View Chapters

Book: The Ultimate Guide to Great Reggae

Chapter: Nora Dean

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.25461


More than any other singer in reggae, Nora Dean has a life story shaped by contradiction

and irony. She possesses one of reggae’s most beguiling voices. And she

has recorded one of reggae’s most beloved songs, along with other memorable

tracks, including one that might be reggae’s strangest. Yet most of her music is

currently unavailable, never having been released on LP or CD, and next to nothing

has been written about her. She didn’t write many songs, but her first attempt,

which was not even complete, resulted in a classic. A good portion of her songs

were about sex, but she would have preferred to have stuck to gospel, which she

began recording at age fifteen. Now a born-again Christian after a serious illness,

Nora Dean is a pious woman, who released a series of self-produced gospel CDs

(as did Hopeton Lewis) out of New York from the mid-1990s through the mid-

2000s. From that vantage point, she looks back at her reggae career with nothing

but regret. Yet these songs have brought so much joy to so many.

Chapter Contributors

  • Michael Garnice ( - book-auth-760) 'Writer'