Winston Wright (1944 - 1993) was a Jamaican keyboardist. He was a member of Tommy McCook's Supersonics, and acknowledged as Jamaica's master of the Hammond organ.
Winston was born in May Pen, Jamaica in 1944 and died in Kingston, Jamaica in 1993. He attended Glenmuir High School where he learned the organ on an old Clavonette Organ. While he was in school, he played with a local group called the Mercury Band based at the Capri Theatre in May Pen, much to his father ire. Tommy McCook saw Winston play at this time and he was invited to join the Supersonics, Treasure Isle house band.
Perhaps Wright's best known work is as the uncredited lead organist on Harry J Allstars' 1969 instrumental hit "The Liquidator". Harry J Allstars was the name given to the flexible roster of musicians that amounted to the house band at Harry J studio in Kingston, Jamaica.
Wright produced a solo single: "Top Secret", with the B-side "Crazy Rhythm" in 1970.
WINSTON WRIGHT (ORGAN) was a premier session man who specialised in the Hammond Organ. He worked extensively during the Rock Steady/early Reggae period of 1967-71 recording for a variety of producers. He came to prominence with Duke Reid's Supersonics band, but worked with virtually every producer of note (save Studio One). However, his best known work Liquidator (for Harry J) doesn't even credit him (just as The Harry J All Stars).
Winston Wright was born in Jamaica in 1944. By the mid 60’s he was a major session player, first for Duke Reid, then later as a member of Tommy McCook’s Supersonics and Clancy Eccles’ Dynamites. By the late 60’s he was a member of the Harry J All Stars, who rode the UK top 10 in late 1969 and early 1970 with ‘The Liquidator’. ‘The Liquidator’ is an all-time skinhead reggae classic that has made numerous appearances on Reggae compilations over the years. The rhythm track had made its initial appearance on the Pama label as ‘What Am I To Do’ by Tony Scott. A year later the opening bars of 'Liquidator' were "borrowed" for the beginning of the Staple Singer's track "I'll Take You There".
In the late 60’s and early 70’s Wright was recording for a number of labels, many of them Trojan subsidiaries like Harry J, Duke, Techniques, GG and Green Door. Wright’s sole release on the Green Door label was ‘Heads or Tails’. A cover of a Booker T. & The MGs track, which had appeared on the ‘Soul Limbo’ LP in 1968 (the track was also covered by the Mar-Keys), ‘Heads or Tails’ is a smoky, laid back groover that doesn’t stray too far from the source material. That is with the marked exception of the reggae rhythm, which gives Wright’s version of the song a deeper groove. The Hammond is drenched in reverb, and Wright has lots of time to solo. The flip side is a cover of 'Ranchy' by a group called the Roasters.
Currently both ‘Liquidator’ and ‘Heads or Tails’ are available in reissue as part of the ‘Trojan Instrumentals’ box set.
Winston Wright passed away in 1993.
There’s a great tradition in ska, rock steady and reggae of solid Hammond players, among them the mighty Jackie Mittoo, Tyrone Downie, Gladdie Anderson and Boris Gardiner……THE INCOMPARABLE WINSTON WRIGHT……..TOGETHER WITH,ERNEST RANGLIN check out ERNEST'S ORDER OF DISTINCTION CD, WINSTON GRENNAN DRUMMER AND TOMMY MC COOK,SAX WERE THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT JAMACIAN MUSICIANS…………TOP SECRET , LIQUIDATOR AND HOLIDAY VERSION ARE MY FAVOURITES AND HIS WORK WITH THE UPSETTERS INCLUDING KEYBOARDS ON LIVE INJECTION…….AT THE TIME OF HIS UNTIMELY AND EARLY DEATH, HE WAS 49, WINSTON WAS ACKNOWLEDGED AS A CONSUMATE PRODUCER……..LOVELY TO SEE HE IS RESPECTED AND TAKEN HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF JAMACIAN MUSIC……….JUST TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT HIM…HE WAS BRILLIANT AND WE,THANKFULLY HAVE HIS MUSIC TO PROVE IT….WINSTON WRIGHT RULES OK……..YOU CAN BE SURE OF THAT….THELIQ…PERTH,WESTERN AUSTRALIA….11.03.09 ……….RESPECT WINSTON theliq
Above it states that Winston never recorded with Coxone Dodd…..he did in the late sixties on the Bamboo Lable,he and Jackie Mittoo also collaborated and released an Albumn together also on a Coxone/Clement Dodd imprint..Studio 1 methinks……but then his output was so varied and huge over the years……RESPECT WINSTON theliq
Hi it's theliq,a little more information on Winstons early years,Winston attended Glenmuir High School in May Pen…..and after graduating joined the MERCURIES based at the Capri Theatre in May Pen.He started playing on a little "CLAVONETTE ORGAN" at the time his father disliked Winston playing in the Band,often he'd slip away in the evenings from his home on Fernleigh Ave,May Pen to play gigs.
His talent was obvious and it wasn't long before he was invited by Tommy McCook to join the Treasure Isle house band "The Supersonics"……..the rest is history,he was so much in demand over the years that he played for virtully every Jamacian producer.A great Guy and wonderful musician…he passed too young but we still have his brilliant music and brilliant it is…..RESPECT TO WINSTON…theliq(uidator) Perth,Western Australia 30.08.2012
It is at this moment I should alert you all to the greatest Unsung Hero of J.A. Music par excellence in the person of…..Graeme "Mr Goody" Goodall…….Sound Engineer who arrived from Australia via England in 1955,he was the person that taught great engineers like Sylvan Morris at Studio One and Byron Smith at Treasure Isle,Graeme perfected the Jamacian Music sound which made it so attractive worldwide.He was the earliest,the first to shape the music from 1955 into the mid-late 60's.
Up until today he has been sadly overlooked……..to read a recent facinating interview with Graeme Goodall during the early years of JA music log on to www.reggae-vibes.com/concert/goodall/goodall.htm Not only is it a superb read,you will learn so much of the interesting characters of the era….Respect Graeme,Big Up. theliq Mullaloo,Western Australia 23.10.12
Just to keep you updated…The Good Folk of May Pen have named a street "Wright Avenue" in the town,as a tribute to Winston's life,it is close to Glenmuir High School where Winston was taught the Organ…I think it is a nice touch he is remembered in this Special way.Big Up and Respect to the Great Man..steve 22.08.13
Winston married a Cuban lady with two children when he was 26 approx.,after his family thought the love of his life was too dark skinned….this I found rather amazing considering….but Winston treated the children as his own throughout his life……later he rekindled his relationship with his original love and had two children with her,when Winston passed his first love passed a few years later…….his two young children were then looked after by his Cuban wife…….Which I think was really Great.This information was given to me by Cathia Wright,Winstons daughter.With Thanks.
I have not mentioned one of Winston's greatest triumphs the "Liquidator"incorrectly attributed to Harry J,who was the producer……You can still hear this track played at Chelsea,West Bromwich and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football grounds throughout the English Football Season,as Liquidator is their respective signature songs played before and during the games…..often great bantering between the clubs supporters,when they play each other……Who said Great Music never lasts..and it lasts for all of us on this wonderful site…"Last FM……..BIG UP,INDEED……steven,Mullaloo 13.12.14
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