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Delroy Washington
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1952, Westmoreland, Jamaica, West Indies. Washington arrived in Britain in the early 60s and soon became involved in the UK reggae scene. He worked in tour management and played a variety of instruments on various recording sessions. In 1971 he recorded some unreleased material for CBS Records in a group known as Rebel. Other bands who benefited from his professionalism included the Mayfields and the Classics. He performed as a soloist for Count Shelly who recorded ‘Jah Man A Come’, a version of the Temptations’ ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’ and ‘Way To Reason’. In 1972 Washington was enrolled to sing background harmonies with the Wailers for their Island Records debut Catch A Fire. Bob Marley’s encouragement during the sessions proved an inspiration to Washington throughout his career. Further single releases followed including ‘Time Will Stand’ and ‘Have You Ever Loved Someone’. By 1977 Virgin Records were signing reggae acts and Delroy Washington was one of the first to release material with the label with ‘Give All The Praise To Jah’. This firmly established his position in the reggae chart. Musicians involved in the project were the nucleus of Aswad, Angus Gaye and Tony ‘Gad’ Robinson, alongside other members of the Grove music posse. Washington’s live performances were greeted with enthusiasm, although the alliance between punk and reggae at the time occasionally resulted in ugly scenes. He continued to record for Virgin, including sessions in Jamaica with the notable studio engineer Karl Pitterson. Tracks included ‘Freedom Fighters’, ‘Dress Back Satan’, ‘Jah Wonderful’ and ‘Brothers In Trouble’. Following his departure from Virgin Washington took a sabbatical, but returned in 1980 as the Delroy Washington Band, who enjoyed a hit with ‘Magic’ on the newly formed Direction Discs label.

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