One of Jamaica’s best-loved vocalists, Freddie McGregor got his start in the mid-1960s, after his friends Ernest Wilson and Peter Austin brought him from Clarendon to Kingston to record at Studio One, both with the pair on Clarendonians tracks, and with Ernest as Fitzy and Freddy. McGregor remained around Studio One until the end of the 1970s, recording regularly there, but along the way, he joined the Generation Gap as lead vocalist in 1972, and in 1974 he became the group’s regular drummer too. The following year he joined the Soul Syndicate band, but his most important material was issued through Studio One in the late 1970s, with songs such as ‘I Am A Rasta,’ ‘Rastaman Camp,’ ‘When I Am Ready’ and ‘Bobby Babylon’ making a huge impact. Then, after Freddy and his peers drifted away from Studio One circa 1981, ace producer Niney the Observer emerged as a natural ally, due to his strong links with both Soul Syndicate and Dodd. The resulting partnership brought forth the stunning Showcase album (on which every vocal was followed by its corresponding dub), with repatriation number ‘Chant It Down’ being one of the LP’s most outstanding numbers.
David Katz ©
LABEL: IROKO RECORDS