Ian Sweetness on His Cover of Dennis Brown's 'Little Green Apples'

Going to dances in Jamaica during his youth, Ian Sweetness heard many songs by Dennis Brown, one of his heroes. 

iansweeIan SweetnessOne of those songs, Little Green Apples, struck a chord with him and inspired a career in music. Sweetness covered it over 20 years ago but it was not until recently, that his version was released.

“It’s a song mi always love, an mi jus’ decide sey I have to do it. But mi have to put my signature on it,” he said.

Brown, considered by many experts to be reggae's most influential vocalist, recorded Little Green Apples in 1971 for producer Clement Dodd. He cut another self-produced version of the song in 1981.

Ian Sweetness, who befriended the Crown Prince of Reggae in the 1980s, was determined to do Little Green Apples justice.

"Mi love D Brown suh (so) wi try show him as much respect as possible," he said.

Little Green Apples is a pop standard. It was first released in 1968, with the most successful version being by American singer O. C. Smith whose take went to number two on the United States pop chart that year.

Patti Page, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra and Robbie Williams/Kelly Clarkson have also covered the song.

Ian Sweetness hails from East Kingston in Jamaica, an area with a rich sound system culture. He got his start through that circuit in the early 1980s before launching his recording career later that decade.