Junior Byles

A rare shot Junior Byles at the mic in Tuff Gong studios, Kingston. (2003)

I’ve known Junior for many years now. I was walking home in Kingston one afternoon when this disheveled guy comes up to me and starts talking to me, asking me questions, and then tells me he is a reggae singer, this kind of thing happened more often than you would think believe it or not. He then tells me he is Junior Byles and asked if have ever heard of him before. At first because of the way he looked I was skeptical, “Sure” I said, “Curly Locks, Fade Away”, he smiled and laughed. Since then we had become good friends. Junior has always had some health issues and still has his ups and downs.

This image was shot when we were doing this all-star recording at Tuff Gong, Junior had shown up at the gate wanting to record. He came in and did two songs, a re-make of the Chinna Smith classic, “Fade Away” which he originally sang and then he came up with another remake, the 1968 hit by Tommy James, “Crimson And Clover”. Both songs have still never been released. I have some great video from the sessions which included, Sly & Robbie, Chinna Smith, Glady Anderson, Sticky Thomson, Kiddus-I, Steely, Keith Sterling, Flabba Holt, Sangie Davis, Rad Bryan, Style Scott, Dean Frasier, Nambo Robinson, Ken Bob, Jackie Jackson, Bagga Walker and many more.

It was really something to hear him in the studio after all these years, his voice was a bit rough but the vibes were still there.

8 comments on “Junior Byles”

  1. Well I Love to see those video’s im a big gladdy fan !!! Respect

  2. great 🙂 i looking forward to it:) did you heard about the new style scott has passed away? sad sad news 🙂

  3. you met gladdy :)? what kind of person is that? he is my biggest insperation of all time 🙂 i took me 5 years to learn to play like him:)

    i love what your are doing btw with this blog

    • Yes, I photographed him a few times as well as being in a few recording sessions. He is a cool guy, a quiet, righteous guy who loves his herb. It was a pleasure to watch him playing the grand piano.
      Glad you like the blog, still have a lot of photos to go, stay tuned..

  4. Great read….so many reggae greats fell on hard times , primarily due to mental health issues….
    The late , great I Roy springs to mind. Have you , or are you intending to release the studio footage you mentioned? Anyway…..Keep up the good works.
    Peace EveryTime

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