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Ranking Toyan

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Toyan - or Ranking Toyan as he is also called - emerged in the mid-seventies when he started to appear on the sound system scene of Kingston JA, soon becoming a highly rated live performer with local sounds like Social Roots and Romantic Hi-Fi. He was heavily influenced by the deejays Big Youth and Dillinger, whose approach he adapted when he started his recording career with producer Don Mais of Roots Tradition in the latter half of the seventies. It was with Don Mais that he delivered his first strong tunes on vinyl. However, his most notable efforts were presented to the dancehall audience when he started to record for Henry “Junjo” Lawes’ Volcano label. His teaming with the leading producer of the early eighties led to the release of the successful “How The West Was Won” set in 1981. In 1982 he also released the above average Channel One album “Toyan”. In 1983 he worked for Jah Thomas, while 1984 saw the release of the George Phang set “Hot Bubble Gum”. He continued recording throughout the eighties, and even scored an occasional hit, but he never reached the heights of the “How The West Was Won” and “Spar With Me” sets. His life and career came to a tragic end: Toyan was murdered in 1991.
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