Born in 1949 in Kingston,
Jamaica, Pat Kelly was one of
the island's leading purveyors
of the rock
steady genre. The
sound-alike took Slim Smith's
place alongside Bruce Ruffin &
Winston Riley in the Techniques
around 1966. The group recorded
some fine covers of soul music
especially Impressions tunes.
The new Technique lineup debuted
with "You Don't Care" a remake
of the Impressions' "You'll Want
Me Back," which they later
recorded under the correct
title. "Minstrel & Queen,"
another Impressions oldie,
followed, and the Techniques
were rolling with chain of hits
that included "My Girl" and
"Love Is Not A Gamble."
Kelly went solo in 1968,
debuting with yet another Curtis
Mayfield song, "Little Boy
Blue." With the Techniques out
of the picture, the Uniques
handled the backing vocals on a
series of tracks that included
remakes of "Daddy's Home," "I'm
in the Mood for Love" and "You
Are Not Mine."
The solo experiment
lasted less than a year before he reunited with the Techniques,
coming out strong with a shimmering remake of the Temptations'
"I Wish It Would Rain," and other rocksteady ditties accompanied
by Hopeton Lewis on some, and Winston Riley on others. In 1969
he decided to go solo again and came out with a reggae version
of James Carr's "Dark End of the Street," then "Since You're
Gone," and others including "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye."
Kelly bounced around from studio to studio recording some tracks
for Bunny Lee and some for Lee Perry.
All of his recordings did well in Jamaica, the surrounding
islands, and the United Kingdom, especially "How Long Will It
Take." A trip to the U.K. via the strength of "How Long..."
resulted in a deal with Pama Records and the LP, Pat Kelly
Sings. Most of his releases came out on Pama's subsidiary, Gas
Records. Back in Jamaica he continued recording and released the
Cool Breezing (Soulful Love) album, a collaboration with Phil
Kelly's best offerings are now readily available via the
Internet on various CDs featuring Kelly only, and on some
various artists compilations.
~ Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide