Broadcaster Charles Lewin, a stalwart at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), died September 15 in Ottawa, Canada, his daughter Shaniin informed the Jamaica Observer.
He was in his early 70s. She said her father had suffered from cancer and had “minor circulatory problems” but an autopsy will determine the official cause of death.
Lewin anchored JBC television’s evening newscast for several years before migrating to Canada in the 1990s with his third wife Aline, a Canadian diplomat. A decade earlier, he made his mark on JBC Radio as host of the 2:00 — 5:00 am slot.
One of the features of that show was 3 O’Clock Rock, a half-hour jam that featured contemporary rock music as well as groups from the 1960s and 1970s.
Ironically, two of the acts Lewin played regularly on his show died in recent days. Singer Eddie Money passed away on September 13; his songs, Think I’m in Love and Shaking, were staples on 3 O’Clock Rock.
Ric Ocasek, singer/guitarist of The Cars, also died on Monday. Lewin played a number of that group’s songs including Shake it Up and Since You’re Gone.
At a time when American rhythm and blues and reggae dominated Jamaican airwaves, Lewin’s playlist included American Top 40 rock songs including Don’t Stop Believing and Who’s Crying Now (Journey), Urgent and Waiting For A Girl Like You (Foreigner), Legs, Gimme All Your Loving and Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top) and Under Pressure, a massive hit for Queen and David Bowie.
Born in Clarendon, Lewin attended Calabar High School and entered journalism at the JBC in the mid-1970s. He had a love for the arts and was described by his daughter as “an excellent artist”, as well as a highly regarded chef.
Shaniin Lewin said her father resettled in Canada last year after years of travelling the world due to his wife’s diplomatic assignments. Though he was not active professionally as a journalist for some time, she noted that he regularly wrote on current affairs, the arts, and music online.
Charles Lewin is survived by his wife, three daughters, three grandchildren and two older sisters