Lovers Prayer
Dobby Dobson
Upstairs Music
June 12, 2005

Track list
  1. Warm Your Heart
  2. Funny How Time Slips Away
  3. Little Things You Do
  4. Her Name Is Joan
  5. Midnight Blues
  6. Ain't Leaving My Woman
  7. Lover's Prayer
  8. Brown Eyes
  9. Greetings From Jamaica
  10. Love Again
  11. Tears In Her Eyes
  12. Love I Can Feel
  13. Don't Play That Song
  14. Greetings From Jamaica (Reggaeton ft. C-Lo)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Dobby Dobson, one of the traditional balladeers of Jamaican popular music was born in 1942, Kingston, Jamaica. "The Loving Pauper", as he has been affectionately nicknamed, has crafted an impressively individual technique, built around a voice of rich, modular tone. Dobson began singing as part of a group known as the Deltas while at the Kingston College; the group also included Howard Barrett (later to form the Paragons). They recorded their first song for the Tip Top label - "Cry A Little Cry", written by Dobson, and produced by Sonia Pottinger. Though it proved a radio hit, the group split and Dobson continued to record solo for Pottinger. His first recording session resulted in the release of a duet with Chuck Joseph, "Baby How Can I". Although the Tip Top release was greeted with indifference, Dobson's distinctive vocal style secured recording sessions with Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid. With Reid, he recorded "Loving Pauper", as well as cutting "Seems To Me I'm Losing You" for Coxsone Dodd at roughly the same time. He enjoyed a succession of hits with both producers, although it was "Loving Pauper" that garnered most attention and became his signature tune. He recorded it twice more after its initial release on Treasure Isle, and many other reggae stars (including Freddie McGregor, Gregory Isaacs and Ruddy Thomas) would also cover it.

Nevertheless, Dobson modestly maintained his jobs as a salesman and proof-reader for the Jamaican Gleaner. In his spare time he was enrolled to perform with various short-term local bands, including the Sheiks alongside Jackie Mittoo, and the Virtues, before establishing a fruitful partnership in 1971 with Rupie Edwards. His initial single, "That Wonderful Sound", sold in excess of 40,000 copies in the Caribbean and was followed by his other distinguished opus, "Endlessly". The song was equally successful and signalled international fame when the independent Ashanti label took the song into the lower reaches of the UK pop chart. Despite his prolific past, it was not until Edwards compiled an album directly following the success of "Wonderful Sound" that Dobson added a long-player to his canon. Unfortunately, it failed to sell in the quantities that both parties anticipated, and was followed shortly afterwards by Sweet Dreams for Federal Records. This comprised big 50s and 60s ballads, delivered in Dobson's smoothest lovers tones. His bad luck was compounded, however, when a third album, for a Miami label, failed to produce any royalties. He began working as a producer and relished a notable achievement with the Meditations' Wake Up, released through Count Shelley.

In 1979 Dobson emigrated to New York where he pursued a career outside of the music industry, although he occasionally returned to the studio. Instead he worked in real estate and junior management (he had previously been a marketing student at the University of West Indies). In 1982, during one of his sporadic studio sessions, he recorded "Sweetheart", produced by Inner Circle, which enjoyed another brush with the UK pop chart. While pursuing other interests, he occasionally performed live and is a favourite on the "oldies night" section at both Reggae Sunsplash and Reggae Sumfest celebrations in Jamaica. His popularity as a "big people's" performer prompted the release of a series of mellow lovers compilations, including Love You Through It All, Sweet Dreams Again Volume Two, Love Your Woman, Nothing But Love Songs Volume Three, At Last and To Lovers Everywhere.

The newest album from the 'Romantic Stylist' is called Lovers Prayer. The album is produced by Danny Breakenridge and Dobson himself for the Upstairs Music imprint. The songs presented here are best described as a solid selection of big people music since the tunes will appeal to the more mature reggae fan. His orginal songs such as Midnight Blues and Tears In Her Eyes are composed of heart-felt lyrics and bluesy melodies. More niceness comes from reggae interpretations of classics like Willie Nelson's Funny how Time Slips Away and Sam Cooke's Little Things You Do. Also well worth spinning is his rendition of John Holt's classic Studio One hit "Love I Can Feel".