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Thread: Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger of English Beat/General Public fame has died

  1. #1
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Oct 2005

    Default Roger Charlery aka Ranking Roger of English Beat/General Public fame has died

    Roger Charlery aka Ramking Roger of English Beat/General Public fame has died

    © 2016 Dave J Hogan Ranking Roger attends The Stubhub Q Awards 2016 at The Roundhouse on November 2, 2016 in London, England

    Roger Charlery, aka Ranking Roger, the singer and toaster from the English Beat, General Public and Special Beat, died today after a battle with cancer, a rep for the band confirmed to Variety. He was 56.

    The group, which has existed in several different forms over the years, issued a statement on its social media accounts saying, “Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family.”

    The Beat — whose were called the English Beat in many territories due to an already existing band — arose out of the British Midlands in the late 1970s as part of the “2 Tone” ska revival based around the label of the same name. While the the Specials (the movement’s leaders) Madness, the Selecter, the Bodysnatchers and others hewed to a more punk-meets-ska template, from the beginning the Beat set their own tempo, incorporating more reggae into their sound along with lead singer Dave Wakeling’s original and politically tinged lyrics. Roger was a combination toaster and hypeman, dancing energetically across the stage, playing percussion and pumping up the crowd along with his widely imitated toast/raps during the songs.

    The group left 2 Tone after releasing their debut single (a cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown” for their own Go-Feet imprint through Arista. They released three albums — including their stellar 1980 debut, “I Just Can’t Stop It” — and were a leading light of British alternative music until their split in 1983 (the opening act on their final U.S. tour was R.E.M.).

    Wakeling and Roger quickly formed a new group called General Public whose debut album was produced by Clash guitarist Mick Jones. While their three albums produced several alternative-radio singles and were successful, they didn’t quite have the same magic as the Beat.

    Roger released a solo album in 1988 called “Radical Departure,” and in the years since he performed with several different incarnations of a reformed Beat, incorporating various members of the 2 Tone extended family. The Beat’s most recent album, 2016’s “Bounce,” was their first in 30 years.

    “I’m devastated to lose Roger, my Special Beat partner!,” wrote Neville Staples on Instagram, referencing his nickname for Roger, Turbo. “@SugaryStaple& I have been privately visiting him & his family, at every opportunity over the last 2 of wks, willing him the strength to recover again. Sadly the fight of the lion’s fire has gone out. My whole band and I are so saddened and I will miss Turbo so badly.”

  2. #2
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Wherever my kids are


    RIP, Roger! I once bought a General Public single ("Tenderness") just because I loved Roger's hairstyle!

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  3. #3
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Well damn it. This sucks. RIP.
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    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

  4. #4
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    Rest easy, rude boy.
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    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.

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  5. #5
    Elite Member ikmccall's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    I'm glad I got to see him perform.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Annika's Avatar
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    May 2008


    aww.. i liked that song tenderness. i was so upset the other day because i found out mark hollis from "talk talk" died this year too!!! all those eighties band members are getting older and not just dying from drug overdoses anymore

    such a shame!
    gas_chick, holly and Waterslide like this.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    May 2006


    I adored General Public. Great sound, good to dance to.

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