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Jolly Brothers

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Biography

The Jolly Brothers came from Hellshire Beach, St. Catherine, Jamaica, West Indies and comprised Winston Edwards, Clevian Lewis and Willis Gordon. As is often the case with Jamaican vocal groups other singers performed in the line-up with both Hendrick Nicholson and Lennox Miller having been credited as being part of the group. In 1978, the group’s initial recording session was at the Black Ark Studio with producer, Lee Perry who released ‘Colour’ and ‘Conscious Man’. The latter tune was licensed in the UK through the newly formed Ballistic label, a subsidiary of United Artists Records. Inspired by the singers’ sweet harmonies and Perry’s laid-back productions the partnership were rewarded with both critical acclaim and an international hit. The popularity of the tune led Mo Claridge of Ballistic to commission Perry to record further tracks with a view to releasing an album from the group. The release of tracks from these sessions, however, was scuppered by a dispute with Perry. Claridge then turned to King Jammy who produced six ‘discomix’ tracks that surfaced on Consciousness. ‘Conscious Man’ featured on the album, although the disagreement with Perry resulted in Tony J. being credited as the producer. The remaining tracks were Jammy productions notably, ‘I Moved Your Picture’, ‘Live The Life You Love’ and ‘Get Up Little Girl’. In 1980, the group returned to their roots and, in spite of a few releases through the Seven Leaves collective, languished in obscurity. In 1993, the Roots label secured the master tapes from the Perry sessions and released an album of the original tracks including, ‘Colour’, ‘Cool Down’ and ‘Brotherly Love’ that was credited as featuring ‘Henri’ Nicholson. Had the original tracks been released in the 70s the sessions could have resulted in the band achieving the legendary status attributed to the Congos.