In 1972, singer and songwriter Johnny Nash was at the stature of his distinction when his melody ‘ I Can See Clearly Now’ and ‘Rock Me Baby’ was everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, Johnny has passed on at age 80. For quite a while, the artist was declining in health but gave up on his ghost and died of natural causes at home in Houston, the city of his birth.
Nash rose from pop singer to early reggae star and was in his mid 30s in 1972 when he released ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, a tune that beat out all competitors. He had just carried on with several entertainment biz lives.
During the 1950s, he was a young person covering ‘Darn That Dream’ and others, his light tenor compared to the voice of Johnny Mathis. After 10 years, he was co-running a record company, and had become an extraordinary American-born artist of reggae and helped launched the career of his companion Bob Marley.
Nash, who was also an actor and producer, was among the first musicians to carry reggae to US crowds. He topped commercially in the last part of the 1960s and mid 1970s, when he had hits with ‘Hold Me Tight’, ‘You Got Soul’, an early form of Marley’s ‘Stir It Up’, and ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, which is still his unmistakable tune.
Johnny Nash grew up singing in chapel and by age 13, he had his own show on Houston TV. Inside a couple of years, he had a public following through his appearances on The Arthur Godfrey Show, his hit front of ‘Doris Days’, ‘A Very Special Love’ and a collaboration with peers Paul Anka and George Hamilton IV on the ‘The Ten Commandments (of Love)’.
Johnny Nash was also featured in films like ‘Take a Giant Step’, in which he starred as a high school student rebelling against how the Civil War is taught, and Key Witness, a crime drama starring Dennis Hopper and Jeffrey Hunter.
During the 1960s, Nash persuaded his business colleague Danny Sims, with whom he framed JAD Records, to join Marley and the Wailers, who recorded Reggae On Broadway and many different tunes for JAD. Nash got Marley to London the mid 1970s, when Nash was the greater star universally, and with Marley, they gave an improvised show at a local boy’s school.
Nash teamed up on the song, ‘You Poured Sugar On Me’, which showed up on the ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ album.
Nash was married three times and had two children.