CLASSIC songs like Little Nut Tree and By The Rivers of Babylon have earned The Melodians a place among reggae’s great harmony groups.
On Saturday, original members Trevor McNaughton, Tony Brevett and Brent Dowe will be honored by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) during its annual awards show at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston.
The 70-year-old McNaughton is the sole survivor of the original trio. Dowe died in 2006, while Brevett passed away in 2013.
McNaughton will be at the ceremony with Winston Dias and Taurus Alphonso, who joined the group in 2014.
“Well, it means a lot, and knowing that they still remember us in Jamaica to give us an award make me feel good all over,” said McNaughton.
The dreadlocked McNaughton started The Melodians in 1963 in Greenwich Farm, Kingston. They were one of the most successful acts in the 1966-68 rocksteady era, recording mainly for producer Duke Reid.
You Have Caught Me, Last Train to Expo 67 and You Don’t Need Me were done for Reid. They cut Little Nut Tree for Sonia Pottinger and the spiritual By The Rivers of Babylon with Leslie Kong.
By The Rivers of Babylon is an anthem. It is part of The Harder They Come soundtrack and was covered with great success by Boney M in 1978.
The Melodians are scheduled to perform at Skamouth in Great Yarmouth, eastern England, in April.
— Howard Campbell