Junior Byles

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Keith Byles, 1948, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Growing up in the Jonestown district of Kingston, Byles started work as a fireman in his late teens. By 1967 he had formed the Versatiles with Louis Davis and a youth named Earl Dudley. The trio recorded a series of titles for producer Joe Gibbs during 1968/9, including ‘Just Can’t Win’, ‘Trust The Book’ and ‘Push It In’. By 1970 Byles was recording solo for producer Lee Perry as King Chubby. In 1972 Byles had two hits, the dread anthem ‘Beat Down Babylon’, which was also the title of his first album released the following year, and the Jamaican Song Festival competition winner, ‘Da Da’. He continued working with Perry, recording both militant roots material and intense love songs, nearly scraping into the UK charts with ‘Curly Locks’ (1975). That same year he had a hit in Jamaica with ‘Fade Away’ for Joseph ‘Joe Joe’ Hookim at...

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