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The Wailing Souls

Jamaican vocal group. Originally named the Renegades, they initially consisted of Larry ?Bread? McDonald and George "Buddy" Hayes with Winston "Pipe" Matthews on lead vocals. This line-up recorded backing vocals for an Ernest Ranglin album before breaking up in 1968. Matthews and McDonald then teamed up with Oswald Downes and Norman Davis and recorded "Gold Digger" for producer Lloyd ?Matador? Daley.

Next they went to Studio One and it was here that they recorded some of their finest work, sometimes as the Wailing Souls and sometimes under the name the Classics. Just to confuse things further they became Pipe And The Pipers when they recorded two big hits, "Harbour Shark" and "Back Biter" for Bob Marley's Tuff Gong label in the early 1970s. Their vocal prowess, especially of lead vocalist Winston Matthews and their ability to write superb songs would ensure they would become a huge force in Jamaican music

Next they went to work with producer of the moment Joseph "Joe Joe" Hookim at his Channel One studio and a string of big hits such as "Things And Time", "Joy Within Your Heart" and "Very Well" followed

In 1976 Garth Dennis (of Black Uhuru) joined and the group decided to start their own label, Massive. Still recording at Channel One they immediately had 2 more big hits, "Bredda Gravalicious" and "Feel The Spirit"

In the early1980?s they moved on to Sly And Robbie's Taxi label for two more big hit records, "Old Broom" and "Sugar Plum Plum". Although the group were now seen as Reggae veterans they then went to work with the producer who was most important in ushering in the Dancehall revolution, Henry "Junjo" Lawes. Still recording at Channel One the group made two very successful albums, ?Fire House Rock? (which included the massive selling single of the same name) and ?Inchpinchers?. They also found time to record for singer-turned-producer Linval Thompson

Throughout the 80s they continued to make superbly crafted conscious records, which, although out of step with the times, still sold well to Roots fans worldwide. They also proved that they could still succeed in the dancehalls, recording some great tunes for King Jammy at the end of the decade.

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