Musical Youth revived

Musical Youth band

Musical Youth are mainly remembered as a child novelty act - but that's not really fair. Formed in Birmingham in the early 1980s by Freddie Waite (2), formerly of The Techniques as his backing band, Musical Youth could genuinely play and worked in Birmingham pubs (guitarist Kelvin Waite debuting at the age of 7!) before being signed by MCA in 1982. A condition of their signing was that a lead singer "your own age" was acquired, and so Dennis Seaton joined the Waite and Grant brothers.

Their first single "Pass The Dutchie", a version of The Mighty Diamonds classic "Pass The Kutchie" with the references to ganja removed, was an enormous global hit, and they were the first black act to appear on MTV, beating Michael Jackson to it by several months.

Their 15 minutes of fame ensued, recording with Donna Summer, appearing with Irene Cara, touring around the world and releasing a well received LP "Youth of Today". But things soon started to fall apart as the band tried and failed to find a hybrid between serious reggae and cheerful fresh faced youth; one example being the single "Rub N Dub" and its B side the theme from "Jim'll Fix It"!

A second LP "Different Style" was a flop and the band disintegrated under a combination of family pressures and squabbles, avaracious middle men, and legal wrangling. Only Michael Grant has continued in the music business as part of 5am; reportedly both Junior Waite and Kelvin Grant have both struggled with mental problems and Patrick Waite died of a heart condition at the age of 24, awaiting trial on drugs charges.

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