Roy Wilson of Higgs & Wilson Has Died

The Observer reports that Roy Wilson of pioneering Jamaican duo Higgs (that would be the amazing Joe Higgs of Studio One fame) and Wilson died last Saturday in Palm Beach, Florida at the age of 72 years old.

The cause of Wilson’s death has not been disclosed but the Jamaica Observer mentioned he had been ailing for some time. Wilson’s brother, Keith Scott (who will be performing in Los Angeles soon) confirmed his death. “I will be leaving [shortly] for West Palm Beach. His funeral is slated for some time next week,” Scott told the Observer via email.

Their debut single “Manny Oh” was released on the Blue Beat label (BB 3) produced by Edward Sega and sold over 50,000 units.

The Observer piece quoted a few veterans of the business.

“The best duo I heard in those days was Higgs and Wilson. Roy Wilson was a very good tenor, very good tenor,” said veteran singer/songwriter Bob Andy.

Musicologist Bunny Goodison also spoke about Higgs and Wilson’s contribution to Jamaican music.

“They came in the embryonic years, before we even know it (the music) would have come to this. So, in terms of the early years I give them credit. They were very good harmonisers,” he said.

Roy Wilson is one of the pioneer Jamaican artistes featured in American producer Brad Klein’s soon-to-be-released documentary, Legends of Ska.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.