Georgetown, Guyana – (August 28, 2019) His Excellency David Granger, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, extends condolences at the death of Mr. Johnny Critchlow Braithwaite, M.S., also known as ‘Johnny Braff’.
Mr. Braithwaite died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation this morning after a brief period of illness. He was 82 years old.
Mr. Braithwaite was a Guyanese musician who rose to fame in the late 1970s with the hit song “It Burns Inside”.
President Granger bestowed the national award, the Medal of Service Award on Mr. Braithwaite in May this year.
GUYANA musical icon Johnny Critchlow Braithwaite, popularly known as Johnny Braff died on Wednesday after a period of illness while resident at the Palms Geriatric Home, Brickdam Georgetown.
Braff, who was well known for the hit song “It Burns Inside”, was feted by the Ministry of Social Protection back in July when he celebrated his 82nd birthday. A concert featuring the Yoruba Singers and others was held in his honour. He was also awarded the Medal of Service, by President David Granger. He died around 04:00hrs.
The Guyana-born singer had described himself in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle as The boy of the 70s music scene both here and abroad.” Born in Station Street, Kitty, Braff, who “came up from scratch,” recalled his father always announcing his arrival as a singer during his childhood.
Later moving with the Heartbreakers in the mid-60s, which he described as the best singing group in Guyana at the time, Braff had a fortuitous break one night while performing with the group at the ASTOR Cinema. He had composed a couple of songs and wanted to try them out, a suggestion that caused some anxiety among members of the band who were afraid to move away from their popular numbers. They asked Braff, who was known for singing Ben E. King Songs, “You want to spoil this show or what?” He, however, went ahead and sang the songs. One was called ‘It Burns Inside’ and the other ‘A Shower of Tears.’ As fate would have it, Vivian Lee of ACE Records was in the audience that night and sent a message saying he wanted to see Braff after the concert. ‘It Burns Inside’ went on to become a big hit. The singer had claimed that he got the idea for the song while he was having a bath with a bucket of cold water.
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