Maximum Sugar

The True Beginning To a Legendary Family & Business Collaboration

A unique platform for developing and contextualizing the Legacy of Sugar Minott’s
Career achievements and his role in the Jamaican music industry is how it is integrated with the
personal, social activism and business interest of his widow and record/culture industry executive extraordinaire Maxine Stowe.

Studio One

Maxine met Sugar at Studio One in New York in 1978, where she was working with her Uncle, Sir Clement Dodd Sr., in the establishment of Coxsone Music City \ as his own operating outlet, having licensed or distributed his catalog through various means over the years.  This was to be the central hub for Mr. Dodd for over 24 years, till Mr. Dodd’s passing in 2004.  

Maxine’s relationship with Mr. Dodd started in 1976 when she met with him at his company & studio at 13 Brentford Road in Kingston. She had started studying Political Science as a budding college student at Barnard/Columbia University in  New York in 1974, as a precocious radicalized 16 year old teenager.  Her activism and love for Jamaica led to a relationship with Ras Daniel Heartman, who supplied Dodd and other Record Industry outlets in Jamaica with his iconic prints for sale creating this opportunity for this meeting. She had heard of her uncle from her grandfather, Benjamin but Ras Daniel was to be her foundation relationship and experience in the Rastafari Community and culture. He also introduced her to the Hon. Bunny Wailer as he  was to be desinging the ‘Protest’ album jacket.  She would become Bunny Wailer’s manager, (current photo of picture with Bunny Wailer), a director of the Rastafari Millennium Council focused on Community Intellectual Property Rights and Vice President of the Ganja Growers & Producers Association. 

branching out

Sugar was at this time in 1978, branching out his own career from Studio One, having started with Studio One in 1974,  to  do his own Black Roots label with album ‘Black Roots’  and other independent producers like Jammy’s, Bitter Sweet & “Ghetto-ology” when they met up in New York.

With Mr. Dodd just compiling Sugar’s various singles in three albums Live Loving, Sugar Minott Showcase and More Sugar, Maxine coordinated their manufacturing and distribution in New York, while they were setting up the retail and recording studio at 3135 Fulton Street in Brooklyn.  This set the business and personal relationship where they co-produced the album ‘Roots Lovers’ built around his successful single in London ‘Lovers Rock’.She had caused to be designed a new version of the Black Roots label with the Africa design as Sugar broke with his other two partners to go it alone.  

This would be Maxine’s first involvement in the creating and production of an album that brought tensions with her Uncle as he did not agree with this venture and its distribution through Studio One. 

A calculated decision to go forward with Sugar in developing his career to surmount the impasse that had developed at Studio One was made  assisted by the fact that she was pregnant with their first child together, Rachiim Minott.  Lloyd ‘BullWackie’ Barnes & Jackie Mittoo were two linkages that came together in the production of this album, that Sugar would continue to develop over his career.

With the ‘Roots Lovers’ album incorporating his number one single in the UK she pursued its marketing and release through Jet Star Records in London and got her first taste and experience of the UK Reggae Record business.  

This set the stage for an interesting next phase of her life as she returned into Jamaica, after her earlier sojourn into the Rastafari faith in the mid 70’s with the artistic icon Ras Daniel Heartman. Here she became immersed in the local record industry at Channel One, where she met Sly & Robbie and through the Black Roots/Youth Promotion developments most all of the major producers and players in the music industry.

Black Roots/

youth promotion

vp RECORDS/

columbia/   universal

 The development of Black Roots Label & Youth Promotion Sound System/Label offered Maxine exposure to the Foundation of  Kingston recording studios and process

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