Leo Graham

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This article is about the reggae singer. For the Chicago-based producer and songwriter who had a string of hits with Tyrone Davis, see Leo Graham (songwriter).

Leo Graham is a Jamaican singer.

He first sang with The Bleechers, then after leaving the group recorded several solo singles in the 1970s[1] including "Perilous Time," "A Win Them" and "Not Giving Up" for Joe Gibbs,[2] and songs including "Big Tongue Busters" for producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Graham's vocals on Perry's recordings have been described as "quavery", "bleating" and "distinctly rural".[3] Graham's first record with Perry was a song he had written criticizing Obeah religion called "Black Candle."[4][5][6]


  • "Black Candle" (Kingston: Justice League, 1973)[7]
  • "Doctor Demand"[8]

His son Daweh Congo released an album Militancy in 1997.


  1. ^ Chuck Foster Roots Rock Reggae: The Oral History of Reggae Music from Ska to Dancehall Chuck Foster. 1999 "Some, like Lloyd Jones, Dobby Jones, Leo Graham, and Levi Williams, are known only for a few tantalizing singles."
  2. ^ The Beat - Volume 16 1997- Page 21 "Congo is the son of Jamaican singer Leo Graham, who cut some wicked '70s singles like "Perilous Time," "A Win Them" and "Not Giving Up" for Joe Gibbs and a series of burning "Big Tongue Busters" (the name of one of them) for now-legendary producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Militancy (RUN- Netherlands) is Daweh Congo's first album and though it and he may evoke the spirit of those singers he's developed..."
  3. ^ David N. Howard Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers 2004 "Perry further defined his herb-roasted rhythm sound on a number of productions for reggae vocalists including Leo Graham, Dave Barker, and, most importantly, Junior Byles."
  4. ^ Steinhilber, Rob '2 Records By Leo Graham' in The Beat, October 1984, page 25.
  5. ^ David Katz People Funny Boy - The Genius Of Lee 'Scratch' Perry 2009 p179 "Lane says the studio had been operating for “just a few weeks” before his arrival and notes that former Bleecher Leo Graham was among the first to voice material there. Graham had left the Bleechers after backing vocalist Sammy tried to take over leadership of the group; then, after cutting a few solo tunes for Joe Gibbs, he approached Perry with an anti-Obeah tune called 'Black Candle.' "
  6. ^ Steve Barrow, Peter Dalton The rough guide to reggae 2004 Page 189 "Notable tracks here include two of Dillinger's earliest efforts - "Uncle Charlie Version", "Tighten Up Skank" - along with vocals by Leo Graham & the Bleechers, Carl Dawkins, Dave Barker and David Isaacs, and others. ..The title track - by the quavery-voiced Leo Graham - illustrates perfectly how Scratch could accommodate the most idiosyncratic vocal styles; Graham's distinctly rural tone - occasionally suggestive of a goat-like bleating - was really at home in the 'organic' ark."
  7. ^ Diana Paton, Maarit Forde -Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion 2012 "Leo Graham, Black Candle (Kingston: Justice League, 1973). In his later song Voodooism, Graham returns to this theme, once again defying the obeah man (or the client employing his services), who is driven by badmind, being envious ."
  8. ^ Michael Veal - Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae 2007 43 Lee "Scratch" Perry on the Mix III Leo Graham: "Black Candle" > Upsetters: "Bad Lamp" > Leo Graham: "Doctor Demand" > Upsetters: "Black Bat" > Leo Graham: "Big ..."