Winston Groovy never attained much popularity or critical acclaim outside of England, but in the U.K. he released a wonderful series of soulful, sentimental reggae tunes throughout the '70s and early '80s. Born Winston Tucker in 1946 in the Waltham Park Road area of Kingston, he took an early interest in music. He listened to local jukeboxes and American R&B shows on the radio, and he also spent a great deal of time listening to the top sound systems playing out in Kingston, namely those of Duke Reid, Sir Coxsone, and King Edwards. Two of his favorites were local heroes Owen Gray and Derrick Morgan.
His first recording opportunity came courtesy of King Edwards, with whom he recorded a song called "She's Mine" that was never released on record but was played exclusively by Edwards and his sound system. Then, in 1961, he moved to England to join his father, who was living in Birmingham. There Winston became the lead singer and songwriter in a group called the Ebonites, but that didn't last long and he ended up moving to London. It wasn't long before he crossed paths there with Laurel Aitken, who knew Winston as the lead singer of the Ebonites. This meeting led to a partnership that resulted in a great many songs. Aitken licensed these recordings to the Pama group of labels, and the recording career of Winston (now billing himself as Winston Groovy) was well underway.
In 1971 he signed with Pama directly and began producing his own records, beginning with "I Want to Be Loved." His next big break came in 1974 when he signed with Trojan and continued his hitmaking. "Please Don't Make Me Cry" was one of his most noteworthy songs, later covered by UB40 in 1983 to much worldwide success. With his evolution into a brand-name lovers rock singer on solid ground, Winston's output continued into the next decade, with "Something on the Side" (1981) and a cover of the Commodores' "Night Shift" (1985) standing out as particularly big hits. ~ Jason Birchmeier