Around a year ago DanceCrasher was contacted by Roy Wislon of Higgs And Wilson fame, he wanted to tell his story. I started corresponding with him but after a few emails and only some basic information I didn’t hear back. He said he’d been ill so I didn’t like to chase. Now Tommy Rocka Shacka from Japan has posted on Facebook that Roy has passed on. It’s very sad that another legend of Jamaican music has left us and I’m disappointed that I couldn’t help him to tell his story before this happened.
Roy Wilson came from a large family of four brothers and one sister, he was born in Spanish Town in 1939 and moved to Kingston with his mother when still very young. In Kingston he attended Whitefield Elementary School just off Maxfield Avenue, he entered singing contests at school before moving on to the famous Vere Johns Opportunity Hour (where he said that he won some and lost some).
In 1956 he joined the Bim And Bam comedy troupe and toured the island before meeting up with Jackie Edwards in around 1957 and singing and touring with him. He went on to team up with Joe Higgs, the duo and had a huge hit with their first recording together; Manny Oh for Edward Seaga. They went on to record many more hit tunes from the early 60’s through to the middle of the decade when Roy left Jamaica and moved to America.
Though Joe Higgs has always been rightly celebrated for his contribution to Jamaican music it’s a great shame that due to Roy Wilson’s early departure from Jamaica his part of this story has been largely overlooked. RIP Roy, be sure your contribution will not be forgotten.