Lloyd Charmers dead at 74

Howard Campbell

Saturday, December 29, 2012

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LLOYD Charmers, who produced Ken Boothe's smash hit Everything I Own, died in London, England Thursday from a heart attack. He was 74 years old.

His close friend Lincoln Brown told the Jamaica Observer that Charmers (real name Lloyd Terell) fell ill while driving and died before reaching Homerton Hospital in Hackney, east London.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Born in Trench Town, Charmers established himself as a singer, musician and producer starting in theska era of the early 1960s. He was a member of the Flames, Alton Ellis' harmony group, before joining the Uniques, a trio that included fellow singers Keith 'Slim' Smith and Jimmy Riley.

The Uniques had several hit songs for producer Bunny Lee including Let Me Go Girl and Everybody Needs Love. He also contributed backing vocals to Blood and Fire, singer Winston 'Niney' Holness' 1971 hit that made the British pop chart.

Charmers matured as an arranger and producer during the early 1970s, maintaining ties with Lee but forming a strong bond with Federal Records where he recorded Everything I Own, a cover of a song originally done by American blue-eyed soul group Bread.

Boothe's reggae version topped Britain's national chart in 1974 and made him a star in that country. Charmers also produced Boothe's album of the same name.

Boothe described Charmers as "one of the best in the business", adding that he was "very businesslike, very sophisticated".

Musicologist and sound system operator Winston 'Merritone' Blake knew Charmers for nearly 40 years. He also paid tribute to him.

"Lloyd was an excellent producer. He is the last of the dynamic producers who brought diversity and quality to our music," said Blake.

During the period, he was working with Boothe, Charmers produced the critically-acclaimed Dadawah Peace and Love Wadadasow album by Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus. He later produced Rare Grooves Reggae Rhythm & Blues Volume 1, a Dennis Brown cover album of pop and soul standards.

Charmers had lived in Britain since the late 1970s.

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