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The Clarendonians

The Clarendonians were originally Fitzroy “Ernest” Wilson and Peter Austin (who would also record as part of The Soul Lads), both from Hayes in Clarendon Parish, the duo coming together in 1963; at that time Peter was 17 years old, Ernest was 11. The duo won several talent contests and recorded their debut single, “A Day Will Come”, at Federal Records with producer Leslie Kong. Leaving producer Leslie Kong, they moved on to Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle studio. They came to the attention of Studio One boss and producer Clement Dodd, while they were still in their early teens. Dodd took the duo into the studio, and recorded a series of singles (including “Rudie Gone a Jail”, “Sho Be Do Be”, “Rudie Bam Bam”, “You Can’t Be Happy”, and “Darling Forever” – all chart-toppers in Jamaica, and “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down”) that helped to define the “rude boy” era of ska, alongside the other (initially less successful) young vocal group that Dodd was working with, The Wailers. Peter and Ernest brought the seven-year-old Freddie McGregor (who had to stand on a crate to reach the microphone), to the attention of Mr. Dodd. Young Freddie never recorded with the Clarendonians as a trio, but McGregor and Wilson recording as Freddie & Fitzie…

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