The Fabulous Flames were initially a dance troupe performing choreographed routines alongside Byron Lee And The Dragonaires on Jamaica’s north coast. The group featured Lovindeer, Kirk Salmon and Oswald ‘Dougie’ Douglas. Their rhythmic cavorting led to deserved distinction, and they were enrolled to perform with Carlos Malcolm And His Afro Caribs, accompanying the band on a tour of the West Indies. In 1969 they were invited to demonstrate their agility at the Caribana festival in Canada, which led to further engagements. The group secured a concert in Toronto’s famed Yonge Street where they met and performed alongside Glen Ricks, who was persuaded to join the group. Ricks returned to Jamaica with the Flames, where, with producer Clancy Eccles, they recorded Neil Diamond’s ‘Holly Holy’. The organ-led song, driven by a creeping rhythm, was an instant hit and the band became the mainstay of the Clandisc label. The success of the single led Prince Buster to utilize an identical rhythm for his lewd interpretation, ‘Holy Fishey’. When released in the UK the original song almost crossed into the pop chart and featured Lord Creator’s ‘Kingston Town’ on the b-side. ‘Kingston Town’ was later included on UB40’s multi-million-selling Labour Of Love II and topped the UK chart in 1990 when released as a single. Subsequent hits for the Flames included the melancholy ‘Growing Up’ and, conversely, the blithe ‘Hi De High’. By the early 70s the members went their own separate ways. Lovindeer and Ricks joined the Fabulous Five Inc. before pursuing solo careers, and the remaining two members relocated to Canada. In the 80s Salmon returned to his musical career when he played guitar in a Canadian-based band, Livestock.
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