The roots harmony vocals trio the Abyssinians was formed in 1968 by founding members Donald Manning, Bernard Collins and Linford Manning. It was in 1969 with their release Satta Massagana recorded on Coxson Dodds Studio One labela Rastafarian hymn based on the Ethiopian Amharic language, that launched them into the ranks of Reggae music greats. Satta Massagana became one of reggaes most popular songs; becoming an anthem that was heard on the radios, in the dancehalls and in the churches of Jamaica. It was also covered by many other International artists including Third World. What followed were a string of hits of which included "Declaration of Rights," "Yi Mas Gan." and Let My Days Be Long. Early albums were a collection of singles recorded throughout the 1970s on their own labelClinch, of which included Forward On To Zion (1976) and ARISE (1978).
The group separated in 1980, during the separation group co-founder Donald Manning performed internationally under the name The Abyssinians with his brother Carlton Manning (of Carlton & The Shoes) and singer David Morrison. In Jamaica, Bernard Collins performed on stage with longtime associate George Henry.. In 1989, Donald, Bernard and Linford joined together again to record over the next three years. These sessions resulted as the originally released album, $19.95 + TAX in 1995 with a very limited number of CDs printed. Artists Only! Records realized the importance of this album and in 1998 re-titled and re-released this album as REUNION. REUNION now stands strong as one of The Abyssinians greatest albums.
In 2004, Donald Manning & Bernard Collins reunited on stage for the first time in over ten years along with singer
Legendary Black Uhuru, the most successful second generation reggae group, remain as one of the most dynamic and progressive reggae acts today. Black Uhuru's name comes from the East African language of Swahili meaning "Freedom." Black Uhuru was honored as the first ever recipients of the Grammy Award for Reggae Music for their 1984 album "Anthem" beating out Bob Marley and The Wailers, Steel Pulse, and Yellowman.
Black Uhuru has headlined many music festivals worldwide as well as sharing dates with groups such as The Rolling Stones, The Clash, The Talking Heads, and The Police. They were voted the number one reggae band in the Rolling Stone's critics' poll. Black Uhuru's album "Red" was also voted 24th in Rolling Stones' Top 100 albums of the Decade for 1980-1990, and were featured by many critics in their year-end Top Ten Lists.
Black Uhuru garnered a Billboard No. 1 hit for World Music in the 90's. Remaining steadfast in their beliefs, they recorded and shot the video for the uplifting song "Tip of the Iceberg" with Rap icon Ice-T, on the smoldering streets of Los Angeles during the 1992 riots.
Black Uhuru, reggae's heavy urban trio, led by Duckie "Gong" Simpson, with the brilliant new addition of energized lead vocal stylist, Andrew Bees, performed to thousands both headlining and also sharing billing on an extensive 2001 European and South American reggae and pop festival tour.
Black Uhuru unleashes their long and rich musical history and dynasty upon the world with an exciting new live show. Everybody say Rasta! Rasta!
Black Uhuru members are --
* Duckie "Gong" Simpson
* Andrew Dees
* Carlene Olafunke