BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer
Friday, March 27, 2020
Albert “Apple Gabriel” Craig
Albert “Apple Gabriel” Craig, an original member of Israel Vibration, died March 23 in the United States.
Cecil “Skelly” Spence, his former colleague in the group, confirmed his death in an interview with Jamaica Observer’s Splash.
Craig, who left Israel Vibration in 1997, was 65.
Along with Spence and Lascelle “Wiss” Bulgin, he was part of a classic line-up that recorded songs like The Same Song, Strength And my Life, and Rudeboy Shufflin’.
The members first met at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre in St Andrew during the late 1950s where they were being treated for polio. As members of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the trio recorded Why Worry, their first song, in 1976 for the organisation’s label.
Produced by Tommy Cowan and backed by the Inner Circle band, The Same Song was their breakthrough song in 1979. They migrated to the United States in the early 1980s and gradually developed a fan base on that country’s West Coast, Europe, and South America.
At the height of their success, Craig left the group and went on to record three solo albums. The first, Another Moses, was released in 1999 by RAS Records, the company that helped make Israel Vibration one of roots-reggae’s leading groups.
In recent years, Craig reportedly fell on hard times and was in ill health. A date for his funeral service has not been announced.