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Uniques

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Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Slim Smith, Jimmy Riley, Slim Smith & The Uniques

All Music Guide:

The first version of the Uniques formed in 1966 when two members of the Techniques, Slim Smith and Franklyn White, joined with Roy Shirley to create a new group. The original lineup recorded a few ska sides for J.J. Johnson that year before disbanding, only to reform again almost immediately, this time with a front line of Smith, Lloyd Charmers, and Jimmy Riley (and occasionally Cornel Campbell). The reconstituted Uniques had a brief run from 1967 to 1969, recording several vocal trio classics with producer Bunny Lee, including two impressive covers (Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth," tracked as "Watch This Sound," and Curtis Mayfield's "Gypsy Woman") as well as their signature song, the brilliant "My Conversation." Led by Smith's high and emotional tenor, the Uniques represented, by many accounts, the pinnacle of Jamaica's harmony trio genre. The group folded in 1969, with each member pursuing a solo career. Smith's tragic death in 1973 ended any possibility of the group reuniting.