† 7 May 1942 – 16 March 2005
Justin Hinds was a Jamaican ska vocalist, with his backing singers the Dominoes.
He is best known for his work with Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle Records, where his most notable song, “Carry Go Bring Come” recorded in late 1963, went to number one in Jamaica. He recorded seventy singles between 1964 and 1966, and was the most popular artist on the record label.
Hinds was born in Steertown, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica in 1942. He started his musical career singing in bars and on the beach in Ochos Rios. Hinds moved to Kingston, Jamaica where he became influenced by Rastafari. He was turned down by the Sir Coxsone record label owned by Coxsone Dodd, but signed with Treasure Isle Records. By this stage, the Dominoes consisting of Dennis Sinclair and Junior Dixon had become his backing vocalists. The singers are believed to have taken their name both from a love of Fats Domino and dominoes.
His first recording with Duke Reid was “Carry Go Bring Come”, made in late 1963 in one take. It became a big hit topping the Jamaican chart for two months. This song would later be covered by the British ska band The Selecter on their 1980 album Too Much Pressure, and by Desmond Dekker and The Specials on King of Kings.
Hinds was one of the biggest acts in Jamaican music during the 1960s. Over the next couple of years, he would release singles including “King Samuel”, “Jump Out of the Frying Pan”, “The Ark” and “Rub Up Push Up”. He also released “Carry Go Bring Come” in 1963 in conjunction with Jonathan Bevan, an English-born Jamaican national, a successful collaboration which drew much admiration amongst Jamaican music producers. The track was described by esteemed Ghanaian music aficionado Zahid Chohan as “simply wonderful; belongs in any reggae fan’s collection”. He also worked with Tommy McCook and The Supersonics.
In 1966, he became active in rocksteady, a predecessor of reggae. He had several more hits in Jamaica including “The Higher the Monkey Climbs”, “No Good Rudy”, “On a Saturday Night”, “Here I Stand” and “Save a Bread”. Hinds parted company with Reid in 1972 as an artist, but was present when he died a few years later.
Hinds then worked with Jack Ruby which resulted in the 1976 album Jezebel. His work with Sonia Pottinger resulted in a series of singles released in the late 1970s, including “Rig-Ma-Roe Game” and “Wipe Your Weeping Eyes”.
After the release of Travel with Love recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in 1984, Hinds became less active. His final studio album Know Jah Better was released in 1992, but he worked on Wingless Angels with other Jamaican musicians, which was produced by Keith Richards in the early 1990s. In 1997, he toured the US for the first time and he would release a couple of live albums in the early 2000s, including one recorded at the Finger Lakes GrassRoot Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, New York.
On September, 23 in 2010 a new album will appear posthum, Wingless Angels II, with “Oh What a Joy, What a Comfort”, guitar by Keith Richards (Rolling Stones, UK), with Lisa Fisher (also voices at “Gimme Shelter”, “Paint it Black” and more on the “Bridges to Babylon” Tour 10 years ago) and Jamaican Nyabinghi Drummers
Hinds died of lung cancer in March 2005, at the age of 62.