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Biography

The Jamaicans were a Jamaican rocksteady vocal group formed in 1967 and disbanded in 1972. Mostly known for the songs "Ba Ba Boom" (that won the Island's Festival Song Contest in 1967) and "Things You Say You Love" produced by Arthur "Duke" Reid for Treasure Isle.

The Jamaicans (Tommy Cowan, Norris Weir, Martin Williams) burst on the scene in 1967 by winning the second Jamaican Festival song contest with a bit of nonsensical rocksteady called "Ba Ba Boom," a piece that had been written by Cowan and Weir. The pair continued to write, and the group had a middling successful career between 1967 and 1972 recording their frequently novelty-tinged songs (they sang "ba ba" in myriad different ways, sometimes even inventively) for producer Duke Reid and his legendary Treasure Isle label, scoring hits with "Ba Ba Boom" and the poignant "Things You Say You Love." One of their best tracks was a solid cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Dedicate My Song to You," while "Black Girl" was a hit for Boney M in 1978. The Jamaicans fall right at the cusp between ska and rocksteady, and slowed-down horn charts figure heavily in most of their tracks. When the group disbanded, Cowan went on to a successful career as a producer, as well as becoming a popular Sunsplash MC.

Norris Weir (23 October 1946 - 16 November 2018) became an ordained minister of religion in 2010 and recorded several gospel albums. He died in 2018.

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