Possibly the most distinctive voice in international reggae music, William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clark is largely responsible for creating the irrefutable Third World sound. Known and loved the world over simply as ‘Rugs,’ his wit and disarming sense of humor secure him as a true lyricist both on and off the stage. But don’t be fooled by his jiving. ‘Rugs’ has a deep sense of spirituality that forms the premise of all his interactions – his genuineness is not an affectation.
Originally from Manchester, Jamaica, Rugs worked with a few small Kingston bands before migrating to New York late in 1968. He quickly established himself as a strong, soulful singer. Within four months of arriving, he had a Brooklyn gig that lasted a year until he hooked up with the famous Inner Circle Band from 1970-1972, as their lead singer. During this time he released two singles, an early 70’s cover of a Bobby Womack song, “Harry Hippie” and “Sweet Caroline” in 1972.
In 1976, Third World went on their first U.S. tour and they played at a club in the Village called The Bottom Line. Rugs went to hear them play. At the gig he met Third World founding member Cat Coore, (also a former member of Inner Circle), who welcomed him into the band. The two developed a mutual respect and working relationship that was to stand them in good stead in the years to come as Third World reigned on the international reggae scene.
Throughout Rugs’ performing career, it has always been reassuring to see and hear this honest, sincere communicator at the helm of live shows, propagating the timeless messages of love, unity and justice for all.
Rugs has recorded two solo albums, “Talking To You” (1995 Shanachie Records) and “Bunny Rugs On Soul” (2000 Rurita Records). His current project, says Rugs, is a collection of all Third World songs which he has written. These re-recordings will take a fresh approach to his timeless reggae classics. The CD is scheduled for release in spring 2003 and Rugs will tour with his own band in support.