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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » THE RECENT DISCOVERY OF A “LOST” 1992 RECORDING OF RICHIE STEPHENS’ “RAIN FROM THE SKY” IS HOTTING UP NEW YORK CITY AIRWAVES!

THE RECENT DISCOVERY OF A “LOST” 1992 RECORDING OF RICHIE STEPHENS’ “RAIN FROM THE SKY” IS HOTTING UP NEW YORK CITY AIRWAVES!

By Marlon Burrell—

The Producing duo of Cleveland "Clevie" Browne (l) and Wycliff "Steely" Johnson

The Producing duo of Cleveland “Clevie” Browne (l) and Wycliff “Steely” Johnson

In 1992 the highly regarded production team of Wycliffe “Steely” Johnson and Cleveland “Clevie” Browne, popularly known as Steely & Clevie, were working on a project called “Steely & Clevie Play Studio One Vintage.” From those sessions came Dawn Penn’s international mega hit “No, No, No (You Don’t Love Me.”) Another single from that project that did well was Leroy Sibbles’ “Fattie Fattie,” on which he updated the classic that he originally recorded as the lead singer of The Heptones at the famed Studio One. The album itself was released by Heartbeat Records and was a success.

Steely&CleviePlayStudioOne

Steely passed away on September 1, 2009 leaving Clevie to oversee their vast catalogue. It was while converting the 24 track tapes from those sessions to Pro Tools digital format that Clevie discovered a track that wasn’t included on the album and decided that he had to do something with it. They had selected the classic “Rain From The Sky” to be recorded for the project and wanted Delroy Wilson to do the honors since he had recorded the song at Studio One.

Delroy Wilson

Delroy Wilson

Delroy Wilson was not available and they decided on Richie Stephens. Stephens voiced the song in 1992 but it was never mixed for release until now. It turns out to be a breath taking rendition of the well known song. It finds Stephens in fine form and singing from his soul. He has a noticeably different vocal expression than the one he would eventually develop. The ease with which he seemingly belts out every soothing note is absolutely outstanding. The additional production makes you forget that it was recorded in 1992 while still taking you back musically to simpler times. Clevie reveals that when he brought the newly found track to Stephen’s attention, Stephens recalled how Steely drilled him to voice the song to his satisfaction.

RichieStephensRainFromTheSky

This brings Richie Stephens and Steely & Clevie full circle as it was the famed duo who produced Stephens’ first of many hits to grace the New York Reggae Chart. Stephens’ version of another classic, “Spanish Harlem ” debuted on the WNWK Top 20 (now called The Foundation Radio Network Top 30) on February 14, 1990 at #18, eventually peaking at #3. I’m told that one of New York’s most influential radio DJs has already been playing the song to great response which means that this combination could have another hit single 26 years after their first one together. The old is new again and this is further proof that good music is indeed timeless.

Richie Stephens

Richie Stephens

“Rain From The Sky” is now one of the most requested songs at Irie Jam Radio in New York City. DJ Roy has placed the song on his playlist and has not eased up on its numerous plays.

DJ Roy

DJ Roy

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