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HAL ANTHONY PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE GLADIATORS!

But for the 1968 classic Hello Carol, singer Hal Anthony admits he knew little about journeyman reggae band The Gladiators. But a twist of fate led him to record a salute album to them last year. The South Florida-based Anthony completed work on Hal Anthony Sings The Gladiators’ Greatest Hits last week with producer Willie Lindo.

Hello Carol is the lead song from the 12-strong set which also hears the Clarendon-born Anthony covering other staples such as Bongo Red and Roots Natty Roots.

Anthony said he was approached four years ago to assume lead vocal and rhythm guitar duties for The Gladiators after founder Albert Griffiths retired due to illness.

“They (the band) gave me 12 songs to listen but things never come through. I loved the songs though an’ when I came back to Florida I told Willie I would love to do them an’ he said, ‘let’s go’,” Anthony told the Observer.

Lindo, who has produced hit songs for Beres Hammond (What One Dance Can Do), Boris Gardiner (I Want To Wake Up With You) and Dennis Brown (Inseparable), also played guitar and bass on the Anthony project.

Anthony has not set a release date as yet but is eyeing an area where The Gladiators are strong to market the album.

“I think it would do well in Europe,” he said.

Originally from the town of Frankfield, Anthony moved to Kingston as a youth. He said he dropped out of the University of the West Indies in his second year to pursue a music career and recorded for producers Joe Gibbs and Lloyd “King Jammys” James.

He also did a stint with the Beltones, best known for the hit song No More Heartaches.

Anthony is best known in South Florida as founder, rhythm guitarist and vocalist with the Millennium Band, which has backed artistes such as Freddie McGregor, Tarrus Riley, Lady Saw, Glen Washington and Sanchez.

 

— Howard Campbell

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