Sun | Oct 21, 2018

From Rhythm Aces to British charts

Published:Wednesday | August 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Boris Gardiner (at mike) and his Happening performing at the Lucas Cricket Club, Nelson Oval, at the Kingston and St Andrew Free Public Concert in March 1975.
Horcea Forbes (left) and Boris Gardiner of the Boris Gardiner Happening Band entertaining a large turnout at the Kings Theatre in June 1974.
Boris Gardiner - File photos

The year 1986 was a big one for Boris Gardiner, as he got a number-one song in the United Kingdom (UK) and it was also the first time he was featured on the front page of The Gleaner.

Gardiner was at the height of his career, with I Wanna Wake Up With You making it to the top spot on the UK chart. This was after the song had already spent weeks at number one on the United States charts.

"When I Wanna Wake Up With You made it to number one in England, it was on the front page of The Gleaner. That was the pinnacle of my career," Gardiner said. "At the time, we were in a lot of deejay music - Supercat and Yellowman. When that song come on the scene, it changed the music around to more singing again. In fact, it was around this time in August 1986."

But that was not the first time that Gardiner got a favourable feature in The Gleaner. In the 1960s, as part of the Rhythm Aces band, he was featured in The Gleaner for the first time.

stolen show

"The first time I can remember was around 1960, when I was with the Rhythm Aces band. The first time we got a write-up, we performed with Ben E. King on his first visit to the island. 'The Rhythm Aces all but stole the show from Ben E. King', it said, and that was pretty big at the time because that could have been one of our first shows," Gardiner said.

Describing the feature as something similar to an advertisement, Gardiner said persons started paying attention to the band. He said their music sales increased and they started getting more shows. Generally, Gardiner said, The Gleaner has been good to Jamaican artistes and has helped them over the years.

"It (Gleaner) is really to me the best release of news. It's number one. It carries everything from here to all over the world," he said.