Gladstone Anderson

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Gladstone Anderson biography

Gladstone Anderson (born 18 June 1934), also known by his nickname "Gladdy", is a Jamaican pianist, keyboard player, and singer. Anderson has played a major part in the island's musical history, playing a key role in defining the ska sound and the rocksteady beat, and playing on hundreds of recordings as a session musician, a solo artist, and as leader of Gladdy's All Stars, featuring bassist Jackie Jackson, drummer Winston Grennan, guitarist Hux Brown, and keyboardist Winston Wright. As Harry J All Stars the band had a massive hit in Jamaica and United Kingdom with the instrumental song "The Liquidator" 1969. Anderson was taught piano at home by his uncle, the keyboardist and bandleader Aubrey Adams. He became a prominent studio pianist in the late 1950s, when he began working for Duke Reid. He worked at Reid's Treasure Isle studio, generally replacing Jackie Mittoo when The Skatalites recorded there, also working for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd and Leslie Kong, and was a member of Lynn Taitt's group The Jets, playing on many of the key ska and rocksteady recordings, and helping to define the ska sound and the rocksteady beat. He was even credited with coming up with the name "rock steady", when he used the term to describe Hopeton Lewis's "Take it Easy", when the recording (that he had played on) was played back. He went on to work with producer Harry Mudie, leading Gladdy's All Stars, who were also known by different names when working with other producers, including The Aggrovators (Bunny Lee), Rupie's All Stars (Rupie Edwards), The Crystallites (Derrick Harriott), and The Dynamites (Clancy Eccles), and would later become the Upsetters when they worked with Lee "Scratch" Perry. He had success as a singer in the late 1960s working with Stranger Cole as Stranger and Gladdy, including the singles "Just Like a River" and "Seeing is Knowing". His debut album, It May Sound Silly, was released in 1972, and became a best-seller in Jamaica. Anderson continued to work with Mudie, working on the late 1970s dub album series Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby's In Dub Conference. A second solo album was released in 1977, Glady Unlimited, again produced by Mudie. Anderson released a vocal album in 1982, Sings Songs For Today and Tomorrow. Anderson was also one of several keyboard players to play in the Roots Radics.

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