Artist picture of Alton Ellis

Alton Ellis

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I Am Still in Love Alton Ellis 04:32
Play It Cool Alton Ellis 03:37
50 Reggae Lovers Rock Songs - Continuous Mix Barrington Levy, Alton Ellis, Louisa Marks, Don Campbell 158:43
I'm Still In Love Alton Ellis 03:45
Rock Steady Alton Ellis 02:40
Why Did You Leave Me Alton Ellis, Phyllis Dillon 02:39
You Made Me So Very Happy Alton Ellis 02:53
Cry Not For Me Alton Ellis 02:33
You Make Me so Very Happy Alton Ellis 02:52
What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) Alton Ellis 03:17

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Biography

Known as the 'godfather of rocksteady', Alton Ellis had one of Jamaican music's sweetest and most soulful voices and created a unique sound that bridged the gap between the jumping, up-tempo rhythms of ska and the slow, languid grooves of reggae.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica he was spotted performing in school shows and got his break appearing on a national television talent contest, before teaming up with Eddy Parkins and recording romantic R&B ballads for the legendary producer Coxsone Dodd at Studio One. The duo topped the Jamaican charts with their single 'Muriel' in 1960 and had a string of popular hits until Parkins headed to America and Ellis was left to go solo a few years later.

His take on American soul music was naturally filled with the distinct phrasing, horns and signature sounds from a golden period of Jamaican music, and he helped pioneer the gentle, swaying rocksteady style with tracks 'Dance Crasher', 'Breaking Up' and 'Girl I've Got a Date' (regarded by many as the first rocksteady record). He toured the UK with Ken Boothe in 1967 and lived in Canada for a few years before returning home in 1970 and releasing albums 'Sunday Coming' and later 'Mr Soul of Jamaica'.

Despite moving to London and opening a record shop, he remained a firm favourite of reggae and ska fans and was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government. His music was also sampled by hip-hop artists Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. and KRS-One before his death in 2008, aged 70, from cancer.