Release date: August 3, 2018
Remastered roots reggae classic of the Righteous Flames reunion album.
Winston Jarrett was born in Lime Tree Gardens in the Jamaican Parish of Saint Ann. At age five, he moved into the Jonestown section of the island’s capitol city, Kingston. Jonestown was in the western part of the city next to the notorious ghetto of Trench Town. Winston lived on Fourth Street in a tenement yard shared by locally famous vocalist, Alton Ellis who had recorded several hits for leading local record producer and Sound System owner, Clement Dodd (Sir Coxsone). Alton recruited Winston Jarrett and Eggar Gordon (Baby Gee) in 1965 to form a new harmony group, Alton & The Flames. They auditioned at Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle Studio and won the enthusiastic endorsement of Leroy “Cuttings” Cole, Reid’s number one selecter for his popular sound system dances. They were soon recording a series of classic foundation rock steady anthems, and went on to score an astonishing number of chart hits. By the middle of 1967, Alton began recording as a soloist.
Winston and Eggar decided to reform the group as The Righteous Flames with Winston singing lead. They recorded for Prince Buster’s Olive Blossom imprint and worked with Sir Coxsone, cutting classic sides like “Ease Up,” “You Don’t Know,” and “Born To Be Loved.” Jarrett continued to work for Coxsone throughout the 1970s. In addition to cutting dozens of solo recordings, Winston sang harmony on hits by Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths, and Winston Francis. He also cut material with Enid Cumberland and Larry Marshall that was credited to The Freedom Singers.
Winston did not confine his talents to Coxsone’s Studio One during the 1970s, he also recorded a large body of work for other producers (Duke Reid, Lee Perry, Joe Gibbs, Jah Lloyd, the Buzza Record Shack, Pete Weston, Ted Powder, Brent Clarke, Roy Cousins and Tony Shabazz) using his own name or a number of pseudonyms.
Jarrett met Nighthawk’s Leroy Jodie Pierson around 1983 at Aquarius Studio in Kingston where Pierson was working on the mix of Justin Hinds’ Travel With Love album. Says Pierson, “Justin tapped me on the shoulder and said “See that lickle man deh? ‘Im is one of the original Alton And The Flames. ‘Im is a very great singer.”” With Baby Gee still living in Western Kingston, they decided right then to begin work on a new re-formed Righteous Flames album to be called Jonestown. This classic is being reissued for the first time nearly 30, newly remastered from the original tapes with liner notes from Leroy Jodie Pierson and featuring previously unseen photos.
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