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b. Michael Bennet, 1962, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Bennet began his career as a vocalist in the quartet Home T-4, and in 1980 had a hit with ‘Irons In The Fire’. The group later became known for covering popular standards, including versions of Bunny Wailer’s ‘Cool Runnings’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’. They established their popularity with live performances at the Reggae Sunsplash Show in 1984 and were the only vocal group to appear on the Dancehall ’84 stage show in Kingston alongside Half Pint, Michael Palmer, Edi Fitzroy, Charlie Chaplin and Ini Kamoze. The group’s recorded output never reached the top of the charts despite working with Sly And Robbie. They were, however, able to find some success on their collaborations with Josie Wales (‘Changing’), Yellowman (‘Mr Counsellor’) and Phillip Papa Levi (‘Dear Pastor’) in the mid-80s, which brought them to the attention of a wider audience. Following the reduction of the group to a trio, Bennet continued recording as Home T, with Tony Anderson and Winston ‘Diego’ Tucker at Gussie Clarke’s Music Works Studio. They had hits with ‘Rockers Don’t Move You’, ‘Are You Going My Way’, ‘How Hot’ and ‘Same Friend’. In 1988 they recorded a version of ‘Telephone Love’ as ‘Single Life’, while also providing backing vocals and helping to arrange the original version for J.C. Lodge. In 1990, Gussie Clarke recorded the combined talents of Shabba Ranks, Cocoa Tea and Home T for ‘Pirates Anthem’. When the London-based pirate radio station Kiss FM was granted a license the track was selected as the first tune to be played on the now legal transmission. Home T continued working with Clarke until the early 90s when he set up his Philadelphia-based Two Friends label with Patrick Lindsay. They continued to utilize the Music Works Recording Studio, producing hits for Dennis Brown, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks and Cutty Ranks. With Brown, the duo produced ‘No More Walls’, which became a massive hit. The combined talents of Home T, Cocoa Tea and Shabba were also produced by the Two Friends crew in 1991 and they had a hit on the reggae charts with a version of the Philadelphia Sounds track ‘Your Body’s Here With Me’. Other hits for the duo included Gregory Isaacs’ ‘Loverman’, Brian and Tony Gold’s, ‘Ram Dance’ and Daddy Lizard’s ‘Show Them The Way’. When Shabba was unavailable to record a follow-up to the successful combination single, Cutty Ranks took the DJ role. This coalition topped the reggae chart with ‘The Going Is Rough’ and the equally successful ‘Another One For The Road’. By 1992 Home T had moved on to producing with Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon as Twin City Productions, and enjoyed international success with a remake of ‘Mr Loverman’ by Shabba Ranks and Chevelle Franklin (originally a Deborahe Glasgow hit) and ‘Housecall’ with Maxi Priest and Shabba. Twin City enjoyed a number
1962 in Kingston, Jamaica
'80s, '90s, '00s