died; sept 1th 2009
Truly unique, Wycliffe “Steely” Johnson was not only one of the pioneers of Reggae,
but also a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he has departed from us today
after three decades of his groundbreaking music talents with Jamaican and international artists. He will be sadly missed by all those who knew him, either personally or through
his music. Steely started his musical journey as the original keyboard player with the
Roots Radics Band which backed Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer and numerous artists both on tour and in the recording studio.
Steely, along with his musical partner Cleveland “Clevie” Browne, played on a large number of hit recordings for various producers in the mid 70s to early 80’s. Their extensive discography includes the ever popular Dawn Penn’s 1992 rendition of “No, No,No (You Don’t Love Me)”. Together as producers, they have contributed to a gamut of musicians such as; No Doubt, Billy Ocean, Back Street Boys, Heavy D & The Boyz, Buju Banton, Capleton, Maxi Priest, Jimmy Cliff, Gregory Isaacs, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Mr. Vegas, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Freddie McGregor, Dennis Brown, Lady Saw, , Barrington Levy to name a few. They left an indelible mark by launching ‘Steely & Clevie’ imprint in 1988 and later a burgeoning record label
called Studio 2000. Their resounding impact can be found on various international charts including the coveted Billboard charts.
Steely died Wednesday morning (Sept 1, 2009) of heart failure , which was brought on by pneumonia he contracted from
kidney complications. Steely’s death has resonated throughout the Reggae fraternity worldwide.