The Gaylads

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The Gaylads
Origin Jamaica
Genres Rocksteady, Reggae
Years active 1963–present
Labels Studio One, Beverley's, Trojan, Ballistic
Associated acts Ken Boothe
Members Harris "B.B." Seaton
Maurice Roberts
Randall Thaxter
Past members Winston Delano Stewart
Ricky Grant

The Gaylads are a Jamaican vocal group. They were one of the top rocksteady vocal groups active in Jamaica between 1963 and 1973.

History[edit]

The group, formed in Kingston, originally consisted of singers Harris "B.B." Seaton, Winston Delano Stewart and Maurice Roberts; Seaton and Stewart had previously been successful as the duo Winston & Bibby.[1][2] There would be several line-up changes throughout The Gaylads' ten year history, with Maurice Roberts remaining the only constant member.

The band's early successes were with producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One, and included "Lady in the Red Dress", "Stop Making Love", "You Should Never Do That", and "Don't Say No".[2] Besides recording several hit records, The Gaylads also backed many influential musicians (including Ken Boothe) on recordings.[2] In 1968 they moved on to record for Sonia Pottinger and enjoyed further hit singles.[2] They recorded for Leslie Kong in 1969, including the hit single "There's a Fire".[2] Stewart left the group when he emigrated, and Kong's death dealt them a further blow, but they had further success recording for Rupie Edwards in the early 1970s.[2] Seaton also emigrated, leaving Roberts as the only original member.[2]

Roberts, the lone remaining original member, selected brothers Randell and Hopeton Thaxter to carry on the Gaylads name; the new lineup never matched the success of its predecessor, however, and after releasing the album, Love and Understanding, as the Gayladds, Roberts dropped any reference to the moniker and rechristened the trio the Psalms,[2] landing as backing vocalists for Bunny Wailer. The founding duo of Seaton and Stewart reformed for the first time in over two decades for an appearance at the 1991 Studio One concert, and two years later Roberts joined them for a performance at the Rocksteady Reunion in Kingston. Seaton, who began his solo career in 1973 with the album Thin Line Between Love and Hate and enjoyed success throughout the years to follow—subsequently relocated to London to helm his revived Soul Beat imprint.

Some of their hits included one of the first singles encouraging repatriation - "Africa (We Want To Go)," "Joy In The Morning"; "Red Rose," (for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One), "It's Hard To Confess," "Over the Rainbow's End"(for Sonia Pottinger) and "My Jamaican Girl" (for Leslie Kong / Beverley's).

The current line-up of the Gaylads comprises Seaton, Roberts, and Randall Thaxter.[3]

Albums[edit]

Compilations
  • Seal of Approval, Soul Beat - B.B. Seaton and the Gaylads
  • After Studio One (1997), Metro
  • Over the Rainbow's End (Best of The Gaylads) 1968-1971 (1995), Trojan
  • Ska Days, Studio One

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p.19
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Gaylads Number Among Jamaica's Unsung Heroes", Jamaica Gleaner, 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014
  3. ^ Campbell-Livingston, Cecelia (2012) "The Gaylads maintaining a musical presence", Jamaica Observer, 26 April 2012, retrieved 2012-04-29