b. Rudolph Grant, Plaisance, Guyana. Grant and his family settled in the UK in 1967. He made his debut in 1969 as Little Brother Grant for the release of ‘Let’s Do It Tonight’. His brother Eddy Grant began performing in the Equals, who had a number of hits in the late 60s. Rudolph, recording as the Mexicano, began his career as a DJ with ‘Gorilla In Manilla’ and ‘Cut Throat’, a tale of the Mexicano’s quest to find I. Roy and Prince Jazzbo so that he could spit in their eyes. While Mexicano pursued his career in recording, Eddy Grant used the royalties from his time with the Equals to set up his own Coach House Recording Studio, working with various groups including the Pioneers. Mexicano’s career surged when in 1977 at the Coach House he recorded a tribute to the popular television series Starsky And Hutch, entitled ‘Move Up Starsky’, a DJ version of Bob Marley’s ‘I’m Still Waiting’. The single topped the UK reggae chart and inspired a response from the modestly titled Superstar, ‘Move Up Hutch’, which failed to match the success of the original. Mexicano’s hit was followed by ‘Lover’s Conversation’, which did not enjoy the success of its predecessor. He voiced further Pioneers tracks (most significantly ‘Harry The Fool’, ‘Rock It’ and Lonely Street’) with a number of notable reggae celebrities including Sidney Crooks, Danny Ray, Clement Bushay and Jackie Edwards. In 1980 Mexicano was the featured DJ on Jackie Robinson’s interpretation of ‘Jamaican Child’ with the Lloyd Charmers -produced ‘Better Love Next Time’. By 1981 Mexicano’s career changed direction when he decided to sing as Rudy Grant. He recorded a version of John Lennon’s ‘Woman’ and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Lately’ for Ensign Records, the latter of which entered the UK pop chart. The success of the single led to a contract with Stiff Records, who released ‘Trial By Television’, which failed to generate interest within the reggae community. In 1983, still courting the major labels, he recorded ‘Everyday People’ for RAK Records.
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