by Howard Campbell
[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – The hunt is on for a new lead singer for The Mighty Diamonds, following the March 29 murder of original vocalist Donald “Tabby” Shaw. However, Lloyd “Judge Diamond” Ferguson, only original surviving member of the roots trio, says there is no rush to find a replacement.
“We have people who we are looking at but it’s important we find a singer who going to do The Mighty Diamonds justice. Tabby wasn’t a ordinary singer,” Judge stated.
Known for roots-reggae classics like I Need A Roof, Right Time and Pass The Kouchie, The Mighty Diamonds suffered a double blow in recent weeks. Three days after Tabby’s death, Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson, another original member, died in a Kingston hospital.
Bunny, 71, had not performed with the group since January, 2016. He suffered a massive stroke in 2015 and was unable to record or tour; he was replaced by Capo Beniah.
Judge disclosed that once a solid successor is found for Tabby, The Mighty Diamonds will be back in action.
“We have a legacy and we have every intention of carrying it on,” he said.
The Mighty Diamonds formed in Trench Town in 1969 as the Rasta-inspired roots-reggae era dawned. Their initial hit song was Shame And Pride in 1973 but it was not until they moved to the Channel One studio mid-decade, that they became a force.
At Channel One, they were backed by The Revolutionaries Band that included drummer Sly Dunbar. It was there that the group recorded anthems like I Need A Roof, Right Time and Africa.
Their hit run continued after leaving Channel One. In the 1980s, The Mighty Diamonds scored with songs such as Body Guard, Pass The Kouchie, Heads of Government and Juvenile Child.