b. Vernon Rainford, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Fathead is particularly remembered for his renowned contribution to the Yellowman phenomenon. The fad often referred to as Yellow Fever began in 1980 and culminated in 1982 with a myriad of releases. The popularity of DJ duos such as Michigan And Smiley and Clint Eastwood And General Saint saw the pairing of Yellowman and Fathead. The duo performed regularly at the Aces discotheque in St. Thomas where they built a solid reputation. Yellowman’s words of wisdom were punctuated by Fathead chanting ‘ribbit’ and ‘oink’ sounds at the end of each line, which became en vogue in the early 80s. In response to the success of pirated ‘yard tapes’, veteran producer Lloyd Campbell inaugurated the idea of recording a live dancehall session for release on vinyl. Yellowman And Fathead Live At Aces included performances from Jah Reubal and Little Harry alongside the DJ duo. The compilation featured Fathead both as a soloist and in combination. He was able to demonstrate his potential as an individual performer with ‘Gi Me The Music’, ‘Fathead Sweet’ and an interpretation of Yellowman’s ‘Operation Eradication’ as ‘Eradication Operation’. The success of the album led to a series of releases that would have previously only been heard on yard tapes. As the Yellowman phenomenon progressed Fathead featured on a number of recordings with a variety of producers, including Ruddy Thomas and Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes. The early releases of the duo’s work gave no indication as to Fathead’s appearance. His appellation led to unfounded speculation that his head size was not in proportion with his body. These rumours were soon quashed when photographs revealed him to be a handsome, youthful man. By 1983 the partnership ended amicably and Fathead enjoyed a minor hit with Lloyd Campbell with ‘It’s Me’/‘Wha Dat’. Though not as prolific as Yellowman, Fathead released the equally popular singles ‘Rat Trap’, ‘Come Me A Come’, ‘Champion’ and ‘Stop All The Fight’. The DJ also featured as a soloist on Junjo Presents Two Big Sound. Fathead performed alongside Early B, U. Brown, Johnny Ringo, Ranking Toyan and debutant Beenie Man. The compilation found Fathead representing both sound systems. He followed Beenie Man on Lees Unlimited, while in combination with Little Harry and Early B he closed the set for the Peoples Choice. Fathead is a highly regarded performer although he was unable to emulate the phenomenal success of his DJ partner. Not to be confused with the USA blues band of the same name.
Share this page