Justin Hinds

Reggae singer

Justin Hinds was one of Jamaica's most celebrated singers. Utilising an uncommon vocal style that held echoes of his country upbringing, fusing folk saying and proverbs with gospel overtones, Hinds produced significant hits throughout the ska, rocksteady and roots reggae periods and enjoyed subsequent international popularity through collaborative works released overseas.

Justin Hinds, singer and songwriter: born Steer Town, Jamaica 7 May 1942; married (three sons); died Steer Town 17 March 2005.

Justin Hinds was one of Jamaica's most celebrated singers. Utilising an uncommon vocal style that held echoes of his country upbringing, fusing folk saying and proverbs with gospel overtones, Hinds produced significant hits throughout the ska, rocksteady and roots reggae periods and enjoyed subsequent international popularity through collaborative works released overseas.

He was born in Steer Town, a village nestled in the hills of rural St Ann, where his father worked as a quarryman and stonemason. Justin Hinds briefly trained as a mechanic in his teens before working informally in the tourist industry, teaching foreigners to scuba dive and performing rhythm and blues songs for them on the beach.

In the late 1950s Hinds formed a harmony trio with his co-workers Dennis Sinclair and Egorton "Junior" Dixon; they named the group the Dominoes in deference to the New Orleans legend Fats Domino. When the radio disc jockey Charlie Babcock directed them to the record producer Duke Reid in 1963, Reid arranged a recording session which yielded two hits: "Carry Go Bring Come" was a harmonically brilliant number decrying gossipmongers, that topped the Jamaican charts for eight weeks, while the equally compelling "Stone That the Builder Refuse" was also popular.

Hinds quickly became Reid's most successful vocalist in the ska period and numerous other hits followed, including the vexatious "Botheration", the ribald "Rub Up Push Up", "The Higher the Monkey Climbs", a warning to street gangs called "No Good Rudy", the boastful "Here I Stand", and an updated "Carry Go Bring Come", adapted for the slower rocksteady style that ruled Jamaica in 1967. Then, as the new sound of reggae came to the fore in 1969, Hinds hit again with the folk wisdom of "Drink Milk" and the provocative "Take Heed".

Hinds continued to work for Reid until the veteran producer became ill, whereupon he began to record for Reid's associate, Sonia Pottinger. However, disputes quickly ended their partnership and Hinds began working with Jack Ruby, a sound system operator based in Ocho Rios. The resultant albums Jezebel (1976) and Justin Time (1979) were issued abroad by Island Records (and attributed to Justin Hines).

Then, after cutting a few more tracks for Pottinger, including the moving "Wipe Your Weeping Eyes" in 1978, Hinds retreated from the music business for the better part of a decade, until the independent label Nighthawk brought him and the original Dominoes back into the recording studio in 1985 for the superb Travel With Love; a second album, Know Jah Better, was released by the company in 1992.

Hinds was approached by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones in 1995 to participate in the Wingless Angels project, creating a beautiful acoustic album of traditional Rastafari chants recorded in the open air in Steer Town. More recently, Hinds led the group Jamaica All Stars; they toured extensively and recorded two albums, Back to Zion and Right Tracks.

David Katz



Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas