Imagination Biography

One of the most successful British funk bands of the early 80s, Imagination was formed by the idiosyncratically named Leee John (John Lesley McGregor, 23 June 1957, Hackney, London, England; vocals), Ashley Ingram (b. 27 November 1960, Northampton, England; guitar) and Errol Kennedy (b. Montego Bay, Jamaica, West Indies). John (of St. Lucian descent) was educated in New York, where he also became a backing vocalist for the Delfonics and Chairmen Of The Board. He met Ingram, who played bass for both bands, and they formed a duo called Fizzz. Back in England, John, who had already appeared on Junior Showtime as a child, enrolled at the Anna Scher Theatre School where he studied drama. Kennedy was an experienced singer with Jamaican bands and learnt the drums through the Boys Brigade and later the Air Training Corps band. He had also spent some time in the soul group Midnight Express. Kennedy met John and Ingram in early 1981, after which they formed Imagination as a pop/soul three-piece. They made an immediate impact with their debut ‘Body Talk’, and further Tony Swain -produced hits followed, including UK Top 5 entries with ‘Just An Illusion’ and ‘Music And Lights’. However, the run of hits dried up by 1984, when John returned to acting. He had already appeared in the UK science fiction serial, Dr. Who, in 1983. Having switched to RCA Records in 1986, Imagination made a minor comeback in 1988 with ‘Instinctual’. By this point Kennedy had been replaced by Peter Royer, and the departure of Ingram in 1990 left the charismatic Leee John as the sole remaining original member. Although periodically returning to Imagination, John has subsequently concentrated on solo releases and songwriting projects. He enjoyed two big club hits in the late 90s with ‘The Mighty Power Of Love’ and ‘Call On Me’.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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