Jason Merritt, Getty Images Taylor Swift stole the show at the 2013 Billboard…
- Posted on Jan 25th 2010 11:30AM by John D. Luerssen
Born Nerlyn Taitt in San Fernando, Trinidad, he first headed to Jamaica in August 1963 to perform at a gig arranged by the legendary Byron Lee and designed to celebrate the country's first year of Independence from England. Taitt stayed in Jamaica, where he played with the aforementioned ska pioneers, plus the Sheiks, Comets and the Cavaliers.
By 1966, Taitt helped launch the rocksteady movement by crafting the bassline for 'Take It Easy' by Hopeton Lewis, which many cite as genre's first song. Establishing the Federal Studios sound, Taitt went on to help craft Alton Ellis' staple 'Girl I've Got a Date.'
Taitt worked often with Leslie Kong -- the Chinese-Jamaican producer who first recorded Bob Marley -- lending his memorable riffs to Dekker's '007 (Shantytown).' In 1968, Taitt moved to Canada, living in Toronto in the 1970s before ultimately settling in Montreal. There he wrote for local reggae, jazz and calypso groups and played and recorded with the Kingpins, a local ska outfit.