Formed in Jamaica, West Indies, around 1966, the group was formed by lead vocalist and songwriter Wesley Tinglin (b. c.1947, Jamaica, West Indies). They recorded, initially as the Voiceroys, for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label, with early recordings including "Love And Unity" (1967), "Fat Fish" (1968) and "Ya Ho" (1968).
In 1968 they recorded "Lip And Tongue" and "Send Requests" for the Morgan's label. In the early 70s they joined Winston Riley as the Interns, finding success with "Mission Impossible", and in the mid-70s returned to Studio One to record as the Voiceroys with "The Struggle" and "Slogan On The Wall".
In 1978 they adopted the name the Interns, and recorded Detour for Phil Pratt, which was largely ignored at the time. Shortly after this, they changed name yet again, to the Viceroys, and the line-up stabilized with Wesley Tinglin being supported by harmony singers Neville Ingram and Norris Reid.
Reid had already had a handful of singles released under his own name, and continued to further his solo career while remaining a full-time member of the group. They had a big hit with "Heart Made Of Stone" (1980), a Sly And Robbie production, and followed it with the self-produced "Shaddai Children" (1981).
In 1982 they recorded We Must Unite, on which the combination of their rural, rootsy harmonies with Linval Thompson's heavy-duty production attracted a great deal of attention. They then repeated the formula for Brethren And Sistren (1983), which was their biggest-selling record, and Detour was re-released later that year in response to public interest in the group.
Shortly after this, Norris Reid left the group to concentrate on his solo career with Augustus Pablo, and was replaced by Chris Wayne, who had made a name for himself singing on Sugar Minott's Youth Promotion sound system.
The group's Chancery Lane (1984) was recorded for Winston Riley, but was a rather low-key outing that did not enjoy the popularity of their previous albums.They commenced recording a new album, but it was never released, and nothing further has been heard from them.
Chris Wayne left the group in 1985 and has since recorded an album for Wackies, Freedom Street (1988), and two for Sugar Minott - Progress (1989) and Talk About Love (1991). Norris Reid has continued to record for Augustus Pablo, and his first album, Root And Vine, was issued in 1988.
Wesley Tinglin moved to Kingston when he was 12 years old, quickly soaking up the rich harmonies of vocal groups like the Wailers and the Maytals. He formed the Viceroys with Daniel Bernard and Bunny Gayle and the group earned a recording session in 1967 with producer Clement Dodd.
Though "Lose and Gain" and "Fat Fish" didn't do well, the second session's "Last Night" and "Ya Ho" did much better. 1968 brought the band a deal with Derrick Morgan, who produced several singles during the next three years ("Rebel Nyah," "Chariot Coming" and "Lips and Tongue").
During the early '70s, the Viceroys also recorded singles for Lloyd "Matador" Daley, Lee Perry, Pete Weston and the Demon label.After Bunny Gayle left the band, Tinglin recruited Neville Ingram as a replacement.
Since then, the band has recorded as both the Interns and the Viceroys. The trio finally recorded an album in the late '70s; in 1980, Norris Reid replaced Daniel Bernard. Along with a series of singles, the band recorded three albums in the early '80s, We Must Unite, Chancery Lane and Brethren and Sistren.
The band has not recorded since the Eighties, but Heartbeat Records has released a compilation of most of their recordings for the Studio One label.Courtesy of John Bush, All-Music Guide
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