Ring the Alarm: In a Step Toward Dancehall Justice, Kotok PC Obtains Decree in Favor of Heir of Regg


You've heard his music, you just may not know it. Clive Anthony Bright, the artist known as Tenor Saw, was an influential and pioneering reggae and dancehall artist in the 1980s. Unfortunately, he met a tragic end in an apparent automobile collision in Houston, Texas in 1988 while on tour, the details of which are still unclear. He left behind thousands of admirers, a unique lyrical stamp on the rhythms of his native Jamaica, and a one-year-old son.


But Tenor Saw's music lives on in countless songs from artists such as Sublime, Naughty By Nature, Big Audio Dynamite, Buju Banton and Mary J. Blige, who cover or sample his songs.



Pitchfork has ranked his dancehall anthem "Ring the Alarm" as number 87 in the top 200 songs of the 1980s. Noted reggae and soul producer and co-founder of Easy Star Records, Michael Goldwasser, who has worked with Tenor Saw contemporaries Sugar Minott and Steel Pulse (and who makes great soul and r&b records as Goldswagger) notes that "if he had only recorded 'Ring The Alarm' he would still be a legend based on that one song, but reggae fans are blessed to have quite a few more classic tunes from his all-too-brief life and career. Outside of reggae, Tenor Saw's influence can be heard in the works of diverse artists such as Sublime and Rihanna, not to mention the countless hip-hop songs that have sampled his voice."


But the often convoluted trail of uncertain rights, royalties, and cross-border confusion - not uncommon at all in the reggae world - has prevented his music from benefiting his rightful successors.


Until now, that is. After more than a year of complicated investigations, research and some red tape, the surviving son, Justin Tamari Bright, represented by this office, has been named administrator of the Estate of Clive Bright in a decree from Hon. Diana Johnson of the Surrogate's Court of New York for Kings County (where Tenor Saw resided at the time of his death and where his son currently resides). This an important early step in the immense task of redirecting and shoring up certain rights associated with the great catalog of Tenor Saw.


Working proactively with publishers and performers' rights societies, we are building on this development to resurrect the legacy of Tenor Saw and also give this great artist the long-delayed chance provide for his family the way he would have wanted.

Beat 'em there an' we beat 'em there We beat 'em all over dis atmosphere

- "Ring the Alarm" by Tenor Saw

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