By Basil Walters——
BEVERLEY Kelso struggled to hold back tears during her performance of the Wailers classic, It Hurts to be Alone, during the Tribute to the Greats show at Curphey Place, St Andrew on July 28.
It was more than tears of joy.
Beverley Kelso receives a certificate from Culture Minister Lisa Hanna, while looking on is promoter of Tribute to the Greats Kingsley Goodison.
She provided harmony on the original which was done by the Wailers in 1964 with Junior Braithwaite on lead vocals.
The Studio One classic also features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
Kelso says she is preparing to write a book about her time in one of reggae’s great groups.
It is likely to be called It Hurts to be Alone.
“It really hurts because I am alone. From I left the Wailers, I haven’t kept any connection with members of the group, Kelso told the Jamaica Observer.
“Not only Bob, but Peter, Bunny, Junior, and myself were very close. They took good care of me. They were loving, and kind. They were everything to me and I did love all of them,” she added.
Now 67, the west Kingston-born Kelso lives in New York City. She was one of two females in the original Wailers.
The other, Cherry Green, died in Florida in 2008. Kelso says she was particularly close to Marley, who she knew as Lester when the group lived in the Kingston ghetto of Trench Town.
“Any decision that Bob wanted to make he would come to me and say things. Is like he have a confidence in me,” she recalled.
Kelso had long given up the music business in 1979 when she migrated to the United States. She had also lost contact with Marley, Tosh and Wailer who had become big stars.
Braithwaite had moved permanently to the US in the early 1960s. Marley died in 1981, Tosh in 1987, and Braithwaite in 1999.
Kelso was honoured for her contribution to Jamaican music.