We are extremely sad to announce the passing of Jamaican music expert, Michael de Koningh.
One of the most knowledgeable and respected experts in the business, Michael developed a deep passion for black music from an early age, with his regular contributions to Trojan’s popular fanzine, ‘Let's Catch The Beat’ in the late 1980s and early 1990s providing an early sign of what was to follow.
Although trained as a classic landscape artist, Michael initially worked in graphic design and print before deciding he should take a chance on turning his hobby into a profession by selling vinyl for a living. He and his wife Kathy gave his ‘Reggae Reggae Reggae’ business two years, yet it remained a go-to site for buyers of classic Jamaican sounds for over twenty.
Following Trojan’s sale to Sanctuary Music Group in 2001, Michael also became a regular compiler and writer for the label, with his knowledge and understanding of the music, combined with a keen enthusiasm and analytical approach resulting in a number of popular Trojan collections, including the widely acclaimed and extremely collectable, 'Haunted House' 7”vinyl box set.
Other work of significance included co-authoring two books, ‘Young Gifted & Black: The Story Of Trojan Records’ and ‘Tighten Up’: The History Of British Reggae’, along with regular contributions to a variety of music magazines and fanzines, most notably Record Collector, Record Buyer, Distant Drums, Echoes and Blues & Soul. In addition, he found time to write notes and compile for a variety of other back catalogue record companies, with their number including Universal Music, Union Square, Snapper and Secret, occasionally working under the alias of Door Peeper.
Earlier this year, Michael compiled and annotated a belated follow-up to ‘Haunted House’, scheduled for release later this year, while he was also in line to work on a number of Trojan titles lined up for 2017.
Intelligent, modest, knowledgeable, passionate, enthusiastic, honest and thoughtful are just of the few of the many positive attributes that Michael possessed in spades. An immensely likeable man, his contribution to Trojan Records and the vintage Jamaican music scene as a whole over the past 20 years has been considerable.
His passing on Thursday afternoon at the age of 58 is not just an overwhelming loss to the industry, but also to those fortunate enough to have considered him a friend and most of all, his beloved wife, Kathy.
We miss you, Michael.