Former Abyssinians member Lynford Manning has died

by Jul 4, 2024Articles, Obituary

Former Abyssinians member Lynford Manning has died
Lynford Manning, a member of the legendary Jamaican roots reggae group The Abyssinians, died on June 25 in Miramar, Florida. The Jamaican singer was in his late 70s.

Manning, along with his older brother Donald and lead singer Bernard Collins, formed the group in Jones Town, Kingston in 1968. This group of three vocalists redefined the Jamaican close-harmony singing style by infusing it with a solemn spiritual essence, departing from its US soul origins.

Lynford Manning, like Donald had previously been a member of their brother Carlton Manning’s group Carlton and his Shoes who scored a hit with the Studio One classic Love Me Forever in 1968.

The group gained international recognition for their initial single on the Clinch label, Satta Massagana, which was recorded at Studio One in 1969 but never released by producer Coxsone Dodd. The 1971 released single, by many regarded as reggae’s national anthem, achieved classic status, leading to more versions of the riddim being produced. The riddim was built by a session band consisting of Leroy Sibbles on bass, Fil Callender on drums, Richard Ace on piano, Vin Gordon on trombone, Carlton Manning on guitar, and Bongo Herman & Bongo les on percussion.

The ethereal sound of The Abyssinians’ music captivated Jamaica’s expanding Rasta community, propelling them to fame. From the early to mid-’70s, the Abyssinians recorded sparingly, but the quality of the group’s work was remarkable with classics like Declaration Of Rights, a new version of the song originally recorded for Coxsone Dodd, Poor Jason White, Prophecy, Forward On To Zion and their only recording for Lloyd “Matador” Daley, Y Mas Gan.

During the early to mid-1970s, The Abyssinians recorded sparingly by Jamaican standards, but when they did, their work was outstanding. They produced classics like Declaration Of Rights, a new version of the song originally recorded for Coxsone Dodd, Poor Jason White, Prophecy, Forward On To Zion and their only recording for Lloyd “Matador” Daley, Y Mas Gan.

During the mid-80s, The Abyssinians were inactive due to Linford Manning departing Jamaica in 1980 and Donald leaving in 1984. After converting to Christianity, Lynford renounced secular music. He remained a dedicated member of his church in South Florida for more than three decades.

Sincere condolences to his family and friends. R.I.E.P.

The Abyssinians – Satta Massagana

The Abyssinians – Declaration Of Rights

The Abyssinians – Y Mas Gan