Jamaican singer Tyrone Taylor was a versatile vocalist who recorded in a range of styles throughout his career. Although the tall and charismatic singer will forever be associated with “Cottage in Negril.” Unfortunately, Taylor passed away.
Born in 1954 in the rural south-west of Jamaica, Taylor cut his first single, “Delilah”, in Kingston in 1968, before forming a short-lived duo called the Soul Menders with Vince Brown. He considered giving up music altogether, but the guitarist Willie Lindo encouraged him to persevere.
In the mid-Seventies, he freelanced for producers such as Sidney Crooks (on “Fight It Blackman”), Jack Ruby (“Life Table” and “I’d Like to Know”) and, most famously, Winston Holness, aka Niney the Observer, on “Sufferation”, a favourite of British punks in 1977. Desperate for a breakthrough, Taylor even recorded “Can’t Stop Rastaman Now”, a reggae adaptation of McFadden and Whitehead’s disco classic “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” in 1980.
The following year, Taylor decided to concentrate on what he knew best and wrote about a romance he had had with a tourist holidaying in Negril, no longer the sleepy town of his youth but a thriving beach resort. Cut with a crack studio band featuring Lindo on guitar, Lloyd Parks on bass, Ansel Collins on keyboards, and a gorgeous saxophone solo by Dean Fraser, “Cottage in Negril” should have been the start of great things for Taylor, but he failed to achieve any further international success.