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Reggae Legends

Beres Hammond

Beres Hammond

By Patricia Meschino
Published September 9, 2005

Beres Hammond’s gritty vocalizing and incomparable production and songwriting skills have earned him a remarkable place in Jamaica’s lush musical landscape.

On an island overpopulated with good song makers, Beres Hammond’s gritty vocalizing, as well as his incomparable production and songwriting skills, primarily detailing the vicissitudes of romantic relationships, have earned him a remarkable place in Jamaica’s lush musical landscape. 

          Born in 1955 in the island’s verdant garden parish of St. Mary, Hugh Beresford Hammond has for more than two decades been a consistent hitmaker on his native island.  By age 11, Hammond began traveling from his home in the rural one-street town of Annotto Bay to Jamaica’s bustling capital city of Kingston to observe the singers who frequented the downtown record shops. 

          In 1975 Hammond joined the Jamaican fusion band Zap Pow as lead singer, remaining with the group for four years while simultaneously releasing solo records. His debut solo alum, Soul Reggae (Aquarius Records, 1976), sold well throughout Jamaica.

          The frustration of releasing hit records in Jamaica without proper monetary compensation, due to the island's chaotic music industry infrastructure, led Hammond to form his own record label/production company, Harmony House, in the early '80s. 

          Since the release of his first Harmony House single, “Groovy Little Thing,” in 1985, Hammond has sustained a succession of hit records on the reggae charts worldwide. His 1987 hit “What One Dance Can Do,” recorded for producer Willie Lindo, entered the pop charts in England and elicited a string of answer records including Hammond’s own “She Loves Me Now.” Both tunes solidly established Hammond’s name on the dancehall reggae circuit. 

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