Toppa Top 10: Reggae’s Ten Greatest Drummers

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 +1
April 29, 2014

7. Winston Grennan

Winston Grennan is the drummer most often credited with inventing the fundamental reggae rhythm called the one drop. An almost inside-out beat when compared to American pop music, the kick drum and sidestick/rim of the snare play together on the 2 and 4 — the kick drum being the important feature here — with a syncopated hi-hat appearing alone on the 1, preparing for the “drop” into the deep bass of the kick drum. Grennan appeared on countless recordings during the rocksteady and early reggae era, playing with artists like Toots and The Maytals, The Melodians, The Heptones and Bob Marley. He’s the drummer on Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come.” Though he’s unseen in the recording scene in the movie of the same name, below; strangely enough you can catch himย playing inย 9 1/2 Weeks starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. He lived in the U.S. from the ’70s on, until succumbing to cancer in 2000.