There has long been a tradition in Jamaica of three part vocal harmony trios, particularly during the classic era and before. The Wailers started out this way as did Burning Spear and Israel Vibration plus many more but the traditional groups include such names as Culture, the Congos, the Abyssinians, Black Uhuru, the Wailing Souls, the Meditations, the Paragons and of course, the Mighty Diamonds.

The Diamonds comprise Tabby [Donald Sharp], Bunny [Fitzroy Simmons] and Judge [LLoyd Ferguson]. They sing frequently of militant topics set to sweet musical reggae tunes always using the best musicians on the island. One of their first hit singles in about 1974 was ‘Shame and Pride’ and then the following year they hit with another, ‘Right Time’. Bob had legitimized rasta and Right Time’s message appealed to the youth; ‘Natty Dread will never run away’ registered with the chosen. Their repertoire ranges from love songs to militant to silly pop, Pass the Kutchie was a huge pop hit in 1981, the ‘kutchie’ was a bit of patois for ‘pass the bong’, they probably made more money off that one than some entire albums. That beautiful voice that you hear singing lead on every cut is Tabby, he’s a really niceĀ  handsome guy, open and easy to talk to with lots to say. The backup is by Judge and Bunny and they have figured out exactly where and when to come in. I sorted through my six vinyl Diamond’s albums and made the following selections, I even discovered a second one with my pictures on the cover that I’d forgotten about. My career shooting reggae started before I met the Diamonds but they were the first to ask if I had any decent photos for their upcoming album, of course I did and through that connection I met many groups and musicians. I shall be eternally thankful to the Mighty Diamonds.

This drawing was by a close friend and Diamonds fan, Donna George, she is an artist who loved the Diamonds.

1. Reggae Street.

2. Right Time.

3. One Brother Short.

4. 4000 Years.

5. Pass the Kutchie.

6. Party Time.

7. Shame and Pride.

8. Tamarind Farm.

9. Them never love poor Marcus.


11. I’m Hurting’ inside.

11 thoughts on “THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS

  1. Good little comp, GF. Have some of theirs from Trojan compilations, but no complete albums. Much prefer the roots stuff over the pop. Thanks for posting.

  2. Thanks for this GF, I’ve been staying away from the Spill all week as I’ve been up to my eyeballs in coursework and didn’t want to get distracted (I know, I am well disciplined!), but whilst composing my mediocre essay I’ve been listening pretty exclusively to reggae and dub since your post last week and great photos inspired me to pull put my meagre collection – I think Mrs. Panther is starting to get worried that I’m going to grow my hair into dreadlocks and take up the ‘erb!! – anyway, I had run out of things to listen to and came on the Spill to find something to fill the gap – lo and behold, a brand new set of reggae that I didn’t know – it was just the ticket (and along with Tinny’s, Shane’s and Shoeys playlists) powered me through the last few hours of my assignment – just the ticket! Thanks.

    (great story and photo too!)

    Now to catch up on some posts……

  3. by the way, did you ever hear these British kids’ version of ‘Pass the Kutchie’, changed to ‘Pass the Dutchie’?

    It was a big top ten hit and it sounds kinda silly to say this now, but seeing this whole load of British black kids on telly in 1982 was a pretty rare sight and had a big impact on me….never knew it was a cover!

  4. Panther: Yeah, I have that album but something I read back when it came out stated that they were Bob’s kids, Ziggy, Stevie from Kingston. I never gave it another thought, I’ve lived all this time ’til the advent of Wiki believing that’s who they were.

  5. Pingback: The Mighty Diamonds: Reggae Anthology: Pass The Knowledge « Highlanda Sound System High Quality Music

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