Before the term “power couple” was even coined, the singing duo Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths, known simply as “Bob and Marcia,” were the “young, gifted, and black” boy and girl who embodied the phrase.
Fast forward to the present and enter Lukie D and Alaine. The two singers aren’t a power couple, but like Bob and Marcia decades ago, Lukie D and Alaine really are together. It’s just a lyrical togetherness, however, and one that sees the duo collaborate on a reggae classic and infuse it with the wow factor.
The togetherness was brought about by a phone call from producer and saxophonist extraordinaire Dean Fraser, with a special request that made songbird Alaine Laughton a little dizzy with excitement, but nonetheless asked “the great Dean” a thoughtful question.
“Wow! That’s Marcia Griffiths, she’s the Queen. Those are big footsteps! Do you think I can do it?”
Dean replied as only he could, “That’s why I’m calling you.”
With that, Alaine was ready to take on the challenge of teaming up with Lukie D to cover a classic by Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths. Really together.
Lukie D, solo artist and member of the group LUST, celebrating their 25th anniversary in January, remembers the studio session at Penthouse Records with a smile.
“First of all, it’s a pleasure for me to cover this song because growing up as Yute, Bob Andy is one of the singers I’ve listened to. When it comes to writing skills and singing, that’s Bob Andy. Alaine is an exceptional singer and when you work with someone who can sing it makes the job easier. We emptied immediately…we’ve done quite a few weddings in the past. The first thing we did was get the right lyrics. And Alaine is happy, so the studio session went smoothly,” he said.
Alaine had her own memories.
“Luke is crazy! He’s got 17,000 different personalities and he’s got accents to match,” she said, laughing at recalled antics. “And he’s such a great singer. When I hear him, mi see ‘No saw… mi haffi sing!'”
And empowered and inspired by the greatness of the footsteps they’ve followed, the two great singers “move on”. Really togethernot compete, just blend so harmoniously that you have no choice but to put the song on repeat.
“We got the job done,” both said as each shared a memorable moment about being with the reggae legends.
“I wrote a song for her [Marcia Griffiths] and I was fangirling throughout the recording process. Then when we were on the Love and Harmony Cruise, she did the song… it’s called Automatically … and she said ‘Big for Alaine who wrote this song.’ At that moment, I felt like I had won every prize,” said Alaine.
Lukie D recalled meeting the late Bob Andy at Anchor Recording Studio in Kingston years ago and the veteran artist shared something he will always treasure.
“Bob Andy said I reminded him of himself when he was young. To the awesome Bob Andy for telling me this! Bwoy da man deh jus’ evil! When I started telling him about his songs at Anchor, he was amazed and we had a good conversation. You see, the problem is that some of us are artists, we don’t have any manners. We see an experienced artist and want to walk past him or her. Bob Andy was amazed to learn that I follow this… Brook Benton, Nat King Cole, Beres Hammond, Dennie Brown. If you want to be a great singer, listen to the man deh, yuh haffi.”
His interaction with the late singer didn’t stop there, it grew into Bob Andy, one of reggae’s most prolific songwriters, who wrote not one, but two songs for Lukie D.
“He also said he wanted to produce the songs and was in the studio when I did the demo. Can you imagine that? The great Bob Andy taking the time to be there? He didn’t have to. At the end of the session, he said to me, “I didn’t need to be here, Young Legend…that’s what he called me…because you did so well”. Those songs will be on my next album,” Lukie D shared.
Alaine added: “Everyone salutes Bob Andy. He is excellence in human form. It’s just an honor to be on this song because it’s a song I grew up listening to. Queen Marcia is so classy and fabulous. I love her and everything about her.”
Lukie D shared that his absolute favorite song is by Bob Andy Desperate loverBut he insisted that he “loves all Bob Andy songs because he’s definitely the best.” He also shared a jewel as told to him by Queen Marcia Desperate lover.
“She said, ‘Lukie, do you know who he wrote it for?’ Don’t I understand her little voice correctly?” he asked, laughing.
Really together is one of the songs for the upcoming VP Records project, We remember Bob Andyscheduled for release in February 2023. The song, released by Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd at the dawn of the reggae era, was initially titled Always together.
Bob Andy passed away in March 2020.