Sunday, November 17, 2013


On the 26th October the world lost one of the most underrated singer-songwriters of a generation: Tony Brevett. Brevett was best known for his work with the Melodians, the group he had formed in the early sixties, along fellow Kingstonians, Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton.

After making their recording debut in 1966, the trio enjoyed a long and successful career, cutting hits with many of Jamaica’s leading producers, most notably Coxson Dodd, Duke Reid, Sonia Pottinger and Leslie Kong, for whom they recorded their most famous works: their sole UK hit, ‘Sweet Sensation’ and the definitive version of ‘Rivers Of Babylon’ from 1970. Soon after, Brevett recorded a number of self-produced solo sides, including his enduring hit,‘Don’t Get Weary’.

Subsequent spells working with Lee Perry and Harry Johnson ensued for the group, although their career was adversely affected by periods of inactivity following a number of break-ups. They finally experienced a period of sustained unity in the late 1990’s, during which time their stage performances won them new generations of fans, but sadly, in 2006, Dowe passed away following a heart attack. The remaining duo maintained the Melodians name until earlier this year, but after falling ill in August, Brevett was diagnosed with cancer and despite the efforts of staff at Florida’s Memorial Hospital, he finally lost his fight with the disease aged 64.

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