Artist Profiles: Lloyd Parks

Lloyd Parks

Lloyd Parks is a reggae vocalist and bass player. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica on May 26, 1948. In the late 1960s, he performed with the Invincibles band (whose members also included Ansell Collins, Sly Dunbar and Ranchie McLean) before teaming up with Wentworth Vernal in The Termites. In 1967, they recorded their first single “Have Mercy Mr. Percy” and then an album “Do the Rocksteady” for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label.

After recording “RubUp Push Up” for the Dampa label, Parks and Vernal split up. Parks then briefly joined The Techniques as a replacement for Pat Kelly, recording tracks such as “Say You Love Me”, before embarking on a solo career and later starting his own label, Parks. His second single was the classic “Slaving”, a moving song about the struggles of a working man.

As a solo artist, he recorded a number of songs for Prince Tony Robinson, including “Trenchtown Girl” and “You Don’t Care”. Some of his best-known solo hits include “Officially”, “Mafia” (both 1974), “Girl In The Morning” and “Baby Hang Up The Phone” (both 1975). Parks was a studio bass player, backing many of the greatest reggae artists, including Justin Hinds on Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label. He was a member of Skin Flesh and Bones along with Ansell Collins on keyboards, Tarzan on keyboards, and Ranchie MacLean on guitar. This group backed Al Brown on his hit “Here I am Baby”, and many other artists. When Skin Flesh and Bones started playing for the Channel One Studios, Parks renamed the band The Revolutionaries.

Parks was also a member of Joe Gibbs’ house band, The Professionals, performing hits such as Althea & Donna’s “Up Town Top Ranking”, and in the 1970s he backed artists including Dennis Brown, the Abyssinians, the Itals, The Gladiators, Culture and Prince Far I. In 1974, he founded the “We the People” Band.

Reggae Down Under captured Lloyd parks performing his greatest two hits – “Mafia” and “Officially” – Up close and personal during his tour of Australia with Dub Syndicate.

Discography:

Officially (Attack, 1974)
Girl In The Morning (Trojan, 1975)
Loving You (Trojan, 1976)
Meet the people (Parks, 1978)
Jeans, Jeans (Tad’s, 1985)
What More Can I Do (1983)
Time A Go Dread (Pressure Sounds)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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