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Ken Boothe

Ken Boothe was one of the most popular and soulful singers of the rocksteady era, arguably second only to Alton Ellis. Where Ellis was silky smooth, Boothe's vocals were deeper and grittier, earning him a reputation as Jamaica's answer to Wilson Pickett. First rising to popularity as part of a ska duo with Stranger Cole, Boothe forged a solo career on Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label during rocksteady's prime, building a generous part of his repertoire on American soul covers. Even after the advent of Rastafarian roots reggae, he managed to score further hits with other producers, most notably the U.K. chart-topper "Everything I Own."

Boothe was born in the Denham Town area of Kingston, Jamaica, on March 22, 1948. His mother and older sister were both singers as well, and Boothe grew up listening mostly to American soul music. He started performing in his teenage years, forming the duo Stranger & Ken with his friend Winston "Stranger" Cole. They cut several singles for Duke Reid and Leslie Kong before hitting their stride on Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label with a string of ska hits over 1963-1965: "World's Fair," "Artibella," "Hush," "Thick in Your Love," "All Your Friends." Dodd encouraged Boothe to record as a solo artist, and he and Cole both embarked on solo careers.

Boothe's first solo single for Studio One was 1966's "You're No Good," and he notched his first solo hit that year with "The Train Is Coming," a soulful rocksteady track (with backing by the Wailers) that established him as one of the new style's hottest new stars. He quickly solidified that position with another smash, "Feel Good." Buoyed by his good looks and heartthrob appeal, Boothe tore off a long string of hits over the next few years: "I Don't Want to See You Cry," "Everybody Knows," "Just Another Girl," "Moving Away," "Come Tomorrow," "Mustang Sally," and "Puppet on a String" among them. Some were covers of American and British rock and soul tunes, and most were for Dodd, although Boothe did take brief sojourns to other producers: Sonia Pottinger (1968's "Say You"), Keith Hudson ("Old Fashioned Way"), and Phil Pratt ("I'm Not for Sale," "Can't Fight Me Down"). Also in 1968, Boothe issued the first of several albums for Studio One, Mr. Rock Steady, which gathered some of his previous hits.

In 1970, Boothe moved over to Leslie Kong's Beverley's imprint, where he cut several hits in "Freedom Street," "Why Baby Why," and "Now I Know." Following Kong's untimely death, Boothe recorded for several other producers in quick succession, landing the hit "Silver Words" for Winston "Niney" Holness. Boothe truly struck gold, however, when he teamed up with producer Lloyd Charmers on the U.K. Trojan label in 1971. The association started to bear fruit with two albums, 1973's Black Gold and Green and 1974's Let's Get It On (after the titular Marvin Gaye cover). Then, later in 1974, Charmers suggested that Boothe cover the Bread hit "Everything I Own." Released as a single, Boothe's version became a left-field pop smash in the U.K., going all the way to number one. His 1975 follow-up, "Crying Over You," nearly made the Top Ten, and the Everything I Own album also sold well.

Unfortunately, Boothe's success wasn't enough to keep Trojan from suspending operations due to financial difficulties. The resulting split with Charmers left him unable to consolidate his crossover success, and he recorded only sporadically over the next few years. When Trojan returned in 1978, Boothe and Charmers reunited for a few more recordings (including Blood Brothers and Who Gets Your Love), but couldn't match their earlier success, and again went their separate ways. Boothe returned to the studio from time to time during the '80s, releasing the occasional single and often re-recording his Studio One material. He had a few comeback hits over 1986-1987, including the Tapper Zukie-produced "Don't You Know." UB40 covered several of his songs on their Labour of Love albums, and in 1995, he teamed with crossover star Shaggy for a new version of "The Train Is Coming," which appeared on the soundtrack of Money Train. A double-disc overview of his Trojan years, Crying Over You, was released by the label in 2001. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Playlist Ken Boothe Sings Studio 1 Hits And More

1. I'm In A Dancing Mood

2. Ain't That Loving You

3. Ain't No Love

4. Take My Hands

5. Memories By The Score

6. Duke Of Earl

7. Do You Love Me

8. I've Got The Power

9. Got To Tell You Goodbye

10. Old Fashioned Way

11. How Can I Leave

12. The Train Is Coming

13. Moving Away

14. Old Fashion Way

15. Puppet On A String

16. Kingston Town

17. Satta Massagana

x

Track List: Rock on Love

1. I've Got the Power

2. I'm Just a Man

3. I'm Not for Sale

4. Ain't That Loving You

5. It's Gonna Take a Miracle

6. Ain't No Love

7. The Train Is Coming

8. Artibella

9. Memories by the Score

10. Duke of Earl

11. Come Running Back

12. Love Is Strange

13. Just Want to Say Hello

14. You Don't Have to Tell Me

15. You're No Good

16. Puppet on a String

x

Track List: 50 Greatest Hits

1. Drums Of Freedom

2. Freedom Street

3. Kingston Town

4. Help Me Make It Through The Night

5. Ain't No Love

6. Silver Words

7. Not For Sale

8. So Much Love To Give

9. Wide Awake In A Dream

10. It's Gonna Take A Miracle

11. The Train Is Coming

12. Old Fashion Way

13. Why Baby Why

14. Mr. Wind

15. Love And Unity

16. Now I Know

17. In The Summertime

18. Get Close To You

19. Satisfaction

20. I Wish It Could Be Peaceful Again

21. Your Feeling And Mine

22. Yesterday

23. I Love You

24. Mona Lisa

25. Love And Comfort Me

26. I Remember

27. Again

28. Artibella

29. Satamasagana

30. How Can I Leave

31. Nice Time

32. One Love

33. Hard To Confess

34. Money In My Pocket

35. Love Is Overdue

36. Don't Stay Out Late

37. Moving Away

38. Softley

39. Memories By The Score

40. I'm In A Dancing Mood

41. Duke Of Earl

42. You're No Good

43. Got To Tell You Goodbye

44. Puppet On A String

45. My Heart Is Gone

46. Take My Hand

47. When I Fall In Love

48. I've Got The Power

49. Come Running Back

50. The One I Love

51. Without Love

52. You Left The Water Running

53. Just Want To Say Hello

x

Track List: Journey

1. Journey

2. This Much Is True

3. Love In Your Eyes

4. I Can't Run

5. Can't Turn You Loose

6. Dancehall Girl

7. Game Of Love

8. New World Order

9. 400 Years

10. Love Her

11. Is There A Problem

12. Thank You Lord

x

Track List: Sound Box Essentials Platinum Edition

1. Going Home

2. Love is Overdue

3. When I Fall In Love

4. Again

5. Gonna Take A Miracle

6. It's Hard to Confess

7. Get Close To You

8. Ain't No Love

9. Don't Stay Out Late

10. Help Me Make It Through the Night

11. You're No Good

12. Words of Love

13. Yesterday

14. Wide Awake in a Dream

x

Track List: Legend (Platinum Edition)

1. Silver Words

2. Help Me Make It Through The Night

3. Gonna Take A Miracle

4. Long Time

5. Again

6. Wide Awake In A Dream

7. I Hurt You

8. Nice Time

9. The Train Is Coming

10. You're No Good

11. Ain't That Loving You

12. Artibella

13. It's Gonna Take A Miracle

14. Memories By The Score

15. My Heart Is Gone

16. Not For Sale

17. Old Fashion Way

18. Puppet On A String

19. Sattamassagana

20. Duke Of Earl

21. Going Home

22. Kingston Town

23. Love Is Overdue

x

Track List: In The Summertime

1. In The Summertime

x

Track List: Ken Boothe Love Songs

1. Words Of Love

2. My Heart Is Gone

3. It's Hard To Confess

4. Again

5. It's Gonna Take A Miracle

6. Memories By The Score

7. Silver Words

8. Wide Awake In A Dream

9. Help Me Make It Through The Night

10. How Could I Leave

11. Love Is Overdue

12. Moving Away (Dub)

13. Money In My Pocket

14. Yesterday

15. Ain't That Loving You

16. Don't Stay Out Late

17. I'm In A Dancing Mood

18. Just Want To Say Hello

19. Mona Lisa

20. Old Fashion Way (2011 Version)

21. So Much Love To Give

22. Ain't No Love

23. Do You Love Me

24. Going Home

25. I've Got The Power

26. Leaving Me Standing

27. You're No Good

28. The One I Love

29. Puppet On A String

30. One Love

31. Keep My Love From Fading

32. The Girl I Left Behind

33. Got To Tell You Goodbye

34. Julie On My Mind

35. Take My Hand

36. Goodness Gets You Through

37. Not For Sale

38. Why Should You Leave

39. You Left The Water Running

40. Now I Know

41. Artibella (2011 Version)

42. Can't Get No Satisfaction

43. Get Close To You

44. Hard To Confess

45. I Love You

46. Love And Confort Me

47. Why Baby Why

48. When I Fall In Love

49. Softley

50. Come Running Back

x

Track List: Best Of Ken Boothe

1. Yesterday

2. It's Gonna Take A Miracle

3. Ain't That Loving You

4. How Could I Leave

5. Love Is Overdue

6. Kingston Town

7. Memories By The Score

8. Moving Away (1995 Re-Recording)

9. Puppet On A String

10. Silver Words

11. Wide Awake In A Dream

12. You're No Good (1995 Re-Recording)

13. Train Is Coming (1995 Re-Recording)

14. Artibella (1995 Re-Recording)

15. Duke Of Earl

16. Drums Of Freedom

17. Do You Love Me

18. Freedom Street

19. Help Me Make It Through The Night

20. Going Home

21. I've Got The Power

22. It's Hard To Confess

23. Leaving Me Standing

24. Money In My Pocket

25. My Heart Is Gone

26. Nice Time

27. Old Fashioned Way

28. Now I Know

29. One Love

30. Why Should You Leave

31. Take My Hand

32. The Girl I Left Behind

33. So Much Love To Give

34. Satmasagana

35. Redemption Song

36. My Guiding Star

37. Mona Lisa

38. I'm In A Dancing Mood

39. Again

40. The One I Love

x

Track List: 22 Love Songs

1. Wide Awake In A Dream

2. Help Me Make It Through The Night

3. My Heart Is Gone

4. Gonna Take A Miracle

5. Love And Confort Me

6. Ain't No Love

7. Old Fashion Way

8. Yesterday

9. I Love You

10. Mona Lisa

11. So Much Love To Give

12. Again

13. How Can I Leave

14. Why Did You Leave

15. You Do Not Love

16. I Hurt Your Feeling

17. Memories By The Score

18. Hard To Confess

19. Love Is Over Due

20. Without Love

21. Got To Tell You Goodbye

22. Don't Stay Out Late

x

Track List: 40 Greatest Hits

Disc 1

1. Silver Words

2. It's Gonna Take A Miracle

3. Old Fashion Way

4. Drums Of Freedom

5. Ain't No Love

6. Wide Awake In A Dream

7. Loving You Girl

8. The Train Is Coming (1978 Version)

9. Again

10. Help Me Make It Through The Night

11. Artibella (1978 Version)

12. Satamassagana

13. Nice Time

14. Not For Sale

15. Freedom Street (1970 Version)

16. In The Summertime

17. I Hurt Your Feeling

18. Kingston Town

19. You're No Good

20. Memories By The Score

21. Duke Of Earl

22. I've Got The Power

23. Come Running Back

Disc 2

1. Just Want To Say Hello

2. Puppet On A String

3. Love & Comfort Me

4. Wonderful Things

5. How Can I Live

6. My Heart Is Gone

7. Yesterday

8. Softley

9. So Much Love To Give

10. I Remember

11. You Do Not Love

12. I Love You

13. In The Beginning

14. Guiding Star

15. Mona Lisa

16. One Love

17. Why Did You Leave

x

Track List: Sings Studio One Hits

1. I'm In A Dancing Mood

2. Puppet On A String

3. Take My Hand

4. Duke Of Earl

5. Moving Away (2010)

6. Moving Away (Mix 2)

7. Do You Love Me

8. Got To Tell You Goodbye

9. The Train Is Coming (Re-Recording) (2010)

10. Ain't That Loving You (Re-Recording) (2010)

11. Old Fashion Way (Re-Recording) (2010)

12. Why Should You Leave

13. Puppet On A String (Mix 2)

x

Track List: At Beverley's...

1. It's Gonna Take A Miracle

2. Drums Of Freedom

3. Get Close To You

4. Freedom Street

5. Why Baby Why

6. Mr. Wind

7. Love And Unity

8. Satisfaction

9. Now I Know

10. In The Summertime

11. I Wish It Could Be Peaceful

12. Your Feeling And Mine

13. Version 1

14. Version 2

x

Track List: Ain't That Loving You

2. I Am Just A Man

3. Evil Girl

4. Satisfaction

5. My Heart Is Like An Open Book

6. Sad And Lonely

7. It's Gonna Take A Miracle

8. Ain't No Love

9. Ain't That Loving You

10. Artibella

11. Freedom Street

13. Get Close To You

14. Drums Of Freedom

15. Duke Of Earl

x

Track List: You're No Good

1. You're No Good

2. Satmasagana

3. Not For Sale

4. Artibella

5. Ain't That Loving You (You're No Good Album Version)

6. Memories By The Score

7. Duke Of Earl

8. It's Gonna Take A Miracle (You're No Good Album Version)

9. I've Got The Power

10. The Train Is Coming (You're No Good Album Version)

11. Come Running Back

12. Just Want To Say Hello

13. Puppet On A String

14. My Heart Is Gone

x

Track List: Anthology 63-78

Disc 1

3. The One I Love

4. Say You

5. Lady With The Starlight

6. Live Good

7. Old Fashioned Way

8. Why Baby Why

9. Keep My Love From Fading

10. Freedom Street

11. It's Gonna Take a Miracle

12. Now I Know

13. Get Close To You

14. Give To Me

16. Artibella

18. Hallelujah

19. Trying To Reach

20. I Wish It Could Be Peaceful Again

21. Your Feeling And Mine

23. So Nice

24. Rasta Never Fail

27. Out Of Love

Disc 2

1. Missing You

3. Ain't No Sunshine

4. Black Gold and Green

5. Silver Words

7. Leaving Me

9. Is It Because I'm Black

12. Everything I Own

13. Crying Over You

14. Love Don't Love Nobody

15. Now you Can See Me Again

17. Let Go

19. I Shot The Sheriff

20. I Don't Want To See You Cry

21. Who Gets Your Love

22. You're No Good

x

Track List: The Ken Boothe Collection: Eighteen Classic Songs

1. Everything I Own

2. Come Softly To Me (Aka Dum Dum)

3. Let's Get It On

4. Silver Words

5. You Send Me

6. African Lady

7. Love Don't Love Nobody

8. Freedom Street

9. (It's The Way) Nature Planned It

10. Crying Over You

11. Speak Softly Love (Theme From The Godfather)

12. Ain't No Sunshine

13. No Woman No Cry

14. Black, Gold And Green

15. Out Of Love (Aka I'm The One That Love Forgot)

16. Is It Because I'm Black?

17. Now You Can See Me Again

18. Walk Away From Love

x

Track List: Blood Brothers

1. Walk Away From Love

2. No Woman No Cry

3. Freedom Day

4. Everything I Own

5. Mammy Blue

6. Love Don't Love Nobody

7. I'm Singing Home

8. I Shot The Sherriff

9. Sliver Words

10. I Don't Want To See You Cry

11. Blood Brothers

x

Track List: Ken Boothe Live In Paris

1. Silver Words (Live)

2. Crying Over You (Live)

3. Everything I Own (Live)

4. Artibella (Live)

5. When I Fall In Love (Live)

6. Without Love (Live)

7. Freedom Street (Live)

8. The Girl I Left Behind (Live)

9. Moving Away (Live)

10. Puppet On A String (Live)

11. You're No Good (Live)

12. The Train Is Coming (LIve)

13. Come Tomorrow (Live)

14. Tell You Good Bye (Live)

x

Track List: Ken Boothe

1. Crying Over You

2. Dark End Of The Street

3. Everything I Own

4. Who's Loving You

x

Track List: Freedom Street

1. Freedom Street (Original 1971)

2. Why Baby Why (Original 1971)

3. Mr Wind (Original 1971)

4. It's Gonna Take A Miracle (Original 1971)

5. Love And Unity (Original 1971)

6. Drums Of Freedom (Original 1971)

7. Now I Know (Original 1971)

8. In The Summertime (Original 1971)

9. Get Close To You (Original 1971)

10. Satisfaction (Original 1971)

11. I Wish It Could Be Peaceful (Original 1971)

12. Your Feeling And Mine (Original 1971)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
heard on darker than blue soundtrack - guy's voice was so solid!
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Mr real
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Mr. Rock Steady
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KEN BOOTHE DENHAM TOWN KINGSTON,12,
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KEN BOOths back in thy day,s 60&70,,!!,# ,D,#
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this must be early ken boothe cant remember this one
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luv my jamaican music nuh ras
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True Joseph2221.I went home a few years ago and saw him preformed he was awesome,and as you said full of energy love him
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Big tune
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Moving away will make you dance all when the dj. play it.
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Mr. Smooth Boothe himself, his music is always mellow.
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Simply put, the man is good.
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jjoseph1221
Had the chance to see him live over the week-end. Great performer... s m o o t h and soulful, still full of youth and vigor!
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the most intense and soulful vocals i've evr heard...he is super-human! !
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muziclovrgur l
Ken Booth is the king of rock steady. He is a demi-god
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LOVE THIS GUY .. LOVE LISTENING TO HIS MUSIC .. VERY SMOOTH AND SOULFUL ..
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jojoelli6670
Takes me to another world....... . . s o o t h i n g to the soul
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he's one of jamaica's best artist, his music moves me.not only that he looks damn GOOD!
Report as inappropriate
Ken Boothe was one of the highest-rate d and most anticipated singer and stage-perfor m e r . His songs are still well-receive d .
Report as inappropriate
bj679
I want to suggest his song "The one I love". That dude is feeling it man.
Report as inappropriate
Here is one of the most underated heroes of Jamaican music...ther e is no voice like Ken Boothe...jus t listen to his "Hallelujah" . . .
Report as inappropriate
moruga1
Hold yuh gyal tight

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