by Howard Campbell
[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Multi-instrumentalist Mikey Chung, who has performed on hit songs by Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Ernie Smith and Black Uhuru, died in Kingston on December 28. He was 71 years old.
Chung’s brother Charlie said he died at the West Indies University Hospital. He suffered from cancer and kidney failure.
The second of five sons born to a Chinese-Jamaican family, Chung grew up in east Kingston. He and his younger brother Geoffrey produced and performed on some of the most creative songs of the 1970s, including Dennis Brown’s Silhouettes and Wichita Lineman; I Man A Grasshopper by Pablo Moses; Life is just for a living by Ernie Smith and Breakfast in Bed by Lorna Bennett.
Geoffrey was also a versatile musician. Like Mikey, he played bass, guitar and keyboards; one of the leading reggae producers of the 1970s and 1980s, he died in 1995.
Mikey Chung toured and recorded with Peter Tosh’s Word Sound And Power Band in the 1980s. He was also a member of Sly and Robbie’s Taxi Gang, playing guitar on songs like Dennis’ Have You Ever Been in Love. Brown and Party in Session by Black Uhuru.
Chung is the last Jamaican artist / musician to die in 2021. He was predeceased by Bunny Wailer, U Roy, Lee “Scratch” Perry, drummer Mikey “Boo” Richards, his colleague from the Now Generation Band; and bassist Robbie shakespeare of Sly and Robbie fame.