The Congos at the Black Ark and elsewhere
The Ultimate Guide to Great Reggae - The complete story of Reggae told through its greatest songs, famous and forgotten - Michael Garnice
Michael Garnice [+]
There are many great roots reggae vocal groups, each with its own sound and strengths. But no other group sounded quite like The Congos, and none could surpass the stunning heights they reached. Cedric Myton and “Congo Ashanti Roy” Roydel Johnson were both born in 1947, in Saint Catherine Parish and Hanover respectively. Myton was influenced by the singing of Nat King Cole, as well as that of his mother. Johnson received guitar instruction from Ernest Ranglin and counted Lee Perry as a childhood friend. Both began their musical careers once they moved to Kingston. Myton was a member of rock steady vocal group The Tartans, with Prince Lincoln Thompson, Devon Russell and Lindburgh Lewis. Johnson made a brief run at a solo career with a solitary single produced by Perry. He next became a guitarist and backing singer for Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus, and then for The Righteous Brothers, a vocal group that also included Yabby You and Albert Griffiths of The Gladiators.