Community mourns reggae ‘ambassador’
Kent Outerbridge, a much-loved reggae promoter and mentor to generations of DJs, has died at the age of 64.
The founder of Dub City Variety, an institution in the Bailey's Bay area, Mr Outerbridge appeared on the scene as Bermuda's ambassador for reggae, early in the music's development.
“He went to Jamaica, got a lot of the records, and he really brought reggae here at the early times,” his brother, Linwood Outerbridge, said last night. A graduate of the Bermuda Technical Institute, Mr Outerbridge — known to most as Dub or “Fadda Dub” — started out selling vinyl records from his home in Hamilton Parish.
In 1974 he opened his North Shore record store, and went on to operate two shops on Court Street where music lovers congregated, until the outlets were claimed by the demise of the album industry. Mr Outerbridge also staged a host of concerts, bringing major acts to the island, as well as running Dub City Sound and Dub City Records.
His brother said he stood as a father figure to any number of young artists in Bermuda's musical scene.
“My sound and many other local sounds would probably not be here today if not for Dub City Records,” DJ King Jyrus posted online yesterday.
“One of the most visited record and cassette tape spots in Bermuda for years. A place where young aspiring sound boys like myself would go to every day after school or after work to buy records, listen to the newest session tapes out of Jamaica, or just listen to the elders chat.”
Mr Outerbridge had struggled with his health in recent years, and his passing yesterday morning prompted a host of tributes on social media.
DJ Lynwood “Brotha Richie” Richardson wrote of dropping by the Court Street shop in search of “inspirational tunes in the special 45 box on the counter, or asking Dub if he had any gospel reggae CDs”.
“Fadda Dub never showed any partiality. He supported what I was trying to do, and always gave me forward and positive vibes for presenting reggae music in the streets in a different manner.”
A father of three, Mr Outerbridge lived at Fisherman's Hill with his partner of many years, Olive-May Smith.
Family friend Sandra Francis recalled him as “the nicest person I have met — I knew him from the store on Court Street and his wife is a jewel of a person”.
“Many Bermudians are going to miss him. I know he will rest in peace.
“Gone too young.”