Monday, October 19, 2009

Pluto Shervington Moves to 'Kingston 21'

Pluto Shervington remembers the moment he decided to leave Jamaica and resettle in Miami clearly.
"I was termed as the uptown one because I would play for all the private parties. Other artistes were doing more the big shows," Shervington told The Sunday Gleaner.
Right after the 1976 election which returned the Michael Manley-led PNP to power, early in 1977, Shervington said, "I had at least 10 to 12 cancellations. It dawned on me that most of my market was leaving the country. Business took a serious dive. Even the studio, the jingles. At the same time, Ernie was going through his thing over Power and the Glory".
Even Federal Records, where a lot of the major recording sessions were held, pulled up, shipping out the studio equipment in the process.
"So it was the natural thing to do. Most of my customers were in Miami anyway. I said I am going up there. I have work there. It worked out that way," Shervington said.
Enthusiastic response
He performed I Man Born Ya to those 'customers', the newly transplanted Jamaicans responding enthusiastically to the song. "People who have moved out of the country use that song as their theme song even more than the people who live here," Shervington said. If anyone asked how he had done that song and then migrated anyway, he told them the truth about his experience.
Still, Shervingtion pointed out "Miami isn't out of the country. I think we have another Kingston between Dale and Broward. We don't lack anything. It's like Kingston over again. We have the shows, the food, the people. You're talking about 1.5 million of us".
The numbers were, of course, smaller, but the culture was just as strong when Shervington moved there in 1977. He referred to an event called Sundays on the Bay in Miami which ran for nearly two decades, which he says had the greatest impact, with more than 2,000 persons gathering regularly on a Sunday evening.
"It made Americans and Cubans aware of us and how strong we were," Shervington said. And he added, "we were the only culture to challenge the Latin American women in terms of looks. Only the Cuban women could challenge."
Shervington still travels a lot between 'Kingston 21' and Kingston a lot these days. Over the past month he has had three shows in Jamaica, including one with Ernie Smith in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, and last night's Jamaica College benefit on the grounds of the Hope Road, St Andrew school.
He emphasised "I have never left here. Even when I am over there. If you ever come and see how we live. It is Kingston 21. Anything that is here is over there, good and bad." -Sunday Gleaner