HE LEGENDARY ETHIOPIANS: PIONEERS IN SKA, ROCKSTEADY & CLASSIC ROOTS REGGAE
Entertainment with Ethiopian Music Production
“The Ethiopians” (Originally “The Ethiopian Children”) were one of Jamaica’s most influential vocal groups during the golden age of Jamaican music, not only did the original quartet (Leonard Dillon, Wally Booker, Harold Bishop & Neville Duncan) spearhead the transition between Ska and Rocksteady, Dillon’s heavily Rastafarian lyrics also paved the way for the socially conscious roots reggae era that was to come.
Neville Duncan was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica August 5, 1949. It was during his High School years that he met Harold Bishop (aka Junior). His uncle Arbry Walters (aka Tony Valdes) had a dance group called Tony Valdes and Company. This group consisted of the late Alva Watts, keyboardist and professor of music the late Prof. Rex Nettleford, Neville Black, the late Cedrick Brooks, Abnor Horn and many more singers and Ballet dancers.
From the age of seven Neville started traveling around Jamaica with his uncle’s dance company. In 1962 Neville Performed at the Jamaica Independence Celebration in Port Antonio with the dance company for the first time.
In 1963 Neville Duncan’s uncle (Tony Valdes) put on a concert, this is where Neville met Leonard Dillon (aka Sparrow) and Wally Bucker (aka Wally B). They all sang covers as well as originals. After the concert Wally Bucker suggested they form a singing group called “Ethiopian Children”.
The new group performed every where Neville’s uncle promoted a show, In 1966 the group name was changed to The Ethiopians. Three classic songs from the group which ironically became huge hits after Neville left the group for the first time. “Everything crash”, “Bad to worse” and “Owner fi di yard” were written by Neville Duncan, Leonard Dillon and Harold Bishop.
There were giants in the earth in those early days of SKA, Monty Morris, The Ethiopians, Ska-talites, Drumbago, Millie Smalls, Prince Buster, Stranger Cole, Doreen Shaffer; and also after that, when the sons & daughters of Ska came in unto the sons & daughters of Rocksteady, and they bore children: Classic Roots, Culture Reggae, Lovers Rock, Dub, Dancehall, Hip- hop, Reggaeton, Bluebeat and Dubstep unto to them, the same became mighty music which were descended from of old, music of renown.
Incredibly today some of these legendary giants still walk the earth, such as Neville “Ethiopian” Duncan, his musical career encompasses the entire history of reggae from SKA, ROCKSTEADY to CLASSIC ROOTS REGGAE through a genuine and DIRECT MUSICAL LINEAGE.
NEVILLE “ETHIOPIAN” DUNCAN is one of the ORIGINAL FOUNDING MEMBERS of the ETHIOPIANS, he is now the current lead vocalist via direct MUSICAL DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION through the late great LEONARD “SPARROW” DILLON.
The Ethiopians are connected to a DIRECT MUSICAL LINEAGE that goes back to LEONARD DILLON, MILLIE SMALLS, DRUMBAGO, JAH JERRY, TOMMY McCOOK, PRINCE BUSTER, SKA-TALITES, STRANGER COLE, ERNIE RANGLIN, DERRICK MORGAN, JIMMY CLIFF, THEOPHILIUS BECKFORD, ROLAND ALPHONSO, DON DRUMMONDS, LLOYED BREVETT, THE WAILERS, TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, JOHNNY MOORE, BYRON LEE & THE DRAGONAIRES, LLOYD KNIBBS and many more!