THE YOUNG ONES OF GUYANA-ON TOUR AND REUNION.

The Young Ones of Guyana–On Tour and Reunion

Label: BBE Music.

On the ’26th of May 1966, Guyana, the third smallest severing state in mainland South America gained its independence from the United Kingdom. For the people of Guyana this was something to celebrate, and celebrate they did.

In 1970, The Young Ones Of Guyana, a journeyman band who had travelled halfway around the world, were becoming a popular draw in Britain after previous performances in Birmingham and London. These performances followed the first Guyanese ‘Mashramani’, which was a celebration of independence from the United Kingdom. 

Four years after their homeland gained its independence, The Young Ones Of Guyana were back touring the United Kingdom, and recorded their debut album during which became On Tour which together with Reunion was released on one CD by BBE Music.

On Tour was recorded at  Lansdowne Studios in Holland Park, London, in 1970 by  The Young Ones Of Guyana. A total of twelve tracks were recorded by the eight piece band led by its founder and  bandleader and  Carlton Ramprashad who took charge of production. When On Tour was completed, it was released later in 1970l.,

Carlton Ramprashad also owned his label  Rampy ,which released On Tour in 1970. It featured an interesting and eclectic selection of tracks that included various popular reggae, Latin and calypso songs. These were played by a truly talented and versatile octet who could seamlessly switch between musical genres , and included songs as diverse as the Guyanese folk song Yellow Girl  and a cover Sly and The Family Stone’s Sing A Simple Song before giving the reggae hit The Liquidator a funky makeover. These tracks came courtesy of The Young Ones Of Guyana’s rhythm and horn sections plus Geoffrey King on Farfisa organ. Bandleader, founder and rhythm guitarist took charge of lead vocals. That was apart from on That Wonderful Sound where Gordon Bevaun takes over vocal duties. It’s part of an album played with youthful exuberance, enthusiasm and expertise as The Young Ones Of Guyana continue to celebrate their newfound freedom from their former colonial rulers.  However, The Young Ones Of Guyana weren’t holding any grudges and invited the British people to join them in a what’s best described as a joyous and celebration of Guyana’s music and culture.

Reunion. 

After a successful British tour of their debut album On Tour in 1970, which was well received by the music press, The Young Ones Of Guyana called time on their nascent career. They decided to concentrate on their studies and that looked like the end of the band,

Three years passed before The Young Ones Of Guyana were reunited when several members of the band were living in Toronto, Canada. They decided to reform The Young Ones Of Guyana  and booked some studio time late at night at  Eastern Sound Studios Toronto and recorded Reunion with two new band members. The resultant album Reunion was self released in 1973. 

Reunion features a selection of popular songs that ranged from pop to soul. This includes If Loving You Is Wrong,  Lean On Me, Ain’t No Sunshine, You Are Everything and the Love Theme From The Godfather. These tracks were played by The Young Ones in their inimitable laid-back  Latin-tinged style. However, this time the Farfisa organ, which played such a prominent part on On Tour was replaced by a Hammond B3 and Fender Jaguar and the Gibson guitars were replaced with Fender Telecasters. This resulted in a quite different sound, which sadly, The Young Ones Of Guyana’s British fans never heard.

Reunion was only ever released in Guyana and in the Caribbean. Sadly, very few albums made it to Britain, Europe and America where the album is a highly sought after hidden gem for record collectors. This comes at a price a price that is beyond most record collectors.

Thankfully BBE Music’s reissue of The Young Ones of Guyana’s On Tour and Reunion on one CD means that at last, the inimitable sound of their two albums is available for all to hear.  On Tour and Reunion which feature everything from reggae, Latin, funky and calypso songs are played with youthful exuberance, enthusiasm and expertise by The Young Ones of Guyana during their all too short recording career.

The Young Ones of Guyana–On Tour and Reunion.

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