Jimmy Cliff © KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Jimmy Cliff

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Jimmy Cliff Season 36 by Jared Connor

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff has a career that spans almost 50 years.  With “a voice that is preserved to startling perfection” (Rolling Stone), the only living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor for achievement in the arts and sciences granted by the Jamaican government, has a soon-to-be-released CD and a live show that has critics raving. Billboard wrote “Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff has absolutely no business at 62 sounding as good as he does.”

Born as James Chambers in St. James, Jamaica, Cliff took on a new surname with the intention of climbing soaring heights in the world.  And he’s managed to do just that in a career that has spanned almost 50 years. Recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cliff began to write songs in primary school with a career beginning to take flight at the age of 14 with his hit “Hurricane Hattie.” He’s probably best known for his songs “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” and “Many Rivers to Cross.”

His in-progress CD, Existence, explores man’s journey in all spheres of life. Cliff carefully crafted the songs to deal with today’s realities of conflict among nations, global warming and the environment, the good and bad in human relationships, greed, poverty and love.

“I tried to touch all aspects of our existence, from global warming to starvation and moving to love and hope which are still alive and will always be here,” Cliff said.

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