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Winston "Mr. Fixit" Francis

One of the most endearing male voices in Jamaican music belongs to Winston “Mr. Fixit” Francis, who was born in Kingston in 1943. Francis served as an apprentice printer before relocating to Miami, Florida at age of 16 where he attended music school. His music teacher reportedly arranged for him to perform with the Jackie Gleason Orchestra in front of Spiro Agnew in 1965. His music skills and honed he travelled frequently to Jamaica where he eventually joined Carlos Malcolm’s Afro Jamaicans band, with whom he toured the US and the Caribbean. He was also a member of The Sheridans (with Pat Kelly)

Winston "Mr Fixit" Francis on Working with Coxsone Dodd

In the late 1960s where he recorded as a solo artist for Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One label, with his debut album “Mr. Fix-It” which was released in 1969, the same year that he relocated to the United Kingdom. This was followed by a second album, California Dreaming in 1971, with the title track released as a single and chosen as 'Hit Pick of the Week' for two weeks running by Tony Blackburn on his BBC Radio One show. The single's B-side, "Too Experienced", featured backing vocals from Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. He toured the UK club circuit and recorded for EMI in the 1970s. In 1972, Francis recorded "Blue Moon" which peaked at number 34 in Australia in February 1973.

Later Years

After a period of inactivity, Winston “Mr. Fixit” Francis returned to recording in the early 1980s. His releases included the Roy Cousins produced Just Once. After a break from music when he worked as a youth worker and social worker, he returned in 1987 as a backing vocalist for The Melodians and began working with Trevor Star and the Skaticians. He continued to record in the 1990s, working with Dennis Bovell under the name King Cool, and releasing Ragga-Ragga Love and Sweet Rock Steady. His version of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me” was a hit in France, selling over 90,000 copies. This led to him working with Sly and Robbie and John Kpiaye. In 2003 he teamed up with fellow veteran AJ Franklin to record the album Stand Firm. In 2004 he released the medley album Feel Good All Over.

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