OLDIES SUNDAY: Folkes Brothers – Oh Carolina (1960)

In recognition of Shaggy’s 20 year anniversary of his “Oh Carolina” hit, I thought I might give you all the original version. Today’s Oldies Sunday selection comes from The Folkes Brothers, the original artists behind the “Oh Carolina” single. The Folkes Brothers comprised of John, Mico, and Junior Folkes. Produced and released by Prince Buster in 1960, this is a love song where the artists are here urging Carolina to come back into the lead singer’s life after having bouts of sadness and loneliness.

Oh Carolina” was not only a hit in Jamaica, but was considered a landmark single in the development of modern Jamaican music which composed of Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae. With the incorporation of African inspired  Niyabinghi -styled drumming and chanting, this lead on to many more experiments in music over the years. It is considered one of Jamaica’s most important records as it was the first to breakaway from the influenced style of American R&B music that was the norm. “Oh Carolina” has been covered by many artists locally and abroad including Count Ossie in 1970 and Shaggy in 1993 which turned into a International hit. Shaggy’s success with his cover of the single lead to a legal dispute in 1994 over the original composer of the song, it was later ruled that John Folkes was the original composer of the song.

With the success of “Oh Carolina“, the Folkes Brothers later disbanded where Mico and John migrated to further their studies while Junior stayed in the music business. 50 years after the single the brothers (minus John Folkes) released their debut album “Don’t Leave Me Darling” in 2011.

Thank You Folkes Brothers for this Jamaican classic.


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