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Alton Ellis

Reggae

Alton Ellis

Alton Ellis
A favorite of
Darren Farnsworth

Select Songs
Reggae
Updated Feb 2020

Alton Nehemiah Ellis OD (1 September 1938 – 10 October 2008) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter. One of the innovators of rocksteady who was given the informal title "Godfather of Rocksteady". In 2006,…

Alton Nehemiah Ellis OD (1 September 1938 – 10 October 2008) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter. One of the innovators of rocksteady who was given the informal title "Godfather of Rocksteady". In 2006, he was inducted into the International Reggae And World Music Awards Hall Of Fame.

Early life
Born Alton Nehemiah Ellis in Trenchtown, Kingston, Jamaica, Ellis was raised within a musical family which included his older brothers Leslie [who performed as one of his back up singers and co-wrote some of his songs], and Irving [known as 'Niney'] who was a popular singer and steel pan player on Jamaica's North Coast. He learned to play the piano at a young age. He attended Ebeneezer and Boys' Town schools, where he excelled in both music and sport. While at Boys' Town Ellis performed as a dancer (in a duo) in the first show that a school director called Mr Bailey had organized for Vere Johns who had been invited down to talent scout. He would later compete on Vere Johns' Opportunity Hour. After winning some competitions, he switched to singing, starting his career in 1959 as part of the duo Alton & Eddy with Eddy Parkins.

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