Johnny Nash, the singer of ‘I Can See Now,’ dies at 80

Johnny Nash, a singer-songwriter, actor, and producer that climbed from pop crooner to ancient reggae star to the creator and performer of this million-selling anthem” I Can See Now,” died Tuesday, his son said.

Nash was in his early 30s when”I Can See Now” topped the charts in 1972 and he’d lived a few series businesses resides. From the mid-1950s, he had been a teen covering”Darn That Dream” and other criteria, his mild tenor likened to the voice of Johnny Mathis. A decade later, he had been co-running a listing company, had turned into a rare American-born singer of the reggae, and helped launch the career of his buddy Bob Marley.

Nash praised”the temptations of the tiny island” when talking of Jamaica, and he had been one of the earliest artists to bring reggae to U.S. audiences.

Reportedly composed by Nash while recovering from cataract surgery, “I Can See Now” was a story of beating challenging times that itself increased the spirits of listeners, using its swelling pop-reggae groove, a guarantee of a”bright, bright sunshiny day” and Nash’s gospel-style exclamation midway, “Look straight ahead, nothing but blue sky!”, a financing chorus lifting the words to the skies.

The rock critic Robert Christgau would phone the tune, which Nash also generated, “two minutes and 48 minutes of undiluted inspiration”

Even though missed by Grammys judges, “I Can See Now” was covered by artists which range from Ray Charles and Donny Osmond into Soul Asylum and Jimmy Cliff, whose version has been featured in the 1993 film”Cool Runnings.” Additionally, it turned up anywhere from”Thelma and Louise” into some Windex firm and lately was frequently known on sites about cataract processes.

“I think music is universal. Music is for the ears rather than the era,” Nash told Cameron Crowe, subsequently composing for Zoo World Magazine, in 1973. “There are a few men and women who say they despise the music. I have run into some, but I am not certain I believe them”

The popularity of”I Can See Now” outlasted Nash’s very own. He made the graphs in the years after, even as he released such albums as”Tears On My Pillow” and”Celebrate Life,” and from the 1990s had left the enterprise. His final record, “Here,” came out in 1986, though lately, he had been allegedly digitizing his previous job, a few of that was missing in a 2008 fire in Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

He’d loved riding horses since childhood as an adult lived together with his family to a ranch in Houston, where for many years he managed rodeo shows in the Johnny Nash Indoor Arena.

Along with his son, he’s survived by daughter Monica and spouse Carli Nash.

In a couple of decades, he had a nationwide following during his appearances on”The Arthur Godfrey Show,” his hit cover of Doris Day’s”A Very Special Love” and a collaboration with peers Paul Anka and George Hamilton IV about the healthy”The Teen Commandments (of Love).” He also had roles in the movies” Take a Giant Step,” where he starred as a high school pupil rebelling against the way the Civil War is educated, and”Key Witness,” a crime drama starring Dennis Hopper and Jeffrey Hunter.

His profession faded throughout the first half of the 1960s, but he discovered a brand new sound, and revived success, in the mid-60s following a rhythm and blues hit by”Let’s Move and Groove Together” and assembly Marley and fellow Wailers Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston during a trip to Jamaica. During the upcoming few years, their livelihood is closely aligned.

Nash persuaded his boss and business partner Danny Sims, with whom he made JAD Records, to sign up Marley and the Wailers, who listed”Reggae On Broadway” and heaps of different tunes for JAD. Nash brought Marley into London from the early 1970s when Nash was the larger star globally and also Marley gave an impromptu concert in a regional boys college.

Following the 1980s, Nash turned into a puzzle to lovers and former coworkers as he stopped performing and recording and seldom spoke to the media or anybody in the audio market. In 1973he told Crowe that he expected years of hard labor: “What I wish to do is be part of the business and also to express myself and find some sort of approval by making people contented.”

A quarter-century later, ” he said to The Gleaner on a trip to Jamaica it was”hard to create major music jobs” without promoting and touring and that he chose to be with his loved ones.

“I believe I have achieved gratification concerning the people I have had the opportunity to meet. I never won the Grammy, but I don’t place my faith in matters of that character,” he added. “A life body of work that I could be proud of is much more important to me personally. Along with the exceptional folksy mix to the songs I create, that is exactly what it’s all about.”