Musical Youth

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In November of 1982, five boys aged 11 to 15, hailing from Birmingham, England by way of Jamaica, shot up the worldwide pop charts with an irresistible  reggae single called, "Pass the Dutchie." They toured the world, received a Grammy nomination and recorded with Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer and Eddy Grant. Four more singles charted in the UK. The world was theirs to conquer.  But their second album, made up mostly of toothless pop songs thrust on them by the record company, failed to resonate. Within two years, the band was gone. By 1994, one member was dead, another in a mental institution and a third was lost to the seedy Birmingham underworld.  For music fans, there’s further tragedy — the boys could play. All five were talented musicians who wrote much of their own music. Had they been nurtured properly, Musical Youth could have shed their boy band/novelty label and become full-fledged stars.

On Unsung, the survivors tell their story, including two active former members – singer Dennis Seaton and keyboardist Michael Grant, along with the first interview in 15 years from former guitar player Kelvin Grant who is fiercely at odds with Seaton and with  his own brother. "Two types of people get ripped off in the music industry," Michael Grant says. "Kids and black people. We were both."

What do you think of this Unsung story? Who do you think is unsung? Tell us in the comments, below.

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