Hamlins

A vocal duo comprising Egbert ‘Alphonso’ Stewart (b. 31 January 1945, Clarendon, Jamaica, West Indies) and Alton ‘Canute’ Brown (b. 26 November 1947, Jones Town, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies).…
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Artist Biography

A vocal duo comprising Egbert ‘Alphonso’ Stewart (b. 31 January 1945, Clarendon, Jamaica, West Indies) and Alton ‘Canute’ Brown (b. 26 November 1947, Jones Town, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies). Together they formed the Hamlins in the early 60s, later recruiting Osmond Brown to provide extra vocals. The trio auditioned to appear on talent shows such as the Ranny Williams Talent Hour and at those held at the renowned Ward Theatre in Kingston. Duke Reid was inspired by the trio’s performance and they were invited to record with him at Treasure Isle, although the allegiance proved unproductive. In 1965, Osmond Brown emigrated to the UK and the duo decided not to recruit a replacement. In the autumn of the same year Coxsone Dodd invited them to record at Studio One. They released a series of hits such as, ‘Trying To Keep A Good Man Down’, which is particularly notable as it featured Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Rita Marley performing, ‘Oh My Darling’ on the b-side. The follow-up, ‘Soul & Inspiration’, proved to be the duo’s biggest hit and, reminiscent of their earlier release, the song was coupled with another legendary reggae group, namely the Ethiopians. Other hits followed including, ‘Tell Me That You Love Me’, ‘Sentimental Reasons’, ‘Get In The Groove’, and ‘Everyone Got To Be There’.

Throughout the years the Hamlins have been revered by Studio One collectors who were rewarded with re-releases on vinyl until the arrival of the compact disc. They initially appeared on the favoured compilations, Get Ready Rock Steady and the Studio One Sales Conference, but it was not until 2001 that Brown and Stewart finally released a full album. Dodd recruited the veterans to perform new and classic 60s songs such as, ‘Hurt My Feelings’ and ‘Get In The Groove’. By the time the album surfaced the duo were in their fifties and were predominantly recognised for the earlier recordings rather than their later efforts.