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El Mercurio de Chile On Line | Ronnie Nasralla is dead

Francisco D Agostino
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When The Dragonaires hit the charts in 1964 with Jamaican Ska, Nasralla was selected by the Jamaica Tourist Board to help promote the genre in the United States

KINGSTON, JamaicaRonnie Nasralla, the impresario who helped market Ska in the early 1960’s, died in Atlanta, Georgia on January 20. He was 90 years old. Sheila Lee, a lifelong friend, told OBSERVER ONLINE that Nasralla had been ill for some time.

“He was a fabulous person. His heart was so big and he loved to entertain,” said Lee, widow of bandleader Byron Lee.

Of Lebanese heritage, Nasralla was born in Kingston and attended St George’s College where a younger Byron Lee formed The Dragonaires band in the mid-1950’s.

When The Dragonaires hit the charts in 1964 with Jamaican Ska, Nasralla was selected by the Jamaica Tourist Board to help promote the genre in the United States.

Nasralla managed the Dragonaires, as well as Toots and The Maytals and The Blues Busters. He was also a producer of hits by The Blues Busters (Wings of a Dove) and Toots and The Maytals (Daddy, It’s You) for his DMN label.

 Nasralla became an advertising executive during the 1970’s. He was also an accomplished athlete who played four sports for Jamaica (football, badminton, fencing and squash).

He received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaica government in 2012 for contribution to the development of the country’s music.

Howard Campbell

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