Cry Tough (Alton Ellis album). Cry Tough is a 1993 collection of Alton Ellis recordings from the rocksteady era of 1966-1968. It was released in 1993 by Heartbeat Records, and features the pick of Ellis' work for Arthur "Duke" Reid, plus some tracks produced by Sonia Pottinger. The album contains most of Ellis' original Mr. Soul of Jamaica album, and contains the same tracks as the 1973 Greatest Hits compilation on Count Shelly Records, plus eight additional tracks.
Born Alton Nehemiah Ellis in Trenchtown, Kingston, Jamaica, Ellis was raised within a musical family and learned to play the piano at a young age. He attended Ebeneezer and Boys' Town schools, where he excelled in both music and sport. While at Boys' Town Ellis performed as a dancer (in a duo) in the first show that a school director called Mr Bailey had organized for Vere Johns who had been invited down to talent scout.
Alton Nehemiah Ellis OD (1 September 1938 – 10 October 2008) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter. One of the innovators of rocksteady who was given the informal title "Godfather of Rocksteady". In 2006, he was inducted into the International Reggae And World Music Awards Hall Of Fame
Alton Ellis was certainly no exception to this rule, as this compilation of tunes from 68-78 clearly shows. Ellis' beautiful, soulful tenor was a welcome voice on radio all through these years, continuing his tradition of covering American r&b tunes in his fashion, as well as penning increasingly socially conscious and spiritual music that showed the reggae consciousness in it. Sadly missing from this fine collection were Ellis' 2 major hits of the early 70's, "Deliver Us," and the reggae/Marcus Garvey inspired "Back To Africa.
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