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Willie Williams

Jamaican singer, born Higgin Town, St Ann?s, 1950. He attended Trenchtown High School where he was classmates with Sly Dunbar of Sly and Robbie fame. He developed a passion for music at a very early age, influenced by American artists such as James Brown and Stevie Wonder as well as local singers such as Bob Andy and Delroy Wilson.

It was Bob Andy who first took the young Willy to Coxsone Dodd at Studio One where he recorded ?Calling? at just 15 years old. By the end of the 1960s he was running his own sound system, Tripletone and in the early 70s he set up his own record label, Soul Sounds and produced singles by Delroy Wilson and the Versatiles. He was also a member of The Generation Gap where he sung alongside Freddie McGregor

In 1975 he moved to Canada where he worked with the legendary Jackie Mittoo and from now on he would divide his time between Toronto and Kingston. His next single, ?Messenger Man? and the subsequent album of the same name was recorded at a variety of studios - Channel One, Harry J?s and Treasure Isle in Jamaica and Summer Sound in Canada

Coxsone Dodd was suitably impressed by ?Messenger Man? to invite Willy to return to Jamaica and work with him at Studio One. The tracks they subsequently recorded included one of the first big records of the Dancehall era, ?Armagideon Time?, sung over an updated version of ?Real Rock?, an old Sound Dimension instrumental that had been recorded at the same studio some 10 years earlier. The track was huge in Jamaica and gained massive support worldwide after The Clash recorded a cover version of it. An album of the same name and more strong singles on Studio One followed such as ?Addis Ababa? and ?Jah Righteous Plan?. Although these were well received they unsurprisingly failed to rival the huge success of ?Armagideon Time?

Willy has since remained much in demand as a live performer and has continued to regularly release material on a variety of labels, including his own. He is presently reported to be working on an album with Toronto based artist Visionary


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