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THE MELODIANS: HALF-A-CENTURY OF MELODIES!

 

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL—–

WITH classic songs like Rivers of Babylon and Little Nut Tree, The Melodians’ place among the great Jamaican harmony groups is assured. But as they celebrate their 50th anniversary, they believe their legacy is unappreciated.

In a recent interview with the GoMemphis website, founder Tony Brevett said the group soldiers on despite a perceived lack of respect.

Jamaican harmony group, The Melodians. (From left) Brent Dowe, Trevor McNaughton and Tony Brevett.

“We never really got the recognition I think we deserve. We’re trying to prove ourselves, all the hard work that we did. I think that is what keeps us going.”

Brevett and Trevor McNaughton comprise the current Melodians. Brent Dowe, who sang lead on most of their rock steady hits from the late 1960s, died six years ago from a heart attack at age 60.

At the time of his death, The Melodians were working on a new album with producer Willie Lindo. Titled Lyrics To Riddim, the set was completed late last year and recently released digitally and on compact disc by Lindo’s Heavy Beat Records.

It contains 17 tracks, with Dowe leading on six.

TheMelodians

“It’s a nice album, it bring back a whole heap of memories cause wi jus’ decide to stay with the rock steady feel,” Lindo told the Sunday Observer.

All the songs on Lyrics To Riddim are new and original. Lindo said in the initial stages of recording, the trio covered several of the hits from their heyday for the album, but that plan was eventually shelved.

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Lindo, best known for his work with Beres Hammond (One Step Ahead, What One Dance Can Do) and Dennis Brown (Inseparable) worked with The Melodians in the 1970s when he was a session guitarist at Federal Records in Kingston. He played on Lyrics To Riddim, alongside drum-and-bass team Sly and Robbie, keyboardist Robbie Lyn, saxophonist Dean Fraser and trombonist Nambo Robinson.

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