Broadcaster, 'Flying Machine' Singer Allan Magnus Dead At 80

Veteran radio broadcaster and Reggae/Rocksteady singer Allan Magnus, known for the hit song Flying Machine and who served for more than 40 years at Radio Jamaica, has died at age 80.

The RJRGLEANER Communications Group shared a statement and expressed regret and sadness at his passing.

Magnus’ broadcasting career at Radio Jamaica began in 1971.  His Good Morning Man show cemented him in the annals of Jamaican broadcasting history, as it quickly became the leading programme of its kind in the country at the time.

The programme remained popular with his listeners, even after it evolved into Good Morning Jamaica, where he was joined by co-host Dorraine Samuels and then Paula-Ann Porter Jones, when it was renamed Jamaican Morning.  He retired from morning radio in March 2017.

Even though Magnus was known for his early morning radio show, many younger folk are perhaps unaware that he was also a singer, with tracks such as the highly popular Flying Machine, Beautiful Day, I’m Gonna Be Strong and Song Sung Blue, which he recorded for Trojan Records using the moniker Teddy Magnus.

In a May 2016 Gleaner interview, Magnus had spoken about his love for, and early involvement in music.

“I had always been interested in music and singing. As a child, my mother would take me to her friends’ weddings and I would sing for the guests, and I would sing at elementary school concerts. In my last year at high school, I helped to form the Mighty Vikins band and, for a while, performed as MC, guitarist and vocalist,” he had pointed out.

He told The Gleaner that the Mighty Vikins became a very popular ensemble and performed to packed houses at locations such as the Molynes Road-based Sombrero Club, and also backed two massive Studio1 hits – Higgs and Wilson’s, There’s a Reward and The Wailers’ Lonesome Feeling.

Magnus also said that about a year into his tenure at Radio Jamaica, he made a spur of the moment, decision to voice a Reggae song. That track was a cover of the Cliff Richard 1971 song Flying Machine, which was produced by Lynford Anderson.

Flying Machine reached number one on both Radio Jamaica and Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) radio charts and also became what has been described “a big seller in Britain and some parts of Europe”, according to The Gleaner. 

In 1978, Magnus recorded I’m Gonna Be Strong for Sonia Pottinger’s High-Note label, in addition to Beautiful Day on the Trans-AM label.

However, according to him, he did not “take the recording business seriously because of what he dubbed “unfair producers”.

The news of Magnus’ passing has been met with sadness by Jamaicans who were listeners to his Good Morning Man show and other subsequent programmes, among them Bounty Killer who, on Saturday morning, joined the list of persons who expressed regret at Magnus’ passing.

“Mr Magnus the broadcasting magnum rest well father condolences to family and friends,” the Warlord noted on Instagram.

Minister of Entertainment and Culture Olivia “Babsy” Grange also extended her sympathies.

 “The man who many regard as the most popular morning radio show broadcaster produced by Jamaica, Allan Magnus, passed earlier today and I join with the nation in regretting his passing,” Grange noted on her Instagram page.

For his part, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he was a listener to Magnus in the mornings from as far back as his childhood days.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of veteran Jamaican broadcaster Alan Magnus, an icon of morning radio, a voice that resonated through the hearts of Jamaicans for decades. As a child, his voice woke me up in mornings, accompanying me on the journey to school,” he said.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and the countless listeners who considered him a part of their lives.  His legacy, both as a broadcaster and a recording artiste with the song ‘Flying Machine’, will continue to resonate in our hearts.  May he rest in peace, knowing that his contribution to Jamaica’s media landscape will forever be cherished and remembered,” the Prime Minister  added.

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