Echo Minott’s 40th Anniversary in The Music Business - Lord Sassafrass reflects on his lifelong friendship with Echo Minott
Noel Phillips a.k.a. “Echo Minott” was born and grew up in Maverley and he attended my mother Gertrude Dixon’s basic level school that she started when she lived in Trenchtown. Lord Sassafrass’s mother started a school at their home called Maverley Basic School. Mi know Echo’s mother and the family name was Marshall. He used to live five houses around the corner from me on Amsterdam Road first, and I lived on Denver Crescent. He was younger than me and I know Echo as a lickle baby. Me give him a hard time growing up because he say he want to be a DJ. I tell him I don’t want to see no DJ around me – all mi want to see is singers. So him come and sing and I say that no good! Every time him sing, I give him a hard time. I tell him the song is no good. When him tun big, he tell me, “I know what you was doing! Every time you would run me, I’ll come back harder Sass.” He say he know, and that’s why he’s where he is now. Up to this day, he still call me Teacher.
I gi’ Echo Minott the mic on Black Scorpio Sound System man! The first song he buss in a dance was “Farmer Man” that he recorded for producer Junjo Lawes. Echo was a little tough kid that always run competition with me. Him say he can play soccer better and him can run faster than me, so me and him always clash from him lickle – that guy. One time he thief my lyrics book, where I write down all the songs I sing. I go over his house and find the book. I wasn’t mad! Great him a go get great now man! Echo Minott go to Black Scorpio, Jammy$, and Volcano Record label as a singer and got big singing songs. He was one of the first singers to record at Jammy$ after Jammy split off from King Tubby. His voice is unique because he used to sing in a calypso style on reggae songs. People would even think that he come from Trinidad. You can hear this style on his song “What The Hell The Police Can Do,” when he sings the phrase about how he and his girl were fighting. Minott created huge dancehall hits like Lazy Body,” “Been Around The World,” “Cheo Cheo” with General Trees, and “Cool and Deadly.” The Black Scorpio super hit by Echo Minott called “Lazy Body” was recorded by Chris Meredith and Paul Blake’s Drummer. Surprisingly, there is no guitar in it at all. When first asked to voice the song, Echo Minott did not want to sing on it at all. He did not want to record for Jack because he was much more interested in working with Jammy$. The song became a monster hit for Black Scorpio. Now Echo Minott is a producer, and he works on big stage shows, and travels the world.