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A Godfather of Reggae Music Alvin “Seeco” Patterson

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Caribbean Radio Show CRS Radio

Caribbean Radio Show CRS Radio


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Alvin “Seeco” Patterson was the percussionist in Bob Marley and the Wailers, and one of Marley’s closest confidants and friends. Although known to the world as “Seeco”, he was in fact born Francisco Pep, in Havana, Cuba, on December 30, 1930 to a Jamaican father and Panamanian mother. He took Alvin Patterson as a stage name, and acquired the nickname “Seeco” as a bastardisation of his birth name Francisco. He was also referred to at times as “Willy Pep” As a child,  As a young man, Patterson found work as a bauxite miner. In 1957, Patterson attempted to emigrate to the United States in search of better work. In the midst of his move, however, the historic Kendal train crash occurred in Jamaica on September 1st, prompting Patterson to return to the island to seek out relatives he feared might have been among the nearly 200 dead and 700 injured.His plans to emigrate were then permanently put on hold, and he returned to Kingston, and to the life of a Bauxite miner. It was around this time that Patterson first met a teenage Bob Marley, who was fifteen years Patterson’s junior, and living in the same Trench Town slums. Marley took note of Patterson because of his famed cricket bowling abilities, and began to follow Patterson around, in search of both cricket skills, and likely also a fatherly figure.As the Wailers rose in prominence on the scene, Patterson was thrown from the room and lost his Jamaican shoes in the process. When Marley returned to the island some weeks later, he convinced Patterson to give up mining, and to begin working in music more regularly. As a result, Patterson began to contribute percussion tracks to a number of Wailers cuts. His first known contribution was on the June, 1967 session which produced “Lyrical Satyrical I” and “This Train”, and was released on the Wailers’ own Wail N Soul M label