, the biggest cheers, whenever she performs, are reserved for Someone One Loves You Honey, which was one of the best-selling singles in The Netherlands in 1982. She has bittersweet memories of that period.
“Someone Loves You, Honey, was picked up by a local Disc Jockey in Holland and eventually caught on in the rest of The Netherlands. Then, The Company of The Two P(i)eters, an associate of BMG, signed a contract with Joe Gibbs, for distribution in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, known as the Benelux countries. It became Record of The Year, 1981-82 in The Netherlands, making gold and later platinum discs there,” she recalled.
Lodge added that “The signing and sales happened without our knowledge until it was payout time and Gibbs realised that the distributor wouldn’t hand over his share until we were also paid. Suddenly, we were informed, airfare was provided and we found ourselves receiving a small percentage of the sales we’d been unaware of and hadn’t expected. We are grateful that The Company of The Two P(i)eters insisted on our presence or perhaps we’d have received nothing.”
J C Lodge’s latest projects include a duet with Beres Hammond called More of You for John John Records and Live Your Life for Supatech Records in the UK.
By Howard Campbell