The Silvertones (who also recorded as The Musketeers and The Muskyteers) were a Jamaican reggae harmony group formed in 1964, best known for their recordings for Lee “Scratch” Perry in the early 1970s.
The group initially comprised the duo of Carl Grant (aka Gilmore Grant, born 11 July 1943, Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica) and Keith Coley (born 7 March 1944, Saint Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica), although they expanded to a trio with the addition of Delroy Denton. In 1966 they recorded the singles “True Confession” and “It’s Real”, both produced by Duke Reid, and released on the Dr. Bird label, giving them instant success in Jamaica. The following they recorded “Cool Down”, also for Reid, and in 1968 they released a cover version of Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour”, as well as further singles for Reid’s Treasure Isle label including “Old Man River” and “Slow & Easy”. They also recorded for Sonia Pottinger (“Guns Fever”) and by 1971 they had moved on to record for Clancy Eccles, releases including “Tear Drops Will Fall”. They then recorded for Studio One. Denton emigrated to the United States, to be replaced by Clinton “Tennessee” Brown.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s the band worked with Lee Perry, initially as The Muskyteers, contributing a version of Brook Benton’s “Kiddy-O” to Perry’s album The Upsetter. Perry produced their debut album, Silver Bullets, voiced at King Tubby’s studio in one night and released on Perry’s Black Art label and on Trojan Records in the United Kingdom in 1974 in two different mixes. The instrumental tracks were recorded at Perry’s partially completed Black Ark studio. The album included one track, generally regarded as the highlight, “Rejoice Jah Jah Children”, which was written by Perry’s partner Pauline Morrison. Although the group recorded additional material around that time that was not included on the album, the album’s nine tracks were augmented by a Silvertones-free dub of Dave Barker’s “Are You Sure”, when Perry realised that the album was too short.
In the late 1970s they had successful singles with “I Want to Be There”, “Smile”, “Stop Crying”, “Have a Little Faith”, and “Come Forward” (the latter credited to the Brentford Rockers), the group now working again with Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One. Their Studio One recordings were collected together along with some of the Duke Reid-produced sides on the Young at Heart album in 1999. Brown died on 17 March 1999.
The group continued to record and perform into the 2000s.