It’s been a tough year for entertainment, and we are sad to pass on the news of Gilmore Grant’s of The Silvertones passing. He went to the hospital with severe stomach pains on March 28th and passed away two days later, just a couple of weeks after The Silvertones performed in St. Elizabeth.
Originally a duo of Gilmore Grant and Keith Coley, the Silvertones became a trio with the addition of Delroy Denton. The group saw early success with Duke Reid, and then proceeded to work with Sonia Pottinger, Clancy Eccles, and Coxsone Dodd. In the late sixties, Denton moved to America, and he was replaced by Clinton “Tennessee” Brown, and the group would continue to record together until Brown’s passing in 1999. In 2013, Grant and Coley added Joel Brown, and the group recorded again and performed live as well.
We send many condolences and respect to Gilmore Grant’s family. We honored Gilmore with our opening set of the group he helped form, The Silvertones.
Starline is a subsidiary of Melodisc that produced Jamaican rhythm and blues and ska. The label predominantly released Byron Lee productions along with a few from Laurel Aitken, who produced and performed his own tracks for the label.
It is no surprise that Laurel Aitken has recordings on Starline. As an artist whose work was readily distributed on the well known Melodisc subsidiary Blue Beat in England, Laurel Aitken naturally had the ability to record and produce at Starline. Born in Cuba, Laurel began his career in music as a mento performer for the Jamaican Tourist Board and as a performer in plenty of Jamaica’s talent shows. He first recorded for Stanley Motta and then LR DePass, a businessman who released and sold a few mento and calypso records from his shop which also sold furniture, music instruments, records, and appliances. After he made the move to England in 1960, he continued to record, and when he returned to Jamaica in 1963, Laurel was still productive, recording the body of work that would earn him the nickname and title of the Godfather of Ska.
For news on the upcoming spotlights and fun discoveries tied to early Jamaican music, join the group for the Bovine Ska and Rocksteady on Facebook.
Lily and Generoso
Here is our April 5th, 2016 Bovine Ska and Rocksteady which featured a memorial for Gilmore Grant and a spotlight on the Starline Label.