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Scott "Scotty Riddim" Korchak

Scotty Korchak

Scotty Korchak

Scott Korchak, singer and trumpet player of the Blue Riddim Band, passed away Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007. He was 57.

He had been in an induced coma in intensive care in Kansas City for several days undergoing treatment for severe liver disease, according to his longtime friend and Blue Riddim Band co-founder/drummer Steve McLane.

Korchak was one of the group’s two talented singers (the other, Bob Zohn, passed away in the mid-1980s). Korchak can be heard on the albums Alive in Jamaica (the Grammy nominated recording of the band’s historic 1982 Reggae Sunsplash performance) and Restless Spirit. He was also the vocalist on the group’s novelty hit, “Nancy Reagan,” a track that belied the seriousness of Blue Riddim’s approach to its music, which through years of touring across the U.S. earned it a sterling reputation and the honor of being the first U.S.-based band to play at Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash.

Blue Riddim emerged in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1977 as Pat’s Blue Riddim out of the core members of Rhythm Funkshun. In 1986, Blue Riddim morphed into S.D.I. (Strategic Dance Initiative) without Korchak. After a brief stint in Ohio, Korchak returned to Kansas City to form New Riddim. Blue Riddim resumed performing again under its original name in the mid-90s and backed artists including Big Youth, Ernie Smith, and Trevor Roper of Chalice at various concerts.

Korchak was gifted with a soulful voice that lent itself exceptionally well to Blue Riddim’s heartfelt interpretations of Jamaican ska, rock steady, and reggae. His performances of “Smile,” “Feeling Soul,” and “Cuss Cuss” are highlights of the Sunsplash album. As members of the band and those in attendance often remember, it was during the performance of “Smile,” just after 5 in the morning and just as Scotti sang “it’s best to rise with the smile on your face” that the Sun crept over the mountains, illuminating Jarrett Park, and within minutes 20,000 people were dancing and ‘feeling soul.’ -Carter Van Pelt (from Blood and Fire website - http://www.bloodandfire.co.uk/db/viewtopic.php?t=24085

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Mar 25, 2024
I miss you Scotty!
by: Kennetta KC

One thing about good music when it hits you, you feel no pain. So hit me with music, hit me with music, hit me with music! -- "Trenchtown Rock-Bob Marley, Live in London 1975.

On this beautiful day, let's surround ourselves with love and positivity to nourish our souls and spread joy around us.

I recently felt like I had lost the ability to love again. However, after watching Bob Marley's biopic, it took me back to the days when I used to perform with Scotty Riddim from America's first reggae band, the Blue Riddim Band. Their song "Nancy Reagan" is a great song. You can find it on spotify and youtube if you want to see Scotty do his thing on the mic and with his horn. They were some funky guys!

Their album Alive In Jamaica was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1986, and their song "Love People" was featured in the soundtrack to the 1986 film Club Paradise, starring Robin Williams and Jimmy Cliff. They were up against Jimmy Cliff, and Cliff won naturally.

After breaking up from the Blue Riddim Band, I had the opportunity to meet Scotty when I was asked to sing for the Kansas Reggae Band - Urban Safari. From the very beginning, we became best friends. Despite his battles with addiction, Scotty was a great teacher and taught me how to ska and master Jamaican Patois. He was an inspiration to many and his talent left a lasting impact on everyone who knew him.

One of the most memorable experiences in my career as a professional singer was witnessing the Bob Marley Love effect. Despite Scotty being a native of Kansas City, his love for reggae music was so profound that you would have never known he wasn't from the Jamaican culture. My favorite song that he performed, "Trenchtown Rock," left me in awe every time.
The time spent playing music with Scotty and Urban Safari brought to mind Bob Marley's words, "Reggae is the people's music."

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