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Artist Hall of Fame

Carlton & The ShoesText by Harry Hawks

Legendary rock steady and reggae vocal group led by Carlton Manning… their debut recording ‘Love Me Forever’ is an all time classic.
Date Added: Apr 20, 2007, Date Updated: Mar 7, 2018 Copyright (C) 2018 Dub Store Sound Inc.
Members:Carlton Manning
Donald Manning
Lynford Manning
Place of Establishment: Jamaica
Related Artist(s):
Abyssinians
In an economy where advances, retainers, royalties and recording contracts are practically unheard of it is a harsh fact of life that reggae artists have to keep on recording in order to live. A one off payment for a one off record is the norm and, consequently, substandard records are often made by some of the music's greatest artists in what is termed a 'hungry deal'. Consequently there are few Jamaican artists who can be accused of not making enough records. However, Carlton & His Shoes(also known as Carlton & The Shoes) are one of the few Jamaican vocal groups whose followers wish that there were more recordings to collect and appreciate for, to put it simply, there is no such thing as a bad Carlton & His Shoes record.

Carlton, Donald & Lynford Manning were the key members of one the greatest three part harmony groups to ever enter a Kingston recording studio. The brothers were occasionally augmented by Alexander Henry, who recorded the much versioned 'Please Be True' for Studio One, while Donald & Lynford also sung with The Abyssinians. Another member of the multi-talented Manning family, Glasford, sang with Junior Delgado in Time Unlimited.

Carlton's debut recording, a beautiful rock steady song entitled 'Live And Love' was released on Mrs. Sonia Pottinger's High Note label credited to Carlton Manning but it was not a particularly big seller and he moved on to Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd(CS Dodd). His first recording, 'Love Me Forever' credited to Carlton & His Shoes and released on Studio One's Supreme subsidiary in 1968, was a massive hit. Apparently a printer's error had changed Shades to Shoes and the name remained. Over the ensuing years 'Love Me Forever' has been endlessly versioned (notably by Big Youth on 'African Daughter', 'Hell Is For Heroes', 'Hit The Road Jack' and 'Hot Stock') and re-released time and time again. Everyone who knows and loves Jamaican music will immediately recognise the song from the opening "Kiss me once girl..." and sing along. The b side, 'Happy Land', provided the lyrical inspiration for The Abyssinians' epochal 'Satta Massa Ganna' the following year but that's another story...

The brothers' Studio One recordings were conveniently compiled in the mid seventies by Peckings Studio One in London on the essential 'Love Me Forever' album. This brought about a renewed interest in the work of the group and the aching 'Never Give Your Heart Away' proved to be another hit when released on a Studio One twelve inch but by this stage the backing vocals were Carlton double and treble tracking his own lead vocals. His final recording for Studio One was in 1979: 'Let Me Love You' was yet another superb outing where Jackie Mittoo and Pablove Black excelled themselves on keyboards on this 'disco mix' style extended twelve inch release. Carlton also worked at Studio One as a session guitarist: listen to Horace Andy's 'New Broom' for a taste of his magnificent guitar work.

The group were billed as The Carltons on their Upsetter recording 'Better Days' in 1973 and, oddly enough, as The Abyssinians for 'Sweet Feelings' released on the brothers own Trinity label in 1975. The latter record proved hugely successful in the UK lovers rock market place and, as the decade drew to a close, Carlton re-recorded a number of his classic songs for Dennis Brown that were released on Dennis' London based DEB label. He travelled to the UK in the early eighties where he recorded 'Mood For Love' and the beautiful 'Fools Rush In' for Fashion Records. While in London Carlton also released his solo debut album 'This Heart Of Mine' on his own Quality label and a handful of seven inch singles were also released on Quality. 'Sweet Feelings' was re-released in the early nineties on Carlton's CM label and an album of the same name followed which showcased a mixture of old and new self produced classics. The long awaited Studio One Compact Disc of 'Love Me Forever' expanded this classic release with additional tracks that included a beautiful Brentford Road version of the aching 'Never Let Go' which was released as 'Forever' on Cash & Carry in 1980.

The music of Carlton & His Shoes is revered worldwide by everyone who has ever had the pleasure of hearing it. 'Cult artist' is an overused and much abused term but, until more people hear his records, it seems that Carlton Manning will remain a cult artist. If you have not yet heard Carlton & His Shoes we are envious because you have a real treat in store. One listen will turn you into another avid fan of one of Jamaica's greatest ever harmony groups.
Apr 20, 2007 (Mar 7, 2018 Update) Text by Harry Hawks
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Debut title(s)
Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever / Lee Perry - Cook Book Studio One Love Me Forever
  
¥850 (US$7.57)
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Hit titles
Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever
CD Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever Studio One
  
¥2380 (US$21.19)
BUY
Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever
LP Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever Studio One
  
¥1680 (US$14.96)
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Carlton & The Shoes - This Heart Of Mine
LP Carlton & The Shoes - This Heart Of Mine Quality
  
¥2080 (US$18.52)
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Carlton & The Shoes - Let Me Love You
12" Carlton & The Shoes - Let Me Love You / Vincent Gordon - Heavenless Studio One Heavenless
  
¥1580 (US$14.07)
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Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever / Lee Perry - Cook Book Studio One Love Me Forever
  
¥850 (US$7.57)
Add To Want List
Carlton & The Shoes - You & Me
7" Carlton & The Shoes - You & Me Quality Love Is A Treasure Info: Deleted
  
¥1680 ¥1280 (US$11.40)
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Carlton & The Shoes - Better Days (slight Noise) (off Center)
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Better Days (slight Noise) (off Center) Quality Better Days Info: Deleated
  
¥1680 ¥899 (US$8.00)
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Carlton & The Shoes - Sweet Feelings
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Sweet Feelings CM Records UK Info: Deleted
  
¥1280 (US$11.40)
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Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever / DEB Players - Love Inside Out DEB
  
¥720 (US$6.41)
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Recent arrival(s)
Carlton & The Shoes - Better Days  (Slight Noise)  (Off Center)
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Better Days (Slight Noise) (Off Center) Quality
  
¥599 (US$5.33)
BUY
Best selling CD(s)
Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever
CD Carlton & The Shoes - Love Me Forever Studio One
  
¥2380 (US$21.19)
BUY
>>more
Best selling 7"(s)
Carlton & The Shoes - Sweet Feelings
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Sweet Feelings CM Records UK Info: Deleted
  
¥1280 (US$11.40)
BUY
Carlton & The Shoes - Love Is All (Original Stamper)
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Love Is All (Original Stamper) / Sound Dimention - Love Version Studio One
  
¥850 (US$7.57)
BUY
Carlton & The Shoes - Sugar And Spice
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Sugar And Spice G Stone Music JPN/Overheat Music JPN Love Me Forever
  
¥1296 (US$11.54)
BUY
Carlton & The Shoes - Better Days  (Slight Noise)  (Off Center)
7" Carlton & The Shoes - Better Days (Slight Noise) (Off Center) Quality
  
¥599 (US$5.33)
BUY
>>more
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