Wednesday 10 April 2024

RIP Newton Dunbar

Many will know and remember Newton as the founder in 1966 and, for the following 33 years, the proprietor of the legendary club Four Aces at 12 Dalston Lane. The club became one of the first venues to promote black music in the United Kingdom. It was credited with playing a significant role in the evolution of Reggae, from Ska, to Rocksteady, to Dub, to Lovers, to Dancehall and so on into the early evolution of Jungle and DnB.

Many acts from JA made their U.K debut there, among them Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Alton Ellis, Prince Buster etc, as well as many U.S soul Giants including Jimmy Ruffin, Ann Peebles, Percy Sledge and so forth - not taking into account his support and promotion of the fledgling U.K Sound systems, Count Shelly/Sir Coxsone/Jah Shaka and countless others.

 "Save our heritage"

We remember also Newton for his important contribution in the battle to try and save Dalston's legacy as a centre for black music and the heritage buildings in which the Four Aces Club had its home. Newton features in Winstan Whitter's film "Save our heritage" which tells that story.

Newton always worked hard towards and supported the promotion of creative positivity and in the course of his lifetime achieved SO much. So now with his passing let's see if we can give the gentleman the kind of send-off he deserves and at the same time see if we can't persuade Hackney Council to finally remember and honour exactly the kind of Musical Pioneer who did so much towards making this Borough the "Cultural Hot-spot" it likes to view itself as nowadays.

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