R.I.P. Trevor McNaughton

Another legend passed away. Founder of The Melodians died yesterday at the age of 77 years. He was the last living original band’s member.

There’s no official cause of death as of yet. It’s known that since october he was at Florida Hospital because of his respiratory problem. He died surrounded with his family and friends.

In mid 60s Trevor and Brent Dowe joined 14yo Tony Brevett to form one of most popular jamaican vocal groups. During first period they used to play with Prince Buster. Unfortunately there’s no solid trace after that episode. Later throught Ken Boothe they got into recording session at Clement ‘Coxson’ Dodd’s Studio One. It led to their debut single “Lay It On”, which opened path for group’s further career and was one of the first signs of trend change from ska to rocksteady.

Next few years they played for Studio One as well as for its main competitor, Treasure Isle. Besides they appeared not only at Duke’s studio.  They cooperated with producers such as Sonia Pottinger, Leslie Kong, Sid Bucknor, Warrick Lyn, Byron Lee or Lee Perry. During those sessions countless hits emerged. Even if some of them weren’t properly recognized at the time, up till today they remain beloved by fans all over the world. “Come On Little Girl”, “A Little Nut Tree”, “Sweet Sensation”, or finally “Rivers of Babylon”, best known from “The Harder They Come” soundtrack – to mention just a few.

In the 70s they focused mostly on solo careers to “reactivate” Melodians for a few times through next decades. They even managed to do some recording and extended tours.

Brent Dowe died in 2006, Tony Brevett 7 years later. McNaughton did some gigs solo for a while, just to recruit Taurus Alphonso and Winston Diasa as new Melodians in 2014. In 2017 they released an album “The Return of the Melodians”.

I was very lucky to hear Trevor and his reformed Melodians live two years ago at This Is Ska Festival in Germany. It was a really cool show with The Magic Touch as backing band. I feel really happy that I got to hear all those vocal harmonies with Trevor live. I even managed to record some of it and I have the feeling that I’m gona go back to these clips many times.

 

 

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