Rod Taylor

b. 2 March 1957, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Taylor, known as Rocky T, came to prominence in 1978 with Bertram Brown’s Freedom Sounds collective, noted for introducing Prince Allah, Earl Zero, Philip Frazier, Jimmy Dean, Sylvan White and Lloyd Jackson. Taylor recorded his debut, ‘Ethiopian Kings’, based on Frankie Jones’ avowal that many biblical heroes were black men: ‘King David - he was a black man - King Solomon he was a black man - King Moses - he was a black man - from Africa yeah - they fight for equal rights and justice’. The song was an instant hit, which led to sessions with Mickey Dread for the equally popular ‘His Imperial Majesty’, which featured a well-used rhythm, immortalized in dub as ‘Saturday Night Style’. In 1979 Taylor began working with a variety of producers, including Prince Far I (‘Run Run’ and ‘No One Can Tell I About Jah’), Prince Hammer (‘If Jah Should Come Now’), Ossie Hibbert (‘Every Little Thing’), Manzie (‘Let Love Abide’) and Bertram Brown (‘In The Right Way’ and ‘Don’t Give It Up’). His collaboration with Prince Hammer preceded the release of his debut album, featuring the Roots Radics and the debut of Lincoln Scott as the drummer. In 1980 the hits continued with ‘Night In September’, produced by Papa Kojak, ‘Lord Is My Light’ for Ganja Farm and ‘Soul To Soul’ for Tad Dawkins, which lent its title to the celebrated album featuring Barry Brown, Welton Irie and Carlton Livingston. Further releases included ‘Jah Is Calling’ and the double a-side ‘Promised Land’, backed with the popular ‘Wicked Intention’ by Barrington Levy.

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