The Blues Busters
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The Blues Busters

The Blues Busters
Origin Montego Bay, Jamaica
Genres Ska, soul, Blue Beat, Reggae
Labels Blue Beat, Island, Dynamic, Sarge
Philip James
Lloyd Campbell

The Blues Busters was a vocal duo from Jamaica formed in 1960 and consisted of Philip James (9 March 1941-1989) and Lloyd Campbell (31 December 1941-1992).[1][2] The Blues Busters was the most consistently popular Jamaican male duo of the early 1960s,[3] and were part of the Jamaican party that performed at the 1964 New York World's Fair.[4] They initially worked in cabaret shows to tourists in Kingston and Jamaica's north coast, but got their big break when they were asked to accompany Sam Cooke on his tour of the island in March, 1961.[2][5] Taking inspiration from Cooke, on returning to the cabaret circuit they emulated the soulful harmonies of his performances and recorded a number of soul and reggae cover versions, having minor hits with "Thinking" and "Privilege".[2] They continued until the mid-1980s, by which time they had released several albums, one of which was a tribute to Cooke.[2]

In the late 1960s the pair moved to New York City. There James reportedly died from asthma at age 47 in 1989, and Campbell from a heart attack at age 50 in 1992.[6] The duo are buried with one grave between them in Pyre River Cemetery in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the city of their births.[7][8]

In 2015 Campbell and James were posthumously honored with keys to the city of Montego Bay by the St. James Parish Council.[9]



  • Behold How Sweet It Is (1964), Sunshine
  • The Best of the Blues Busters (1965), Sunshine
  • Each One Teach One (1970/1971), Dynamic
  • Philip and Lloyd (1975), Scepter
  • Truth (1979), Sarge
  • Tribute to Sam Cooke (1980), Sarge
  • Top of the Pops (1982), Echo
  • How Sweet It Is (1997), Kingston Gold
  • The Best of the Blues Busters, Dynamic
  • In Memory of the Blues Busters: Their Best Ska and Soul Hits 1964-1966 (1993), Jamaican Gold
  • Behold! The Anthology (2005), Trojan


  • "Little Vilma" (1960), Limbo
  • "I Need Some Lovin'" (1961), Limbo
  • "Early One Morning" (1961), Limbo
  • "Donna" (1961), Coxsone, Blue Beat
  • "Your Love" (1961), Island, Starlite
  • "There's Always Sunshine" (1962), Blue Beat, Supreme, Coxsone
  • "Behold!" (1962), Island Records, Sunshine
  • "Tell Me Why" (1962), Blue Beat, Supreme
  • "How Many Times" (1963), Supreme
  • "Behold!" (1964), Kentone
  • "Love And Emotion" (1964), Starline
  • "Don't Take Your Love Away" (1964), BMN
  • "You're No Good" (1965), BMN
  • "I Won't Let You Go" (1965), Kentone
  • "Wings Of A Dove" (1965), Soul, Island
  • "How Sweet It Is" (1965), BMN
  • "My Girl" (1965), Bra, Soul
  • "Happy Man" (1966), Bra
  • "I've Been Trying" (1966), BMN, Dr. Bird
  • "Irreplaceable You" (1967), Sunshine
  • "There's Always Sunshine" (1967), Sunshine, Dr. Bird
  • "Ain't That Loving You" (1967), Sunshine
  • "Unless" (1967), BMN
  • "I Can't Stop" (1967), BMN, Jay Boy
  • "Each One Teach One" (1967), Dynamic
  • "Inspired To Love You" (1968), Shout
  • "Love is the Answer" (1970), Minit
  • "Each One Teach One" (1971), Lion, Dynamic Sounds
  • "Baby I'm Sorry" (1975), Dynamic, Scepter
  • "Here I am Come And Take Me (Reggae)" (1975), Scepter
  • "Sweetest Little Thing" (1976), Dynamic Sounds
  • "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" (1977), Dynamic Sounds
  • "Are You Changing" (1977), Hot Stuff
  • "What'd I Say" (1979), Polydor
  • "You're The One" (1980), International Bestseller
  • "Rough & Tough" (1981), EMI
  • "I've Gotta Be There", Capitol


  1. ^ "The Rise Of Duets". 4 March 2012. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 32
  3. ^ Barrow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (2004) The Rough Guide to Reggae, 3rd edn., Rough Guides, ISBN 1-84353-329-4, p. 22
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave (2002) Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-655-6, p. 264
  5. ^
  6. ^ "The Music Lives On For Singing Duos Long Forgotten". 31 July 2016. Retrieved 2017. 
  7. ^ Horace Hines (20 October 2013). "Merritone family leads clean-up of Blues Busters' graves". Retrieved 2017. 
  8. ^ "Unsung: The Dynamic -- The Blues Busters!". Retrieved 2017. 
  9. ^ Sharon Earle (14 October 2015). "St. James Parish Council Honours Blues Busters". Jamaica Information Service. Retrieved 2017. 

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