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The Inspirations

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Biography

The Inspirations was a vocal duo comprising Trevor Shaw (b. 30 November 1949, St. Catherine, Jamaica, West Indies) and Rainsford White. In the burgeoning Jamaican recording industry the duo would wait by the recording studios eager for a chance to demonstrate their abilities. The Inspirations eventually secured an audition outside Winston Riley’s Techniques studio where they duly impressed the singer Roy Shirley, who led them to their first audition. Through Shirley the duo released ‘I Need Money’, which was produced by Sir JJ Johnson but greeted with indifference. Undeterred they began recording with Lee Perry who released, ‘Tighten Up’, ‘Down In The Park’, ‘Love Oh Love’, ‘Tender Love’ and ‘You Know What I Mean’. The success of ‘Tighten Up’ resulted in the release of a various artists’ compilation named after the hit, which in turn led to a series of albums that have since achieved cult status. The title track that opened the first volume was wrongly credited to the Untouchables and resulted in the duo recording for Joe Gibbs. With Gibbs they recorded a run of hits such as, ‘Take Back Your Duck’, ‘La La’ and ‘The Train Is Coming’. They maintained their profile with versions of, ‘Bongo Nyah’, ‘Wet Dreams’, ‘Sweet Sensation’ and ‘Who You Gonna Run To’ that featured on 1970’s Reggae Fever. In spite of their success by 1972 the duo had decided to pursue solo careers. Shaw performed as Jimmy London and found fame with his cover version of Simon And Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (that ironically featured in the Tighten Up series). In light of Shaw’s success as a soloist Perry unearthed the appropriately titled ‘Confusion’ that he credited to Jimmy London And The Inspirations, and confusingly a Joe Gibbs reissue series also used the name. On the Complete UK Upsetter Collection, Volume 4 it was stated that White enjoyed a solo career when he recorded as Billy Dyce with producers such as Alvin ‘GG’ Ranglin. There have been subsequent releases confusingly credited to Billy Dyce And The Untouchables, although a few reviewers have claimed that it was White’s brother who recorded under this name. In 1999 Trojan Records reissued Reggae Fever, supplemented with extra tracks from Joe Gibbs’ production stable.
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