Tennors’ Howard Spencer dies in Florida

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment

HOWARD Spencer — a member of rocksteady and reggae vocal group The Tennors — died in the Westside Region Medical Center in Florida yesterday. He was 73.

Angus Taylor speaks with Clive Murphy from The TennorsReggae = World A  Reggae

His daughter, Suzette Spencer, confirmed the Clarendon-born singer’s passing.

“He died due to complications of cancer. He went into the hospital on Saturday, as he had pneumonia… He fought a good fight and up to yesterday we were laughing and talking. However, things took a turn in the night and he passed away peacefully,” she told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

She described her father, who migrated to the United States in the late 1980s, as a God-fearing man who was very loving and who loved to sing.

“He also had a radio programme in late 1980s on WAVS 1170 called Howard of Broward, and he was one of first Jamaicans to open a Jamaican restaurant [in South Florida]. It was called Bunununus,” she said.

Hal Anthony, a member of The Tennors’ line-up, described Spencer’s passing as a great loss.

“I joined the group about six years ago and we became friends immediately. He’s a humble guy. Our last major show was in London in 2019 and, after the show, we went the studio and did an album… I last spoke to him a week ago and he said he was coming on well,” said Hal Anthony.

“A one nice breddin. He’s gonna be missed. Condolences to his family, friends, and well-wishers,” he continued.

The Tennors, which had hit songs during the 1960s and ’70s, is best known for their smash hit Ride Yu Donkey, which was recorded in 1968 and featured in the 2005 French-American film Broken Flowers which starred Bill Murray and Sharon Stone.

Founding member Clive Murphy is still part of the trio while Spencer joined the outfit in 1991. The group went through several changes in membership. They, however, had a slew of hit songs including Hopeful Village, The Stage, Another Scorcher, Massi Massa, and Weather Report.

In addition to daughter Suzette, Spencer is survived by widow Jacqueline; sons Sheldon, Richard, and Dwayne; step-daughter Rashique Welsh; and, grandchildren Vonshelle, DeAntre and Samara Spencer.

Featured Image – Howard Spencer

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