Roy Panton & Yvonne Harrison were one of the first duets in the Jamaican ska and rocksteady scenes, both singing together or as solo vocalists. After many decades, they are about to see their studio material released on an album which compiles their songs recorded between 1961 and 1970.
The album features songs which are now nearly impossible to get in their original 7″ format. Several of those recordings could cost up to 2.000 dollars on the collector market nowadays.
For this album, these tracks have been restored, cleaned and remastered with the best sound quality to be made available at long last for a larger audience. Those songs are performed by Roy Panton & Yvonne Harrison, as a duet or on their own,but the album also features some great collaborations with and by other Jamaican stars such as Eric ‘Monty’ Morris, Millie Small, Glen Adams, to name a few.
It was to be expected that, sooner or later, someone would give recognition to these two key artists, central to understanding Jamaican music and its evolution. For some time, all over the world, thousands of followers and lovers of these Jamaican rhythms have tried, sometimes with luck and some with dismay, to get some of the recordings presented here today on vinyl, in what is the first compilation dedicated to Roy Panton and Yvonne Harrison.
Roy Panton started his musical career at an early age, and after finishing school, decided to take his passion for music and the stage more seriously. In late 1950, Roy and Stranger Cole auditioned for Duke Reid. They subsequently recorded their first work titled “Freedom Land / Adam & Eve” under the name “The Rovers”, a name that they would not be using again given that, after the recording, each went their separate ways. Unfortunately, the recording never saw the light of day.
Roy recorded some songs with Monty Morris in the studio of C.C. Dood. So, by suggestion of “Sir Coxone”, Roy Panton and Millie Small started singing together and became one of the most prolific duos of the island, leaving behind many recordings under the name “Roy and Millie”. Some of these you can find on this LP. Unfortunately, after Millie’s departure to England under the management of Chris Blackwell, Roy found himself without a partner. However, this should not be for long.
In the autumn of 1962, discovered by TIP TOP Label’s Lynden Pottinger, Yvonne and Roy met for the first time at the West Indies Studios (WIRL) of Edward Seaga and recorded their first ever single, “Two Roads” with the B-side “Join together”.
The magnificent performance of both, and perfect compatibility of their voices “joint together” Roy and Yvonne in what would be one of the most requested duets in the country (continues in the record).