The Maytones formed in the late 1960s, and comprised Vernon Buckley and Gladstone Grant, both of whom lived in May Pen in Clarendon, which inspired the group’s name.
After recording two rocksteady tracks for Studio One which were not released, they recorded much of their early material for Alvin Ranglin, having local hits with “Loving Reggae” and “Funny Man”, and released a version of Greyhound’s “Black and White” written by Earl Robinson and David I. Arkin in 1970.
They had further Jamaican hits with love songs such as “Preaching Love”, “If Loving You Was Wrong”, and “Brown Girl”, before adopting a roots reggae style for tracks such as “Judas”, “Babylon a Fall”, and “Run Babylon”.
They had a major success with “Madness”, recorded again for Ranglin, which was followed by an album of the same name.
The success of The Mighty Diamonds prompted the group and producers Ranglin and Clement Bushay to promote the duo as The Mighty Maytones.
The Boat To Zion album followed in 1978, although did not meet with the success they had hoped for, and were overlooked by the British record labels that were signing up much of Jamaica’s talent at the time, with their non-Rasta image identified as a factor.
They contributed the track “Money Worries” to the Rockers soundtrack in 1979.
The duo came to an end in 1980 when Buckley moved to Canada. They reunited in the 2000s. Vernon issued a solo album, Raw, and has performed and recorded with Bedouin Soundclash.