Ken Boothe was born in the Denham Town area of Kingston in 1948, the youngest of seven children, and began singing in school. His recording career began in the late 1950s when he formed a duo with his neighbour Stranger Cole as 'Stranger & Ken', the first tracks released by them being "Hush Baby" on the B-side of Cole's Island Records single "Last Love", and the "Thick in Love" single on R&B Records, both in 1963. They released several more popular singles between 1963 and 1965, including "World's Fair", "Hush", and "Artibella". Boothe also recorded as a duo with Roy Shirley (as Roy & Ken), releasing the "Paradise" single in 1966. His first solo tracks were recorded in 1966 after Clement "Coxsone" Dodd had signed him to the Studio One Label. He also recorded material for Phil Pratt and Sonia Pottinger the same year. He had almost immediate success with songs like "The Train Is Coming" (on which he was backed by The Wailers) and "Lonely Teardrops" and by the following year, Boothe and Alton Ellis had a successful UK tour with the Studio One session group, The Soul Vendors.
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