British sound system culture pioneer Count Shelly has died.
Count Shelly, real name Ephraim Barrett, has passed away aged 88, a relative confirmed.
Barrett moved to the UK in the early ’60s from Jamaica, and along with Vincent “Duke Vin” Forbes and Wilbert “Count Suckle” Campbell, pioneered sound system culture in the country. The Count Shelly sound held a residency at 31 Club in Harlesdon and Four Aces in Dalston, and in the ’70s produced music for Dennis Alcapone and Errol Dunkley.
Moving to the United States during the ’80s, Barrett operated Super Power Records, a distribution and retail outlet for Jamaican music in New York, before returning to Jamaica permanently in the ’90s.
David Rodigan posted a tribute to Count Shelly, writing that the late pioneer was a “major proprietor of record shops and Reggae labels thus enabling so many to discover Reggae music.”
Saddened to learn of the passing of Count Shelly a pioneer of UK Sound System culture and major proprietor of record shops and Reggae labels thus enabling so many to discover Reggae music. Condolences to the family especially his grandson @ShyFX pic.twitter.com/61DFLodEHr
— David Rodigan (@DavidRodigan) August 18, 2020
Rest in Eternal Peace Count Shelley
Count Shelly was a UK based Sound System operator and record label owner. Real name Ephraim Barret, he moved to Swindon in the UK in 1962 before relocating with his sound to North London. pic.twitter.com/lmpp3ubOKq
— DON SINCLAIR (@DONSINCLAIR247) August 17, 2020
RIP…Ephraim Barrett aka Count Shelly… Uk sound system pioneer and so much more…Home to Glory pic.twitter.com/4yh6cHDmgm
— Co-Gee (@McCoGee) August 18, 2020