b. Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Ras Pidow is considered one of the first supporters of the Rastafari movement, and is hailed as ‘the recognised elder of the rainbow throne of the nyahbinghi theocratic order’. In the 50s and 60s Rastafari worshippers were considered outcasts in Jamaican society and are still reviled by the upper classes. Ras Pidow’s lifelong loyalty to the teachings of Rastafari resulted in him joining a group of Rastafarians on a mission to ‘spread the word of Jah’, that resulted in an acclaimed appearance in 1989 at the Smithsonian Institute. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s the group toured the USA, which included a celebrated performance at the Smithsonian’s National Folk Festival where Pidow was the prominent performer. Bongo Shep, Ras Marcus, Ras Headful, Ras Tawny, Ras Bigga and Sista Bubbles, who performed collectively as the Rastafari Elders, accompanied him. Their presentation received a positive response and critical acclaim in the Washington Post. The article inspired Ras Records to commission recording sessions, which resulted in the 1991 release of Rastafari Elders. The compilation was well received and inspired Pidow to record a solo release. His solo debut, Modern Antique featured the ‘storyteller/teacher/priest’ performing dub poetry over nyahbinghi drumming and reggae rhythms from the Roots Radics. Ras Pidow settled in Baltimore, USA where he recruited, Ras Ed, Elijah, Maryoi and Ras Levi to support him on a US tour. The mission was to ‘continue to spread the word’ and with his band he performed alongside Jah Levi And The Higher Reasoning as well as the Washington-based Soul Defenders. Ras Pidow’s performances proved a success and he moved up the reggae league performing with artists such as Culture, the Itals and Burning Spear. Throughout the 90s he continued to chant the praises of Haile Selassie with his own dub band through television, radio and the live circuit.
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