Entertainment

Melodians Trevor McNaughton is dead

Thursday, November 22, 2018

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Trevor McNaughton, founder of The Melodians, died Tuesday at the Kendrick Rehabilitation Hospital in Hollywood, Florida. His wife, Irene, gave the cause of death as respiratory failure.

The 77-year-old McNaughton was admitted on October 6 to Jackson North Hospital in Miami, but was transferred to Kendrick Rehabilitation Hospital after showing improvement. His wife said he deteriorated over the past two days and died Tuesday evening.

Born in Hanover, the dreadlocked McNaughton started The Melodians in 1963 in Greenwich Farm, Kingston. They were one of the most successful acts of the 1966-68 rocksteady era, recording mainly for producer Duke Reid.

Many of their songs, including Little Nut Tree and By The Rivers of Babylon, are reggae classics.

By The Rivers of Babylon was produced by Leslie Kong and is part of the soundtrack to the 1972 movie, The Harder They Come.

McNaughton was sole survivor of the original trio which also included Brent Dowe and Trevor Brevett. Dowe died in 2006, while Brevett passed away in 2013.

Winston Dias and Taurus Alphonso joined The Melodians in the last four years, and along with McNaughton performed at events in South Florida, the United Kingdom and Spain.

In February 2017, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) honoured The Melodians with its Iconic Award during the organisation's annual awards show at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston.

McNaughton accepted the award on behalf of his colleagues.

“Well, it means a lot, and knowing that they still remember us in Jamaica to give us an award make me feel good all over,” he said.

Trevor McNaughton is survived by his wife of 38 years, two daughters, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is he second artiste from the rocksteady era to die in five days. Last Friday, Norris Weir of The Jamaicans passed away in Port St Lucie, Florida.

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