Sierra Nevada World Music Festival - 2004

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2004 Performers

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Carlton Livingston

Carlton Livingston was born in the Parish of St Mary, Jamaica. The fourth of six children, of Beryl Watson, Carlton was musically inclined from his youth, there is a story told by his older sister, that he use to string up cardboard boxes with strings and sing into milk can. His mother was the organ player in the local Church of England in the district of Gayle; his older sisters were choirgirls. Carlton also sans on the Church choir at an early age.

Born in September, he is a Virgo at heart. Quiet and shy he enjoys reading and listning old rock and roll music. Carlton is also an avid sports fan, he enjoys playing soccer.

It was while he was attending “Trench Town” that he was inspired, while hanging out with his schoolmate by the name of (Doyle) he was taken to Third Street to listen to a little known group at the time rehearsing in that dusty yard. This group went on to be famous a BOB MARLEY and the WAILERS. Carlton started singing around 1978, his first recording (Tale of two cities) “CHANELL ONE RECORDS” this song was a modest hit in England. While at the studio he was approached by Leon Symoie of “TRILLSEEKERS LABEL” to record a couple of songs this end up with enough tracks for the release of his first LP (Soweto - SYN-001). The next significant move for Carlton was in 1979 he moved to Franklyn Town and started a Sound System with his friends on the sound was Carlton and Lone Ranger; “Tony Walcott” heard Carlton and Ranger one night and took them along with Welton Irie and Puddy Roots. They would meet at his house and he would groom the in the art of staying on the rhythm and how to flow with the changes of the tracks. Tony then took Carlton to audition for “Sir D” the legendary STUDIO 1 Label, this results in underground hits like (Why) (Predictions) (Here I stand) this has blossomed in the fact that Carlton has done about forty (40) recordings for the Label.

In 1980 – 1981 Carlton recorded (Mr. DJ) and (Cuss Rasta) for U Brown’s Label, in that same time period he was in the studio with Sly and Robbie “TAXI LABEL (Tricks) and (Trodding) was recorded during this period.”Trodding” has become a big underground hit in the dancehall, when it came to a dancehall clash between two sounds. (Hot summer) was also recorded during this period.

In 1982 with the success in London and North America of his songs; Carlton toured North America with Lone Ranger, Tristan Palmer and Sammy Dread. Performing at the “MADISON GARDEN FELT FOROUM” “BOSTON’ “CHICAGO” “LA” and “CANADA”

Early 1992 “STUR GUV” tapes started to float into North America and England and ardent dancehall fans start to hear Josey Wales Charley Chaplin draped over the biggest underground hit at that time (Rumors) done for Clive Jarrett’s “DYNAMITE RECORDS” recorded around 1980 also done in this session was (Marie) (Confusion) this culminate with the release of Carlton’s second LP (Trodding – DYLP-02).

While settling in the U.S.A. Percy Chin and Junior from “JAH LIFE RECORDS” started to do some songs with Carlton. From these session recorded at H.C.F. On Long Island, came (100lb a collie weed – grel-66) and the subsequent release of the said named LP by “GREENSLEEVES RECORDS”. In 1994 Carlton released his self produced CD (Emotions –gvd-2025) 0n “GRAPEVINE RECORDS” that spawned hits like (A no one day) and (No doctor no nurse) In 1998 Carlton re-recorded (Rumors) with Shabba Ranks for “BOBBY DIGITAL LABEL”. This led to the release of (Un-Forgiven – jm-15032) “JAMADON RECORDS”. Carlton works has been bootlegged over the world this led to “TABOU 1” released (Rumors –tb-42) Over a period of time Carlton has recorded for other producers notable “Jammies” “Xterminator” and “Junior Reid” “Winston Riley”.

Carlton has been hailed as one of the best singer/songwriter of that period. To illustrate this point Carlton songs has been covered by artists like “Gregory Isaacs” “Dennis Brown” “Sanchez” “Carl Meeks” and Shinehead.

Carlton’s goal is to create his own musical identity and is now poised to claim the recognition that has eluded him as one of Jamaica’s top Singer/Songwriter.


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