b. Noel Bailey, 1953, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Bailey began his career as a singer performing under his own name. His debut, ‘What Am I To Do Now’, was recorded at Harry J.’s and was a Top 10 hit in Jamaica. Disenchanted with the lack of financial rewards for his hit he found work playing guitar alongside the drum and bass section of the Hippy Boys, Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett and Carlton ‘Carly’ Barrett, playing the hotel circuit as Youth Professionals. In the early 70s Sowell was invited to play in sessions alongside Errol Holt, Bingi Bunny and Lincoln ‘Style’ Scott, who became known as the Roots Radics. The group became the most in-demand session band in Jamaica, playing on recordings for the island’s top vocalists, notably Gregory Isaacs and Bunny Wailer. The unit was also frequently employed by producers Linval Thompson and Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes to provide rhythms for successful vocal, DJ and (when remixed by Scientist) dub albums. They were also employed to tour with Gregory Isaacs, but it came to an end in 1982 when Sowell left the group. He decided to revive his career as a vocalist and his association with Mikey Dread resulted in the release of ‘All Nite Jamming’. The single was followed by ‘Wheel O’ Matilda’, which, along with the Mikey Dread release, enjoyed a respectable placing in the reggae charts.
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