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Singer Shenley Duffus is dead at 62
MARK CUMMINGS, Observer staff reporter
Friday, February 22, 2002

Shenley Duffus in performance at Heineken Startime's Life Is Just For Living concert on July 27 last year. (File photo: Joseph Wellington)

THE music fraternity is mourning the loss of one of Jamaica's musical pioneers, Chandley Duffus.

Better know as Shenley Duffus, the singer passed away last week Tuesday in Ocho Rios, just one day before his 63rd birthday.

"Shenley's passing will be a great loss to the music industry. He has made a significant contribution to the local recording industry," producer Clement "Sir Coxone" Dodd, told Splash, Thursday.

"The artistes at Studio One miss him a lot because he was a jolly old fellow," Dodd added.

Duffus started his music career at Dodd's Studio One in 1954 and during his lifetime he recorded a number of hits. These incude Give To Get, Bet You Don't Know, What a Disaster, Christopher Columbus, Rukumbine and The Lord Will Make A Way.

The late singer performed on the Kingston club circuit club, at hot spots like the Sombrero Club on Molynes Road, the VIP Glass Bucket on Half-Way-Tree Road and Club Havana on Windward Road.

It was during this period, in the ska era of the 1950s, that Prince Buster and Derrick Morgan helped Duffus to release What A Disaster which topped the Jamaican charts.

Later, Duffus recorded and released Nobody Know, Digging A Ditch and Bet You Dont Know. These songs were followed by two monster hits Rukumbine and Something On My Mind.

In the early 1960s, Duffus left the recording scene for the North Coast, where he performed in carabet on the hotel circuit, working between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.

After spending some time abroad, he was back at Studio One working on an album which was scheduled to be released later this year.

"The album is complete but it was not yet released because we were waiting until a single from the album, that was released recently, takes off," Dodd said.

He added, however, that the album which is called Shenley Now and Then, will definitely be released later this year.

Last July, Duffus was added to the popular vintage concert series, Heineken Startime's, roster and appeared at their big Independence package, Life Is Just For Living, at the Mass Camp Village.

The funeral service for the late Shenley Duffus will be held next Monday in Ocho Rios.

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