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Dave Barker

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Dave Barker

Real Name: David John Crooks
Born: October 10th, 1947
Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Barker began his career as part of Winston Riley's vocal group the Techniques alongside Bruce Ruffin and Pat Kelly. After leaving the group he became a session vocalist at Lee Perry's Black Ark Recording Studio. Recording there under his own name, he enjoyed an instant hit with "Shocks Of Mighty". In 1970 Prisoner Of Love featured the single and the title track, along with cover versions of "Blowing In The Wind" and "Runaway Child". The DJ style of his hit led to the release of "Shocks 71", a toast over the Wailers' "Small Axe", with references to his original hit. This included a cameo appearance from Charlie Ace who contributes the line: "Come on Dave, do it like you did in 'Shocks Of A Mighty' - you remember". Barker's reply was, "That ol' thing", as he proceeded to mimic his first hit. He enjoyed international acclaim in March 1971 with Ansell Collins when the duo achieved a UK number 1 hit with "Double Barrel", produced by Winston Riley, and featuring Sly Dunbar playing drums on his first session. This was followed by the number 7-peaking "Monkey Spanner" in June 1971, as Double Barrel also made a brief appearance in the UK album chart.

The two hits were featured on the latter, along with 10 other tracks showing a return to the singing style of Prisoner Of Love. In an effort to capitalize on the duo's success, "Shocks Of A Mighty" was reissued, credited to Dave And Ansell, but it failed to complete a chart hat-trick. A new recording, "Ton Up Kids", followed, but in spite of national airplay, it also flopped. Ansell returned to Jamaica, while as a soloist, Dave recorded "Ride Your Pony" and "Hot Line", produced by Larry Lawrence. In 1976 he released In The Ghetto, credited to Dave And Ansell Collins, although the cover featured a photograph of only Dave, and the contents, too, featured his solo output. The same year he joined a vocal group, Chain Reaction, with Bruce Ruffin and Bobby Davis. The outcome of these sessions was Never Lose Never Win, an ill-fated attempt to cross over to the soul market. Persevering with soul he recorded an album's worth of material with songstress Jaqui Jones; it prefaced "Good Lovin" and "Love Tonight" in 1989. "Double Barrel" has been frequently sampled, notably on the remixed Chaka Demus And Pliers hit "Gal Wine", which resulted in the tune returning to the UK charts in 1994.

Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005
Source - BBC Music Profiles

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