Gopthal hailed for Trojan work

At the time of his death at age 58 in 1997, Lee Gopthal’s contribution to reggae was on its way to obscurity, even in the United Kingdom where he was once identified with the development of Jamaican music.
On February 25, Gopthal, a co-founder of Trojan Records, will be honoured for his trailblazing achievements. He is among 25 recipients of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association’s (JaRIA) annual awards.

In 2018, the Kingston-born Gopthal was lauded in the UK where Trojan’s 50th anniversary was celebrated along with a number of events. The former accountant played a major role in introducing the music of Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, The Pioneers, Dave Barker and Ansell Collins and Ken Boothe to British fans.

Songs like Wonderful World, Beautiful People by Cliff, Israelites by Dekker and The Aces, Longshot (The Pioneers), Double Barrell (Barker and Collins) and Boothe’s Everything I Own, were distributed in that country by Trojan.

Valerie Gopthal Haines is Lee Gopthal’s daughter; he and his British wife, Beryl, also had a son, Martin. Valerie, three years older than her brother, said, “It is a great honour for our dad to be receiving this award, and we are all so delighted that he is being recognised for his achievements as founder of the iconic record label Trojan Records.”

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