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Junior Byles


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Junior Byles (Kerrie Byles Junior, aka King Chubby) was born in Kingston, Jamaica 1948.

He first formed The Versatiles with friends Ben Davis and Dudley Earl, and they were soon recording. Their first songs were cut for Joe Gibbs, with Lynn Tait’s Band under Lee Perry’s direction. From these sessions came “The Time Has Come”, which was entered for the 1967 festival.

Another festival entry was 1971’s “Rub Up” in 1971, but Byles’ debut solo single (1970) was “What The World Is Coming To” c/w “Live As One”, and released in the UK with strings and vocal chorus.

In 1971 Byles also recorded “Beat Down Babylon” (co-written by friend Harold Meikle) for Lee “Scratch” Perry, backed by The Now Generation Band (including Val Douglas Bass, Mikey Chung Guitar, and Wire Lindo Organ).

Following the critical acclaim “Babylon” received, Byles then worked with Perry for the whole of 1972. These sessions produced 12 tracks, 10 of which formed the album “Beat Down Babylon”.

In what must have been some incredible moments of musical genius, Perry recorded Junior Byles’ monumental hit “A Place Called Africa” at the same session that produced Bunny Wailer’s phenomenal hit “Dreamland”. The musicians at these sessions included the Barrett brothers, Tony Chin (lead guitar), Glen Adams (organ), and the rhythm guitar of Reggie Lewis.


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