search instagram arrow-down
Renegade Expressions

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,172 other subscribers
Follow Renegade Expressions on

Blog Stats

Top Posts

Recent Posts



The Mystery Blogger Award

Photo credit

Liebster Award
Blogger Recognition Award
The Versatile Blogger Award, Blogging,

Blogs I Follow


The Death [Murder] of Tenor Saw

‘When the roll is call up yonder, I got to be there. When the roll is call up yonder, I got to be there. When the roll is call up yonder, yes, I want to be there, but when the rhythm is playing in the dance, I got to be there.’

When the roll was called in August 1988, Tenor Saw was not there, He was dead. He was the victim of an apparent hit and run in Houston, Texas. The young reggae sensation with the golden voice older than his years was found on the side of the freeway in a remote area in Texas with his legs broken, and injuries to his head. The official cause of death was ruled as pneumonia, but it is believed that he would have probably died from his injuries because he laid helpless out in the open for hours, maybe days before he eventually died. Jamaica Gleaner article falsely reported Tenor Saw's Death. How did Tenor Saw die? Where did Tenor Saw die? Who killed Tenor Saw? The Murder of Tenor Saw. Ring The Alarm. Roll Call.

Tenor Saw was born in West Kingston, Jamaica on December 2, 1966. His mother was a church-going lady, and it was in church that young Clive first exhibited his singing skills.  In his teen years, probably bitten by the music bug and knowing that his religious mother would not approve of his musical ambitions, he went to live with his father in another part of Kingston. Clive would still visit his mother, but she wondered why he preferred living with his father. Mama Cherry had no idea her son was pursuing music until a friend told her that they heard one of his songs on the radio. That song was the religious-tinged “Roll Call” produced by George Phang and released on the Powerhouse label in 1984.

It was in 1985 that Tenor Saw would get his first big hit with the song “Pumpkin Belly” on the “Sleng Teng” rhythm. That same year he would record arguably his biggest hit “Ring The Alarm” on the “Stalag 17” rhythm. Tenor Saw was in demand and was riding high on the success of his recent releases. America was calling and Saw answered. According to his mother, he fell in love with America and would spend more and more time in the U.S. Tenor Saw left Jamaica for the last time in 1986. By 1987, he was touring extensively with reggae legend Freddie McGregor. Rumors started going around that he was abusing drugs and was not all there mentally. In 1988, Tenor Saw was signed to RAS Records with the hopes of releasing an album. When it was time to record, Saw was a no-show. Jamaica Gleaner article falsely reported Tenor Saw's Death. How did Tenor Saw die? Where did Tenor Saw die? Who killed Tenor Saw? The Murder of Tenor Saw. Ring The Alarm. Roll Call.

In August of 1988, Tenor Saw was cut down in the prime of his life. He was only twenty-one years old. His lifeless body was found on the side of a road in Texas. Saw suffered broken limbs and injuries to his head. A hit and run accident was deemed to be the cause of his injuries, but they could have just as easily been from a merciless beating. How did Tenor Saw end up on the side of the road in the first place? Who was driving the car that allegedly hit him? Why wasn’t/hasn’t there been more interest in this case over the years?Those are just a couple of the many questions I had since this cruel and senseless incident all those years ago.

Strangely, on October 26, 1988 a local newspaper [Jamaica Gleaner] in Jamaica reported that Tenor Saw had been shot and killed in New York City. By this time, Tenor Saw would have been dead for about two months.

Jamaica Gleaner Article Falsely reported Tenor Saw's Death

In this 1988 newspaper article from The Daily Gleaner [Jamaica Gleaner], Tenor Saw is reported to have been shot and killed in New York City. Notice the placement of the article and the fact that the movie “Coming To America” by Eddie Murphy was more significant news than the supposed murder of a reggae star and son of the Jamaican soil.

Over the years, many rumors have circulated and many opinions put forward as it relates to Tenor Saw’s death. The most popular is that he was a victim of a hit and run driver. Others believe he was swindled and then murdered. Some say he was involved in drugs and that his murder was drug-related. There are those who think he owed the wrong people money for a show and was killed because he took the advance, but never performed. Another story said he was murdered by promoters who didn’t want to pay him for a show. Probably the saddest and most cautious rumor is that he was killed by his friends and his show money stolen.

There were similar rumors and conjecture with the murder of Peter Tosh one year earlier in 1987. Two talented souls with unique and powerful voices that were tragically and senselessly silenced way too soon. At least in the case of Peter Tosh, his killer was brought to justice, and his family got closure. Tenor Saw’s family may never know the truth as to how and why he was killed. Mama Cherry and his family, however, can take solace in the fact that he is a bona fide reggae legend and can rest assured that when the final roll is called up yonder, he will be there!

20 comments on “The Death [Murder] of Tenor Saw

  1. Mike says:

    Had not heard about this before. All this time I had only heard that he had been shot. As you’ve said, it seems strange that it wasnt folllowed up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. You can also check out my post on the murder of Peter Tosh.


  2. Tasia says:

    Tenor Saw we miss you.


  3. Dionne Veronica says:

    Tenor Saw has left his mark on reggae music and was truly ahead of his time. “Gone too soon”


    1. That he did. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  4. Amun Neteru says:

    Eye Am Sent from the universe to get to the root ov this golden singer. Eye love him we r one . balance ov Maa-t


  5. Bezel says:

    Your voice lives forever

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Noel says:

    Thank you for this article. But one of my first thoughts, regarding how he’d met his demise, was that if he’d had an autopsy done then, surely, a most accurate assessment of his death would have been made known? Why is this not the case?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point! I assume an autopsy was done, but I don’t know for sure. I believe that no one cared enough to find out exactly what happened to Tenor Saw.


      1. IsReal. FORD says:

        I agree with you. So sad!!!
        Possibly RACIALLY motivated.


  7. Greg Nice says:

    That shit is mad depressin son, word is bond he didn’t deserve that bullshit yo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s senseless how he was taken from us.


  8. Ziggyman says:

    My feeling that it’s clear he was murdered. I think that if he was in fact hit by a car, he may have been beaten and then deliberately run over. But it’s sad. it’s one of those losses that is hard to forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think someone murdered him. It’s sad. Nobody should have that happen to them, especially someone with such talent and potential.

      Thank you for reading the post and commenting.


  9. Richard says:

    I’m currently working on a documentary. Link me up please.


    1. Hi, Richard. I am sorry for the late response. How is the documentary?


  10. Cassandra says:

    i would love to see that documentary soon.


Express Yourself!
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Christian Lell



Traveling Fashion Designers 🌼

Costa Rica Living and Birding

Words. Photographs. Power.


Photography and cartoons, my favorite things.

Big Guy Hiking

Hiking and Trail running for the fun of it


A Journey in Creative Photography!

The Caffeinated Millennial

Shandean Reid | Lifestyle • Family • Home


Live, Be Inspired

Nic It List

out of curiousity

%d bloggers like this: