For nearly sixty years, The Jolly Boys have been integral to the fabric of Jamaica’s musical landscape and cultural heritage. Masters of Mento, one of Jamaica’s original music genres, this band has rocked countless private soirées, charmed the traveling elite and toured the world, leaving an indelible mark on everyone who heard them.
They rose to local prominence in the late 1950s, in the 1960s their reputation grew substantially as they performed across the islands. Sadly, some of the groups original members passed away by the end of the 1970s forcing the remaining members into a hiatus. However, around 1980 Allan Swymmer, together with Moses Dean, reformed the Jolly Boys with Joseph "Powda" Bennett on the rumba box and Noel Howard on guitar.
The group found quick work at all the major hotels and was in great demand locally, when singer-songwriter and producerJules Shear, along with Funzalo Records President Michael Lembo saw the band during a visit to the Trident Hotel in 1989, together they decided to produce a Jolly Boys album. This was the first of four albums the group released between 1989 to 1997, which led them to tour internationally. One of those shows was recorded direct from the board to a digital audio tape and somehow forgotten, until now. On September 28 Funzalo Records will release the digitally remastered The Jolly Boys “Live in Sweden 1990," a 20-song-set with a single release of the song "Rum and Coconut Water" on September 7.
Hear “Rum and Coconut Water” here: https://youtu.be/BMEXBaLdtCw
Remembered on the island as the oldest swingers, rumor has it, if you ever visit Port Antonio, they still talk about how back in the 1950s, The Jolly Boys would play at parties that Hollywood film star Errol Flynn would throw at his estate on Navy Island. Some accounts have the beginnings of the Jolly Boys dating back to the 1940s. Legend is that Errol Flynn named this group “The Jolly Boys” after the vibe he caught from their playing.