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LEONARD”SPARROW”DILLON ( the ethiopians )

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BORN : 09 DECEMBER 1942,PORT ANTONIO,JAMAICA
DIED : 28 SEPTEMBER 2011,KINGSTON


Leonard Dillon founded, together with Aston Morris and the late Stephen Taylor, the ska, rocksteady and reggae vocal group The Ethiopians in the mid 60’s. Aston Morris soon left, and The Ethiopians first hit song Train to Skaville was recorded as a duo.
Other smash singles for a number of acclaimed producers soon followed. Engine 54, The Whip and Everything Crash only to name a few.

In September 1975 a tragic accident occurred. Stephen Taylor was working at a gas station when he was killed by a van while crossing the street.

Leonard Dillon took a break from the music business for two years. In 1977 he was back and put out the excellent roots album ‘Slave Call’ together with Winston “Niney” Holness.

Since then Leonard Dillon has toured on and off and recorded sporadically both solo and in a new version of The Ethiopians with female backing vocalists Jennifer Lara and Merlyn Webber.

THE ETHIOPIANS
Leonard Dillon founded, together with Aston Morris and the late Stephen Taylor, the ska, rocksteady and reggae vocal group The Ethiopians in the mid 60’s. Aston Morris soon left, and The Ethiopians first hit song Train to Skaville was recorded as a duo.

Other smash singles for a number of acclaimed producers soon followed. Engine 54, The Whip and Everything Crash only to name a few.

In September 1975 a tragic accident occurred. Stephen Taylor was working at a gas station when he was killed by a van while crossing the street.

Leonard Dillon took a break from the music business for two years. In 1977 he was back and put out the excellent roots album ‘Slave Call’ together with Winston “Niney” Holness.

Since then Leonard Dillon has toured on and off and recorded sporadically both solo and in a new version of The Ethiopians with female backing vocalists Jennifer Lara and Merlyn Webber.

The group started out recording for Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd in 1966. Dillon had previously released some mento songs under the name Jack Sparrow. Around late 1966, Morris left the Ethiopians. Having left Dodd, the Ethiopians started recording at Dynamic Studios for the W.I.R.L. label, releasing the rocksteady “Train to Skaville”, which was their first success. In 1968, they recorded the song “Everything Crash”, their first big hit. The song criticised the political situation in Jamaica at the time, such as water rationing and power cuts that led to unrest; such as an incident in which thirty one people were shot by the police.[citation needed] “Everything Crash” was later covered by Prince Buster. “The Whip” is another of their enduring songs from that period.

In 1969 they released the album, Reggae Power, and in 1970, Woman a Capture Man. Between 1970 and 1975, the Ethiopians switched from producer to producer, releasing songs such as “No Baptism”, “Pirate”, and “Good Ambition”. Reid left the group in 1974. In September 1975, Taylor was killed by a van while he was crossing a road. In 1977, Dillon’s fellow Ethiopians members Bro Fatty, Bro Ewing, Bro T, Mello and Hychi Dread released the album Slave Call, under The Ethiopians name.

In 1991, Dillon recorded the solo album On the Road Again. Toward the end of the 1990s, Dillon formed a new Ethiopians lineup with female backing vocalists Jennifer Lara and Merlene Webber, who appeared on the 1999 album, Tuffer Than Stone.

After developing a brain tumor, on 28 September 2011 Dillon died at his daughter’s home in Kingston, Jamaica

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