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Ken Boothe OD is a Jamaican singer. Born on March 22, 1948, in Denham Town, Kingston, Jamaica)
Ken Boothe was born in an area of Kingston called Denham Town, was the youngest of 7 children and started singing at school, and in the late 1950s he started recording his first songs forming a duo together. to his neighbor “Stranger Cole”, the group was called “Stranger & Ken”. The first songs published appeared in 1963 and were “Hush Baby” in the last “love” of Cole’s Island Records and the single “Thick in love” with R & B Records. For the next two years “Stranger & Ken” released singles of some success such as “World’s Fair”, “Hush” or “Artibella”. Ken Boothe also recorded in duet format with Roy Shirley (under the name Roy & Ken) the single “Paradise” released on the market in 1966.
His career as a solo singer was born in 1966 after the mythical Clement “Coxsone” Dodd offered to sign him on the label Studio One. That year he also recorded songs for Phil Pratt and Sonia Pottinger. It could be said that he had an immediate success, in 1967 he began an important tour with Alton Ellis for the United Kingdom of Ka hand of Studio One and the Soul Vendors as “backing band”. That same year he recorded tracks like “The Train Is Coming” accompanied by The Wailers or hits like “Lonely Teardrops”. In those days Dodd granted him the title with which he would be remembered to date: “Mr. Rock Steady”. His contractual relationship with Dodd ended in 1970 when he joined the cast of “Leslie Kong’s Beverly’s Records” where his success continued with songs like “Freedom Street” and “Why Baby Why”.
After the death of Kong, at the beginning of the 70 ‘, Boothe recorded for many of the most reputable Jamaican producers, among them Keith Hudson, Herman Chin Loy, Vincent “Randy” Chin, and Phil Pratt. After this he formed the Conscious Minds group with B.B. Seaton.
For the first time under the direction of producer Lloyd Charmers, Boothe released “Everything I Own” with Trojan Records and reached number one on the UK singles chart of 1974. The song, written by David Gates, had a Cheerful touch reggae and was widely spread reaching a remarkable audience in the Caribbean areas, it also sounded a lot on English radios. The group of the own David Gates’, Bread, obtained a smaller success with the song in the spring of 1972 that reached the number 32.
An unusual fact about Boothe’s version is that he sings ‘Anything I Own’, instead of ‘Everything I Own’, meaning that the title of the song is never sung. Although there have been other examples of this in the number one of the UK Singles Chart such as “Bohemian Rhapsody”; “Unchained Melody”; “Annie’s Song”; “The Chicken Song”; and “Space Oddity”; Boothe was the only one who did it by mistake.
During the 70’s Boothe only achieved another success (and with this already added 11) in the English lists, the theme was called “Crying Over You”, with Trojan Records’ collapse and a split with Charmers losing much of the momentum built up by his two hits.
In 1987, along with Dillinger and Leroy Smart, Boothe participated in the song of The Clash’s “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais”.
Boothe re-united with Charmers in the late 1970s where a reborn Trojan Records released the album “Blood Brothers” and Who Get’s Your Love, but the union was short-lived.He continued to record during the 1980s and had a few hits during 1986 and 1987.
In 1987, Boy George released a version of “Everything I Own” that reached or approached number one in many countries.This version was much closer to the style of Ken Boothe than the original song of Bread. This renewed the interest for the version of Boothe that was reedited the same year reaching the position number 88 in the United Kingdom.
Most recently, Boothe has recorded for Bunny Lee, Phil Pratt, King Jammy, Pete Weston, Jack Ruby, Hugh “Red Man” James, Castro Brown and Tappa Zukie. He even partnered with Shaggy to remake his old hit “The Train Is Coming” with a new style, the track appearing on the film’s soundtrack, Money Train.
A review of Ken Boothe’s career, in the form of a Trojan double disc, appeared on the market thanks to the label.
In 2003 Boothe was awarded for his contribution to Jamaican music with the Order of Jamaica by the government.
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