Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ROY SHIRLEY 1944 - 2008, A few words from us.

Roy Shirley began singing, like many talented singers, by singing in the local Church choir with his mother while just a boy. As He grew up he went on to further develop his musical talent by learning the guitar and progressed with the help of Jimmy Cliff, and band leaders Byron Lee, Sonny Bradshaw and Drum Bago, in the early sixties. As Roy grew with confidence his stage show began to evolve into frenetic energy filled performances and, his contact with the audience and his ability to move, rouse, and satisfy the crowd made him more and more popular. Not only where his shows wild with deep emotions, he would cry with either sorrow or laughter during them, but he was also making a name for his colourful outfits as well.
He is credited as being the man who brought about the one drop beat in Jamaica which then led into the Rock Steady beat, from which came the rolling sounds of Reggae, Lovers Rock and Ragamuffin. His biggest hit was in 1965 "Hold Them" which was produced by Joe Gibbs and was an international best seller. Although maybe not always a major player he has continued working throughout the years and was even the first vocalist with whom King Tubby recorded, when he released "Stepping Razor" in 1973.
His love for music has not just been restricted to the stage but he has also put in effort with the community at large, through his generous works, as founder of the British Universal Talent Development Association. Here he strongly believed in trying to help, support, develop and establish new young talented artists worldwide. Giving them a strong and supportive foundation, publishing their works and guiding their career development which allowed him to provide them with golden opportunities.
He has also tough been busy in the studio which saw him recently release three volumes of work in differing styles. 'Nice Up the City', 'The Music Nice' and 'Love is Forever' were / are released on the internet.
The music and lyrics in 'Nice Up he City' reflect the mood for enjoyment and entertainment and Roy delivers these, with his typical unique style of strong original vocal that is backed by some of London's most promising musicians.
'The Music Nice' is based around the idea that music creates love and unity in the community and above all respect. This he expresses with his thoughts on attitudes which have been lost in today's rushed and thoughtless society. 'Love is Forever' is a CD of exactly what you'd expect, ballads of soul filled, love songs, which create an atmosphere of romantic, faithful loving.
Roy who unfortunately passed last week said that
"I hope my music will bring great joy to the people: those who heed its uplifting message will surely feel it does. Singers and producers will hopefully gain the inspiration to create peaceful, loving lyrics again, to keep the people happy and the community together in one love, one heart and one destiny".

This motivation behind all of his works, just confirms why Roy Shirley was also known as the High Priest.

To hear a great 15 track mix of Roy Shirley's tunes by ReggaeXX go to

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