Desmond Miles of The Mighty Vikings Has Died
As reported by the Observer and the band’s Facebook page, Desmond Miles, leader and bass player of The Mighty Vikings, died in Florida on Tuesday. He also recorded with The Crystalites band with Derrick Harriot and as the Desmond Miles’ Seven. His daughter Jennifer confirmed his passing form a massive heart attack.
Singer Derrick Harriott … remembers Miles as a “great, great band leader”.
South Florida-based singer Dobby Dobson says he last saw Miles in October at a gospel concert.
“There he stood, bass in hand, fingers moving rapidly over the fretboard, reminding me of the earlier times in Jamaica,” said Dobson.
The Mighty Vikings formed in Kingston during the 1960’s and recorded only a hand full of tunes. They were mostly forgotten except by real collectors of Jamaican music till more recently when a greater appreciation of those tunes has florished. Most of the tracks I’ve heard have been outstanding and well worth searching out.
The band went through many line-ups and musicians through their time mostly playing as a live act around the island. The Blood and Fire board had a good discussion back in 2006 on the various members and recording history.
The band was also voted “best live band of the year” several times in a row between 63 and 65 according to a member on that board which fits seeing as how the album they did release was titled RJR Band of the Year (WIRL 1030)
The band eventually split in the 70’s and Miles and his family moved to the United States. Nearly 30 years later in 1997 he decided to reform the band in Miami.
Here are just a couple of their now rare and expensive vinyl recordings.
and one of my favs!