The Melodians return for Gregory

Music

The Melodians return for Gregory

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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The Melodians have been dormant since the death of founder Trevor McNaughton in November 2018. Next month, the rocksteady group shakes off the blues for their comeback show at Red Rose For Gregory, to be held February 15 at Liguanea Golf Academy in Kingston.

McNaughton, who died at age 77 in Florida, was the sole survivor of the original trio that formed in 1963. The current line up is Winston Dias, Taurus Alphonso and Lee Milo, all based in Florida.

Dias, who joined in 2015, told the Jamaica Observer that next month's Valentine's Day show is a new beginning for the group.

“I want to dedicate this show to mi bredrin Trevor. His dream was for this Melodians to go to Jamaica and perform an' it really hurt mi heart to see a show of this magnitude an' Trevor is not a part of it,” he said.

Alphonso, who also joined the ranks five years ago, says doing a show in Jamaica is “a dream come through.”

He added that, “We have done shows in England, Spain an' Germany but we want di Jamaican people to re-validate The Melodians. Jamaica is the place that gives international certification, an' once yuh get dat yuh good to go.”

Formed in Greenwich Farm, Kingston, The Melodians are one of reggae's storied groups. Its classic line up also included Brent Dowe and Tony Brevette, who died in 2006 and 2013, respectively. Their catalogue is laced with classic songs such as Little Nut Tree, Swing And Dine and By The Rivers of Babylon.

Like most acts that thrived during the rocksteady era of the late 1960s, The Melodians went off the boil a decade later when roots-reggae took over. They enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s when there was a rocksteady revival in Jamaica, thanks to shows like Heineken Startime.

The Melodians last performed in late 2018 in Philadelphia, when Milo made his debut as a member. He is a veteran of the South Florida reggae scene.

Deniece Williams, Third World, and Sanchez will also perform at Red Rose For Gregory, a charity event held in the memory of singer Gregory Isaacs who died in 2010.


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