Born Ewart Beckford on this day in 1942, U-Roy got his nickname from a family member who couldn’t pronounce his real name.
According to the WikiWackyWoo:
As a young man Beckford listened to the music of Louis Prima, James Brown, Ruth Brown, Fats Domino, Rufus Thomas, Smiley Lewis and was especially influenced by the vocal phrasing of Louis Jordan.
U-Roy’s first single
His toasts were utterly relaxed
and conversational, yet always in perfect synchronicity with the
rhythms. The DJ had now gained a significant following in the U.K., as
well, and in August 1976, visited Britain for the first time. He
performed at the London Lyceum, backed by the always excellent
Revolutionaries, and the 1978 Live EP was drawn from this phenomenal
show. Back in Jamaica, U-Roy began recording his new album, Rasta Ambassador,
filling the studio with musicians and singers, 15 strong in all. The
Gladiators provided particularly sonorous backing vocals, while the
band, led by the rhythm team of Sly & Robbie,
created a deep roots sound appropriate to the album’s title and
accentuated by Robinson’s deeply dubby production.