Fabulous Five (5) Biography

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FAB 5 BAND
Fab 5, formed in 1970, is Jamaica's pre‑eminent popular band, whether measured by record sales at home, hits on the charts, frequency of engagements or major awards won over the years.
 
Their first recording, "Come Back And Stay", was number one in Jamaica, and in their first year on the road, and for the following two years, they won the only available awards, the Swing Awards for best band of 1971‑72, 1972‑73 and 1973‑74. They also took the El Suzie Award as Joint Top Road and Dance Band for 1975‑76 and the RJR Listeners' Award for Best Band in 1980.
 
They backed Johnny Nash on all the reggae cuts comprising most of his platinum album "I Can See Clearly Now".  Two singles from that album, "Guava Jelly" and "Stir It Up", established Bob Marley as a major songwriter on the international scene.
 
Fab 5 have enjoyed an endless succession of hits in Jamaica and the "ethnic" markets of North America.  In their early years such songs as "Chirpy Cheep", "Shaving Cream", "Oh, Dad" and "Love Me For A Reason", and their musicality and showmanship made Fab 5 the rage on the dance and show circuits.
 
More recently, they have been kept on top by the likes of "Yu Safe", "Ring Road Jam", "Feeling Horny", "Computer Mad", "What The Police High Command Can Do", "Jamaican Woman", "Psalms", "All Night Party", "Mini", "Sweat", "Don't Wear None", "Freeze", "Good Buddy", "Mango" and their “Live” series.
 
Their nineteen albums have been as successful as their singles, and their multi‑award winning soca album "Yu Safe" was probably the most popular album produced in Jamaica in the decade of the '80s. A CD of some of their biggest hits ‑ "Fab 5 Greatest Hits" has recently been released along with five of their newest CD albums - "Good Buddy," the massively successful "Fab 5 Live - The Ultimate Vintage Jamaican Party Mix ... Part 1" and the equally successful follow-ups “…Part 2” and “…Part 3” as well as their soca smash "Shape".  “Dugu-Dugu” their all-reggae release preceded their all-ska album “Ska Time” proving once more the band’s versatility. 
 
The busiest band in Jamaica, Fab 5 are in great demand not only for concerts and dances but also in the studio where they are the leading creators of commercial jingles for radio and television, dominating the airwaves and earning a string of prestigious awards, including four golden microphones.  They have their own recording studio (Stage Studio) and record label and distribution company (Stage Records). They have been the chosen band for almost every national and state occasion since the mid‑1970s.  In 2003 Fab 5 received the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in The Performing Arts for their services to Jamaican music.
 
They have taken their authoritative brand of Jamaican music all over the world.  They have shared bandstands with many of the great and famous names of modern popular music, including: Ray Charles; Dizzy Gillespie; the Grateful Dead; Rick James; Linda Ronstadt; the Neville Brothers; Roberta Flack; Fats Domino; Peter, Paul & Mary; Joe Jackson; The Chi‑Lites; Skeeter Davis (with whom they are currently working on a recording project); the Drifters; Miriam Makeba; Bob Marley; Jimmy Cliff; Chuck Jackson; The Mighty Sparrow; Aretha Franklin; Gladys Knight; Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes;  Jerry Butler; the Manhattans; Ray Goodman & Brown; and the Delphonics.  They have performed at the Kool Jazz Festival and the New Orleans Jazz Festival and for Japansplash and have entertained a live audience of one million at an anti‑nuclear concert in New York's Central Park.
 
They have triumphed not only with the music of Jamaica but also with their own compositions of soca, the music of the Eastern Caribbean. At different times and in diverse settings, they have enchanted audiences with soul, funky, rock, jazz, disco and classical music.  Their album made with other Stage Records artistes –“Christmas In The Sun” is easily the most successful Christmas album by a Jamaican entity and the 2002 follow-up “Fab 5 – A Jamaican Christmas Gift” has proved just as popular.
 
They have dominated the Jamaican awards for show and dance bands and demonstrated their supremacy at the Jamaica Band Festival at the Wyndham New Kingston in December 1987.  Their collection of major awards, by far the greatest of any entity in Jamaican music, includes twenty‑nine between 1986 and 1996, from all principal sources ‑ the JBC, RJR, the Daily Gleaner, the Star, Rockers, the Jamaica Music Industry (JAMI) and the Jamaica Federation of Musicians (JFM), the most recent being the 1995 Rockers Award for Best Band, the 1996 award for Best Group (Instrumental) at the Jamaica Music Awards, a 1999 Tamika Award, the 2000-2002 JFM Best Show Band Awards and The Reggae Soca Awards Best Soca Band 2002-2003.  
 
The group has also won several international awards, including the 1996 awards for Best Album and Best Single (both won for "Good Buddy") at the Miami Reggae/Soca Awards and the 1999 "Best International Reggae Album" award at the Canadian Reggae Music Awards for "Fab 5 Live - The Ultimate Vintage Jamaican Party Mix ... Part 1."  Fab 5 have also won the "Best Soca Album" award at the Reggaesoca Awards in Miami for their 1999 album "Shape,"  thus making them the first group in history to win best album awards for reggae and soca in the same year. In addition, the band's musical director Grub Cooper, OD, CD has won numerous awards in his own right, including the Order of Distinction, Officer Class (OD) and Commander Class (CD) 2006 (a national award of the Government of Jamaica), and a special honour award from the JFM (1988) for his outstanding contribution to the development of Jamaican music.  He has also been Jamaica's leading theatre musician for more than two decades.  The band’s Bassist and Manager – Frankie Campbell – has also received the prestigeous OD making Fab 5 the only current Jamaican dance/show/backing band with two such awardees.   Fab 5 have also been actively involved in keeping Jamaican music alive, with major representation on the boards of the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica (RIAJAM) and the Jamaican Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates (JAVAA).  The band also woks with many charitable organizations.
 
Musicianship, dedication, integrity and discipline are the hallmarks of Fab 5, who have earned and retained the respect of the music industry, critics and general public over the past thirty-six years and are all set for continued success in the future.
 
The band comprises three 1970 foundation members ‑ manager Frankie Campbell (bass); Harold (Jr) Bailey (guitar, flute and saxophone now part-time and overseas sound engineer) and; musical director Grub Cooper (drums and lead vocals), - Sidney Thorpe (keyboards), 1979; Donovan Lee Palmer (Keyboards), 1991; Romeo Gray (trombone) and Glenroy Samuels (guitar) both 1995 and Andre Palmer (Trumpet) 2006. Other personnel performs from time to time as part of the wider Stage Records (the band’s recording company) family.
 
May 3, 2007
 
For further information call Frankie Campbell at (876) 925-4057 or our New York number (914) 371-2667 or fax at (876) 924-5025 or e-mail
Fab5@cwjamaica.com or visit the band’s website at www.fab5inc.com