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Winston & George

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The singularly named Winston and George Dekker (born George Canic Agard a.k.a. Johnny Melody . Half-brother of Desmond Dekker. Member of The Pioneers, The Slickers and the duo Winston & George.)
Winston & George tore up more than just “Denham Town” with this rude boy classic from the rocksteady age. Besides hitting big in Jamaica, the 1967 single was also a smash on the British skinhead scene. The simplicity of the arrangement, unintentionally enhanced by the mediocre quality of its CD reissue, was built around Gladdy “Gladstone” Anderson’s stern piano, firm guitar riffs, and the further power of Jackie Jackson’s sinuous bassline and the hi-hat-heavy drum pattern. Roland Alphonso’s sharp solo during the middle break merely reinforces the music’s own adamant message, one taken up with aplomb by the duo. The rude boys are talking big, swearing they’ll put up a fight with their hatchets and ratchets when the soldiers come, but the pair know better. “You know rude boy, it doesn’t pay at all,” they warn, “and if you won’t behave, you’ll always go to jail.” And in the end, when the law does show up, the rudies all run for cover, not so tough after all. Surprisingly, though, it was the bad boys themselves who adored these numbers, even when the songs put them firmly in their place, albeit in gorgeous harmony.

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