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Josey Wales

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 3 months ago


Josey Wales (b. Joseph Winston Sterling, West Kingston, Jamaica). His professional debut as a deejay was in 1977 with the Sound System Roots Unlimited discoteque. Those times he often did spar with Buro. His style owing a lot to his mentor U-Roy. Josey then started deejaying for King Sturgav and did so for the following three and a half years, often sparring with fellow deejay Charlie Chaplin. During his time there King Sturgav was to become on of the biggest and most respected sounds of Jamaica. After his three and a half long career with King Sturgav he moved on to Junjo's Volcano. It was with Junjo that Wales had his first real hit, »Leggo Mi Hand« in 1983. He had debuted in 1982 with »Hold On« for Tappa Zukies Stars label.


Even with the then current trends in the dancehalls Josey never chatted slackness unlike many of his fellow deejays (an honorable mentioning goes to Yellowman as one of the stars of slackness). Instead Josey Wales kept a strictly conscious approach in his lyrics.


In 1983 Josey released his debut album, The Outlaw. The name was a reference to Clint Eastwood's western film-character that he had also taken his name, Josey Wales, from. He was often referred to as either the Outlaw of the Colonel. The album was produced by Junjo and proved to be a major hit. By now he was only second to Yellowman when it comes to status. More songs followed for Junjo such as »Bobo Dread« which was included in the clash LP »Two Giants Clash« that he split with Yellowman. In 1984 the self-produced album No Way Better Than Yard was released. A split album with Early B followed on the Sonic Sounds label.


In 1985 Josey Wales left Volcano and instead moved to King Jammy's label. Some of the hits he recorded for Jammy were »Na Lef Jamaica«, »Ha Fi Say So«, »Right Moves«, »It's Raining« and »Water Come A Mi Eye«. 1986 saw the release of his fourth album, Ruling, with productions by Triston Palma.


By the late 80's Josey Wales had lost much of his cutting edge and the style was generally considered to be quite out of date. In 1989 he released the album Undercover Lover for George Phang. In 1992 he released a combination album with U-Roy called Teacher Meets The Student. In 1993 Josey and Beres Hammond had a smash hit with the song »Hey Girl«. In 1994 he did yet another combination album, King of the Dancehall, this time with Charlie Chaplin. Also a solo album for King Jammy, Cowboy Style, followed the same year. He recorded for such producers such as Gussie Clarke, Tappa Zukie, Phillip »Fatis« Burrel and Bobby Digital during the decade.


In 1997 Wales was robbed at a Kingston Bar and was shot. He did survive the gunshot wounds. After the robbery Josey had a short upswing of his recording career releasing hits such as »Bush Wacked« and »Who Shot the Colonel«. In 1998 Josey once again joined King Sturgav HiFi.

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