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The Meditations


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Biography by Jo-Ann Greene

Even by Jamaican standards, the Meditations’ early career is convoluted, and both Ansel Cridland and Danny Clarke’s careers were already well underway before the pair linked up. Cridland, born in 1951, moved to Kingston as a child, and apprenticed as a jockey. However, he ended up working odd jobs, before deciding to make his career as a singer, and formed the vocal group the Linkers during the rocksteady era. The group’s lineup was fluid, but regardless, the Linkers recorded nearly a dozen singles, although none particularly hit with the public. Clarke, a Kingstonian by birth, had sung briefly with the Flames, Alton Ellis’ backing group. Another Flame, Sweet P, introduced Clarke to Cridland, and the two became fast friends. By the early ’70s, the two were recording as solo artists, even though both much preferred the sound of harmonies. Things finally began coalescing in 1974, when the pair decided to audition together at Channel One. There, Junior Delgado was holding auditions for label head JoJo Hookim. He was blown away by the pair’s “Woman Is Like a Shadow,” as was another young hopeful, Winston Watson, who offered up his falsetto harmonies on the spot.

The embryonic Meditations were now complete, but not yet birthed. “Woman” was recorded, but Hookim, unhappy with the results, refused to release it. The three continued writing and practicing together. Then, in late 1975, Clarke and Watson went down to Federal Studios where Dobby Dobson was holding auditions.


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