Saturday, April 09, 2016

Day 161 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Israel Vibration - Give I Grace

Hopping into another vocal harmony group and yet another that I have been remiss in taking this long to feature this far into this little project... I'm talking about Israel Vibration.  Lascelle "Wiss" Bulgin, Albert "Apple Gabriel" Craig, and Cecil "Skelly" Spence, all afflicted with polio during an epidemic in Jamaica in the 1950s when they were children and who initially met at the Mona Rehabilitation Center in Kingston.  The formed the group years later, originally calling themselves Israel Vibration Israel Vibrates, and during their early days survived only on money they made by singing on the streets.  In 1975 they headed over to Channel One to record the track "Bad Intention" which unfortunately never saw the light of day.  Funding for their first release came from a grant from the Twelve Tribes of Israel branch of Rastafari after one of the members heard them singing in a wooded area outside of Kingston in which they had been using as a home.  Their 1976 single "Why Worry" was recorded at Treasure Isle and released on the Twelve Tribes label and because it was/is a beautiful song with a powerful message, they met with some success by appearing on the bill alongside Inner Circle, Dennis Brown and even this guy that nobody has probably ever heard of named Bob Marley.  The following year they worked with Tommy Cowan and produced their debut album The Same Song, backed by Inner Circle and released on the Top Ranking label.  The Same Song and its accompanying dub version LP garnered international acclaim and they followed it up with the album Unconquered People the following year.  For their third album Why You So Craven they worked with Henry "Junjo" Lawes and due to disagreements between them and the producer they left the album uncompleted...and here's where we get into something I never knew before, Lawes had The Tamlins complete the project.  I have owned this album for years and never realized this!  But anyway, this is starting to run long so let's get to today's track... "Give I Grace" comes off the aforementioned Unconquered People album and it is a powerful song of faith and perseverance that one that just makes you feel good!  Dig it!

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