The origins of the group can be dated back to around 1962 when two young Kingston-born singers, Harris 'B.B.' Seaton (born 3rd September 1945) and Winston Delano Stewart (born 5th January 1947) teamed up to form the duo, Winston & Bobby. Seaton had previously made his recording debut two years earlier, cutting 'Only You' for producer, Clement 'Coxson' Dodd, while Stewart had spent the time singing with the vocal quartet, the Rhythm Aces, which had also included such luminaries as Richard Ace, Boris Gardiner and Richard Moss.
Soon after teaming up, Seaton and Stewart recorded a number of popular sides together for Dodd, including 'Joy Bells', 'I'll Be There' and 'Lover Man'. They also cut solo sides for the producer around this time, with Seaton recording 'I'm So Glad', 'Power', 'Hold On' and 'Rub It Down', and Stewart cutting 'All Of My Love', 'Leave Me Alone' and 'Day After Day'.
Around 1963, the duo recruited a local singer, Maurice Roberts (born 2nd July 1945, Kingston), so forming a vocal trio that soon adopted the mantle of the Gaylads. After spending the ensuing months perfecting their harmonies, the trio began recording for Dodd, immediately finding success with a succession of Jamaican hits, including 'Whap Whap', 'There'll Come A Day' and 'What Is Wrong With Me'. As time went by, the group continued to keep a high profile on the Jamaican music scene with a number of recordings that illustrated their cosmopolitan tastes, with the songs ranging from traditional numbers, such as 'Sly Mongoose' and 'Charley Marley', to a version of the Serendipity Singers' novelty Pop song, 'Don't Let The Rain Come Down'. Around this time Seaton had also become briefly involved in a local group, the Astronauts, which he fronted on a number of recordings, including 'I Don't Need Your Love Any Longer' b/w 'When Church Bells Ring' (released on their own Astronauts label), and a handful of sides for Justin 'Phillip' Yap of Top Deck fame.
The mid-sixties saw a lull in the group's activities, but in 1966, the trio were back in the spotlight with a series of Jamaican hits, which included 'Lady With The Red Dress', 'Stop Making Love', 'Don't Say No' and 'No Good Girl', and less obviously, a version of David Seville & the Chipmunk's frivolous 'Chipmunk Song'. The group also became increasingly involved for studio work for Dodd, backing singers such as Ken Boothe and Slim Smith, although they rarely received label credits for such contributions. Dodd also gave Seaton the added responsibility of auditioning new talent and before long the singer had brought the likes of the Heptones and the Melodians to the producer's attention. Seaton also began providing songs for other artists to record, the most notable of which at this time was Ken Boothe's smash hit, 'The Girl I Left Behind'.
Up until this period in time, the Gaylads had been forced to work within the vocal limitations imposed by the up-tempo rhythm of Ska, but with the dawning of the slower Rocksteady sound, the trio were allowed the freedom to develop more sophisticated vocal arrangements. As a result, the group's recordings became increasingly accomplished and a number of sublime Rocksteady classics followed. These included 'Love Me With All Your Heart', 'How Can I Go On', 'The Soul Beat', 'I Am Free', 'Red Rose', 'She Cried' and 'Go Away', all of which were included on their 1967 debut album, 'The Soul Beat' (aka 'Rocksteady'). The musical content of their second album, 'Sunshine Is Golden', which immediately followed was in complete contrast, primarily featuring a mixture of folk, calypso and pop standards, bereft of the rhythms of Rocksteady, with the exception of the haunting track, 'Africa'.
By the end of 1967 the group decided to part company with Dodd and a little later cut 'It's Hard To Confess' b/w 'I Need Your Loving' for producer, Sonia Pottinger. The change in producer proved far from detrimental to the quality of the group's output (or indeed their success), and this was further proved with their next release, 'She Want It' b/w 'Joy In The Morning' (recorded for W.I.R.L. Records). Later in the year, the group teamed up with fellow performers, Ken Boothe, The Melodians and Delroy Wilson to form the Links label and while the venture quickly ran into financial difficulties, it spawned a number of impressive releases, including the group's 'Looking For A Girl', 'Aren't You The Guy' and 'Little Girl'. Following the demise of Links, the trio returned to work with Sonia Pottinger with whom they recorded the whimsical 'A.B.C. Rocksteady' and the beautiful 'Over The Rainbow's End'.
Around this time, Stewart decided to leave the group to concentrate on his solo career. He immediately found success with a number of popular recordings for Pottinger, including 'That's Life', 'Tell Me Baby', 'and Let's Have Some Fun', 'Dance With Me' and 'Rocking Sensation'. He continued recording for the producer into 1970, releasing a series of excellent sides that culminated in his debut album, 'Stay A Little Bit Longer'. By the early seventies, however, he had grown tired of the music business and eased off altogether from his recording work.
Seaton and Roberts meanwhile moved on once again and throughout the early months of 1969, recorded for a number of producers with varying degrees of success. After cutting 'Wha She Do Now', 'Give It Up', 'Let's Do The Reggae' and 'Room For Rent' (aka 'The Same Things') at the recently opened Randy's Studio 17 in North Parade, Kingston, the duo re-recorded the latter, along with 'I Wear My Slanders' (aka 'If You Don't Mind') for Lee 'Scratch' Perry. These sessions were swiftly followed by the Harris Seaton-produced 'Funny Feeling' (released on the briefly rejuvenated Links label) and 'You Had Your Chance' along with another version of 'Wha' She Do Now', cut at Byron Lee's recently opened Dynamic Studios.
Towards the end of the year, the duo signed to Leslie Kong's increasingly impressive roster of artists, which at the time also included Jimmy Cliff, the Maytals, Ken Boothe, the Melodians, Desmond Dekker, the Pioneers and Bob Marley & the Wailers. The soulful 'There's A Fire', marked the beginning of a hugely successful period for The Gaylads and a collection of sublime singles followed. Among these were 'Tell The Children The Truth', 'Soul Sister' and versions of The Impressions' 'That's What Love Will Do', Nina Simone's 'Young, Gifted & Black', Tommy Edwards' 'It's All In The Game' and James Taylor's 'Fire And Rain', the latter providing the title track for the trio's third album. On most of these sides, a third vocal had been provided by either Howard Barrett (formerly of The Paragons) or Ricky Grant, both of who became temporary members of the group around this time.
Meanwhile, aside from his work with the Gaylads, Seaton had also been involved in launching the Splash and Soul Beat labels with Lloyd Charmers and Pete Weston, and had also formed the Conscious Minds band, consisting of himself and fellow Gaylad, Roberts, along with Ken Boothe and Joe White. The group were not only capable of providing musical backing for Gaylads releases, but were also a force to be reckoned with vocally - both Boothe and White being accomplished vocalists in their own right.
Meanwhile, the hits continued for the Gaylads into 1971, with the extremely popular 'My Jamaican Girl' and the beautiful 'People Crying' issued early that year. In August, however, their career suffered a major set-back when Kong suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving the group without a producer. Despite the tragedy, Seaton and Roberts soon found themselves back on track with the enormously successful 'Can't Hide The Feeling' (aka 'This Feeling I Can't Hide' or 'My Love'), which Seaton had given to producer Rupie Edwards to release. The arrangement with Edwards had been purely on a temporary basis, however, as Seaton had already decided to concentrate on running the Soul Beat label.
Over the next few months, the Gaylads released a number of fine sides, including 'The Guy Next Door', 'You Can't Get Away' and a medley of their Ska and Rocksteady hits, entitled 'Seven In One'. By the end of the year, however, Seaton decided to concentrate on solo projects and left the group altogether. Although Maurice Roberts soon found capable replacements in the brothers, Randell and Hopeton Thaxter, the new group were never to able to match the consistent success achieved by earlier line-ups and the glory days of the Gaylads were now over.
Towards the end of the seventies, the new group released a worthy album for U.A., entitled 'Love And Understanding', which they released under the name of the Gayladds, but it failed to lead to bigger things. Later all references to the old name were dropped altogether, and under the more contemporary sounding appellation of Psalms, they became Bunny Wailer's regular backing singers.
Seaton, meanwhile, continued performing and recording with the Conscious Minds and was later instrumental in forming another amalgam of well-known Jamaican performers, the Messengers, whose members included Ken Boothe, Busty Brown and Lloyd Charmers. He also went on to cut a number of fine solo sides, such as 'I Miss My Schooldays', 'Lean On Me', 'Sweet Caroline' and 'Eleanor Rigby' all of which appeared on his debut solo album, 'Thin Line between Love And Hate' released in 1973. Throughout the seventies and eighties, Seaton continued performing and recording, releasing a number of soulful albums (including 'Dancing Shoes', 'The Golden Hits Of The Gaylads' and 'Everyday People'), whilst also becoming deeply involved in the protection of the rights of Jamaican performers.
In the summer of 1991, Seaton and Stewart sang together at the Studio One concert in Jamaica and in November 1993, all three original members re-united for the first time in twenty-five years when they performed at the Rocksteady Re-union show in Kingston. Since then, Seaton has spent much of his time in London operating the rejuvenated Soul Beat label, which provides a