Winston Francis

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Winston Francis
Also known as King Cool
Born 1948
Origin Kingston, Jamaica
Genres Rocksteady, Reggae
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1965–present
Website http://www.winstonfrancis.com/

Winston Francis (born 1948) aka King Cool is a Jamaican singer whose career began in the 1960s.

Biography[edit]

Born in Kingston in 1948, Francis served an apprentice as a printer before relocating to Miami at the age of 16.[1] He attended music school, and his teacher Chuck Bird arranged for him to perform with the Jackie Gleason Orchestra in front of Spiro Agnew in 1965.[1] He then joined Carlos Malcolm's Afro Jamaicans band, with whom he toured the USA and the Caribbean. He was also a member of The Sheridans (with Pat Kelly) and The Mellotones.[2][3] In the late 1960s he recorded as a solo artist for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label, with his debut album Mr. Fix-It released in 1969.[2] This was followed by a second album, California Dreaming in 1971, with the title track released as a single and chosen as 'Hit Pick of the Week' for two weeks running by Tony Blackburn on his BBC Radio 1 show.[4] The single's B-side, "Too Experienced", featured backing vocals from Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer.[1] He relocated to the UK that year. He toured the UK club circuit and recorded for EMI in the 1970s.[1]

After a period of inactivity, Francis returned to recording in the early 1980s, releases including the Roy Cousins-produced Just Once and the self-produced Africa. After a break from music when he worked as a youth worker and social worker, he returned in 1987 as a backing vocalist for The Melodians and began working with Trevor Star and the Skaticians.[1] He continued to record in the 1990s, working with Dennis Bovell under the name King Cool, and releasing Ragga Love and Sweet Rock Steady, and guested on Kelly's 1995 album Butterflies.[2] His version of Ben E King's "Stand by Me" was a hit in France, selling over 90,000 copies, leading to work with Sly & Robbie and John Kpiaye.[1] In 2003 he teamed up with fellow veteran AJ Franklin to record the album Stand Firm. In 2004 he released the medley album Feel Good All Over.[3]

Discography[edit]

  • Mr. Fix-It (1969), Coxsone
  • California Dreaming (1971), Bamboo
  • Just Once (198?), Tamoki-Wambesi
  • Africa (198?), Cam-Per
  • Ragga Love (199?), Soul Beat
  • Sweet Rock Steady (1997), LKJ
  • Feel Good All Over (2004), Jet Star
  • Peace, Love & Harmony (2007), Soulove
Compilations
  • Mr. Fix-It/California Dreaming

as King Cool[edit]

  • His Majesty Requests (1995), BMG France

Francis & Franklin[edit]

  • Stand Firm (2003), Definite

DVD[edit]

  • Winston Francis Meets Rude Rich and the High Notes (2008)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 102-3
  2. ^ a b c Prato, Greg "Winston Francis Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-12-26
  3. ^ a b Leggett, Steve "Feel Good All Over Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-12-26
  4. ^ "Winston Francis", LKJ Records, retrieved 2010-12-26

External links[edit]