Nicholas 'Nick' Friday Has Died
by Jean P. Greaux Jr.
'Nick' Friday – where he ruled -- performing on the road in Carnival 2004. (W. Bostwick photo)
Oct. 4, 2005 – The Virgin Islands music scene was rocked Tuesday afternoon by the news that band leader, vocalist and composer Nicholas "Nick" Friday had died. Friday died late Tuesday afternoon at the Schneider Regional Medical Center, according to Amos Carty Jr.,chief operating officer. "He came in either Monday or earlier today complaining of not feeling well," Carty said on Tuesday evening and "his condition deteriorated as the day went on."
Friday died around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The news of Friday's death spread quickly across the territory and the mainland, wherever Virgin Islanders reside. "We got calls from Miami, New York and Atlanta within minutes of Friday's death," said Tony T, a disc jockey on St. Thomas radio station WVJZ 105 JAMZ. "The place is in shock . . . this is unreal . . . everyone is in awe."
Sources said Friday had been suffering from complications from diabetes, an ailment he was diagnosed with a couple of years ago.
Before venturing into politics, in which he made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 2004, Friday had moved into the legal profession, securing a law degree on the U.S. mainland. A legislative insider said Tuesday that Friday "returned home with a law degree and was immediately hired on the legal staff of one or two senators."
But music was clearly Friday's calling. His career began at a young age with the band Eddie and the Movements. Always a lead vocalist, at the time he was known as Nick "The Franchise" Friday.
During his tenure with "The Movements" and subsequently as the face of Jam Band, Friday secured a number of Carnival Road March titles over the past 20 years. The most recent was this year with "How To Take De Road."
Osbert Potter, host of "Strictly Local" on WWKS KISS 101.3 FM dedicated Tuesday night's two-hour show to Friday's memory. "The news that you heard earlier today is true. Nick Friday passed away," Potter said on the air as he introduced the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness," performed by V.I. vocalist Malvern Gumbs.
Promoter Sheldon Turnbull of Mello Side Promotions, which hired Friday and Jam Band routinely at a weekly Sunday afternoon party at Coral World, recalled that Friday last sang with Jam Band two weeks ago. "He went back in time and sang so many of the songs that made Jam Band popular."
Turnbull said Friday was taking requests from the crowd for songs of yesteryear. This past Sunday, Turnbull said Friday called to indicate he was not feeling well. "It's funny, Turnbull added. "He called me Sunday to say he wasn't feeling well enough to perform but that the band would be there."
A list of Friday's survivors and details on funeral arrangements were not immediately available Tuesday evening.
You never miss the well until the well runs dry....my take on the passing of one of the greatest and one of the most unrecognized talent in soca and I include myself and I feel really bad about this I guess because I felt jamband dogged St. Croix in the 80's and early 90's. I am really sorry to hear this news he will be missed greatly in the soca and world scene and especially for the vi carnival.