Saturday, September 06, 2008
Roy Shirley's Body Returns Home
Roy Shirley (also known as the KING OF ROCKSTEADY) was born in 1944. As many Jamaican artists, he started singing in the Church choir with his mother, he developed his musical talent by learning the guitar and progressed with the help of Jimmy Cliff, and band leaders Byron Lee and Sonny Bradshaw and the late Drum Bago, in the early sixties. He made his first recording in the mid-sixties, cutting ‘Shirley’ for Leslie Kong.
Shirley attended one-off sessions for Blondel Calnek and WIRL Records before cutting what was to be his first major hit, ‘Hold Them’ (aka ‘Feel Good’) for Joe Gibbs. He moved to Britain around 1973.
I think Joe missed out on signing Shirley. He had a very unique sound and voice. Shirley, who was 60, died early last month. His family could not afford the funeral expenses. His expenses will be covered by the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artist. (JAVA).