Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Natural High's Errol Lingo now sings for Jesus

Published:Sunday | September 7, 2014 | 9:00 AM
Errol Lingo

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

Some Jamaicans may remember the local group, Natural High, that made a mark with a cover of Luther Ingram's 1972 hit, (If Loving You is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right.

Some may also remember the name Errol Lingo from the early days of Irie FM when he hosted the programme Love Expression.

Lingo was a member of the group that, with the song, had Jamaicans swearing they were a "foreign" group because of the quality of their vocals.

Decades later, today, Lingo is the senior hotel manager at Jamaica Grande. And having given his life to Christ, he says, "I am now singing for the Lord."

Lingo, who hails from Ocho Rios, and Michael Curah, a Kingstonian living in Ocho Rios at the time, got together in the late 1970s and formed the group Natural High. They later invited Roderick Williams and Michael Thomas to join.

The quartet started doing cabaret shows especially on the north coast and hit the big times in the early '80s with their first release. "We did a cover of If Loving You is Wrong, and it did extremely well," Lingo told Entertainment Avenue.

That would have been the high point of the group's career, even though they got some amount of publicity when they entered the festival song competition on two occasions.

"The first year we entered festival, we won the ballad section (with the entry Prettiest Love Song), a year when Stanley and the Turbines won. That year they had different categories.

"Then we entered again with a song called Jamaica, it was the year Ras Karbi won with Jamaica I'll Never Leave You Again. We were in the top 10."

Opening for foreign acts

On stage, Natural High peaked when they opened for international acts like Millie Jackson when she performed in Jamaica in the '80s.

The success of If Loving You is Wrong led to the group's debut album, Bridging The Gap.

However, the bright future that was anticipated did not materialise, and the group later disbanded and a new group emerged.

The new entity was called Three Men and a Lady, with the lady being Andrea Comrie. She was later replaced by Josephine Allen who eventually became Mrs Lingo.

"While that was happening I was working in the hotel business because I never stopped," Lingo explained. "I also worked with Irie FM as one of the original announcers on a programme called Love Expression."

Lingo went abroad for a while but returned to Jamaica to continue working in the hotel industry.

Over the past number of years, he has been employed at Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, where he has risen to become senior hotel manager.

By special request, he sings at staff shows with his contribution being limited most times to one number.

Recently, at Jamaica Grande's closing-out staff party, he performed with the group Natty Bald Head, to do a lovely rendition of Toto's Rosanna.

"Only my team (at the hotel) could have gotten me to do this," he explained.

Otherwise, he sings for the Lord, he said.

"I now sing for Christ, that is the most important thing for me now. I've committed my life to Christ Jesus and everything I do now is for him."

An album titled B.L.A.C is in the making and could be released soon, Lingo said.

Of the original members of the group, only Lingo still resides in Jamaica.

"Michael Curah now lives in Miami, the other Michael (Thomas) lives in New York, Roderick lives in New Jersey. Andrea, who worked with us for a while, lives in Miami."