Born: Sept 1, 1938
Died: Oct 10, 2008
Alton Ellis best known as one of the innovators of rocksteady music, was often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Rocksteady’, began his career as a dancer at the age of sixteen. After two years, Alton took an interest in singing. His debut was as a vocal duo named Alton and Eddy. Their first recording on the Coxsone label, ‘Muriel’, was a major hit in Jamaican recording history. After Eddy left Jamaica to live in America, Alton formed a group named ‘Alton and The Flames’.They recorded a large number of hit songs on the Treasure
Isle label, including ‘Dance Crashers’,
Girl I’ve got a Date’, ‘Rock Steady’ and ‘Black Mans Pride’. After three years
with Alton and The Flames, Alton launched his career as a solo artist and joined the Studio One Label in 1967.
The amount of hits that Alton created during this period is so enormous that to mention them all would be impossible. ‘I’m Still in Love’, ‘Breaking Up’ and ‘I’m Just a Guy’ were just a few. In 2004,
Ellis was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in recognition of his achievements. In December 2007 he was diagnosed with cancer and died on October 10, 2008 at Hammersmith Hospital, West London.