Alton Ellis, the Godfather of Rocksteady music, was born in 1938 in Trenchtown, Kingston, Jamaica. Along with his younger sister Hortense, who was born in 1941, the two created singles and duets for Clement and Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One in Kingston during the early days of ska and rocksteady.
The pair also recorded for Studio One’s chief competition at the time which was the Treasure Isle label owned by none other than Duke Reid. This switching between label by the Ellis siblings gave them the opportunity to record for some of the biggest names in Reggae music – people like Bunny Lee, King Jammy, Prince Buster, Eddy Perkins and Sugar Minott. And we are rewarded today with an outstanding collection of the best from the Ellis siblings.
Unfortunately, Alton passed away in 2008 and was preceded in death by Hortense (died 2000). However, some of their recordings have survived over the years. In fact, Hortense recorded so little that any song by her could be considered rare. This album contains the rarest of their singles, but oddly, only one duet appears on the album. Included in this gem of a collection are the best soul covers by Alton and Hortense. These are two of the best voices you will ever hear. Highly recommended for anybody who likes soul, reggae or the rocksteady beat.