SINGER Tony Brevett, who died Saturday in Miami from complications of cancer, was a product of the 1960s rocksteady craze.
A nephew of Skatalites bassist Lloyd Brevett, west Kingston-raised Brevett was founder of The Melodians, one of the genre's great harmony groups.
"Tony was always professional, love him music. Just a great guy," was how Trevor McNaughton, the surviving Melodian, described his longtime friend.
Brent Dowe, who formed the group with Brevett and McNaughton in 1963, died in January, 2006.
Dowe sang lead on most of The Melodians' hits, but Brevett was also out front on several of the trio's noted songs, including Swing and Dine, The Last Train and Little Nut Tree.
Most of their hit songs were produced by Arthur 'Duke' Reid for his Treasure Isle label.
The Melodians maintained some momentum going into the reggae era of the early 1970s. By The Rivers of Babylon, produced by Leslie Kong, made the soundtrack of the 1972 movie The Harder They Come, and is regarded as a pop music standard.
To celebrate their 50th anniversary, The Melodians completed the Lyrics to Riddim album they started eight years ago with Dowe and South Florida producer Willie Lindo.
This year, they also did shows in California, Colorado, Toronto, and Japan. McNaughton says they were forced to cancel a Miami date in August after Brevett fell ill.
The singer, who had lived in New York City for several years, never recovered from his ailment.
Tony Brevett, who was in his late 60s, is survived by his wife and six children.