Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Jamaican singer Ken Parker was born around 1948 (there is some confusion as to his birth year), growing up in Savannah-La-Mar in the Westmoreland Parrish area of Jamaica, where his father was a preacher. Parker was exposed early to the effects of gospel music, and he drew on gospel inflections in his vocals throughout his whole career. His first group was The Blues Benders, formed in 1965, but by 1967 he was a solo act, recording sides for most of the big Jamaican producers of the day, including Coxsone Dodd ("My Whole World Is Falling Down" was recorded at Studio One and was a huge hit on the island in 1969), Duke Reid ("True, True, True," one of Parker's finest sides, was recorded at Treasure Isle, as was "Jimmy Brown"), Bunny Lee, Rupie Edwards, Byron Lee, Joe Gibbs, and Lloyd Charmers (Parker recorded a fine version of Curtis Mayfield's "Queen Majesty" for Charmers). In time Parker became somewhat disillusioned with the workings of the Jamaican music scene and relocated to the U.K., where since the 1980s he has run his own label and production company.