Charley Organaire Gears Up for Golden Anniversary by Releasing New Album
Unless you were following the music scene in Jamaica during the fifties and sixties, you may not be familiar with the name Charley “Organaire” Cameron. However, Charley “Organaire” Cameron is one of Jamaica’s living legends. He has played on more than 3,000 records, between 1958 and 1968, most of which were released in Jamaica, Europe and Africa.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 20, 1942, Charley was inspired by his mother Louise, a community singer; ad Mr. Randolph, a neighbor who was a very outstanding harmonica and guitar player. At age five, Charley got a harmonica from his mother as a Christmas gift. Without delay, Charley started practicing and within months started playing in the community.
At the tender age of seven, Charley became known as a seasoned performer; playing the harmonica, reciting poems and singing in neighborhood churches, lodge halls, concerts and political functions.
Charley later attended Boys Town School, where under the direction of Father Sherlock and Pastor Bailey, he was included in a group to tour the island performing at various Country Clubs. Charles Cameron was soon show casing Jamaica’ talents n the nineteen-fifties. Charles won the first contest he entered with Vere Johns. This opened the door for young Charley who started doing regular performances on the major talent shows including “Opportunity our” at the Ambassador, Palace, Majestic and Queens Theaters. He captured first and second prizes most of the time in those contests.
Charles Cameron performed with Bim and Bam Show Production. He then teamed up with Bobby Aitken and recoded “Never Never” for Prince Buster. In this song, Charles’ talented career had escalated and he was wanted by record producers in Jamaica and overseas. He had recorded for producers such; as Sir Coxone (Studio One), Duke Reid (Treasure Isle), King Edwards, TipTop, Byron Lee and a host of others. I was during this period when Charles Cameron earned his famous name “Charley Organaire”.
Charles played on thousands of recordings for artists such as Derrick Morgan, Prince Buster, Eric Monty Morris, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals, Delroy Wilson, Stranger Cole and Phillis Dillon, just to name a few.
Charley Organaire joined Carlos Malcolm and the Afro Jamaicans. He then teamed up with Bobby Aiken and the Caribbeats, Trenton Spence, Los Cabularos, Sonny Bradshaw and other groups.
In 1968, Charley appeared in Belize City with Sonny Bradshaw Seven’s and then went on to Canada. In 1970, Charley moved from Kingston to the North coast of Jamaica. There he joined the Tower Tornadoes at the Tower Isle hotel before moving to Playboy Hotels, and proceeded to play the entire north coast strip.
In 1976, Charley migrated to Chicago where he has been living since. When he first arrived in the windy city, he played the Greek, Latin and American Clubs. Since ten, his popularity increased in the Midwest by playing for WLS TV functions, Arlington race tracks, weddings, private parties, corporate functions and night clubs, such as Wild Hare, Hollywood East, Exedus and Skankland.
Over the years, Charles Cameron captured several awards including Martin’s Inter-Culture, Annual Chicago Music Awards, and special award in the Martin’s International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). A few of his awards include; Best Male Vocalist, Most Outstanding Showman, Most Versatile Band, Best Calypso/Soca Band and Best Band.
Although Charles Cameron has more than ten singles released to his credit, he now set to release his first complete recording album, with all original material. The album title, “I Will Never Stop Loving You” is dedicated to this lady. This track was also performed in the movie, “The Love Jones”, released in 1997.