Lloyd Parks & We The People band, currently Jamaica’s hardest working backing band was formed in 1975 by Lloyd Parks. Evolving out of the popular 70’s aggregation Skin, Flesh and Bones band, which included drummer extraordinaire Sly Dunbar, Mr. Parks and Mr. Dunbar have helped reggae music become much more than the music played in dance halls or below Half-Way-Tree. Reggae music is now world famous – Hot on the box too! Lloyd is more than the founder and leader of the ambassadors of reggae. He is the very cornerstone of their tight unpretentious sound and therefore there are few, if any, reggae musicians or music lovers anywhere, who are not familiar with Lloyd Parks’ background. Lloyd actually began his music career as a singer and one half of the Rock Steady duo, ‘The Termites’, with Wentworth Vernon. They were responsible for rock steady hits like ‘Do the Rock Steady’, ‘Rub Up, Push Up’, and the Top 10 ‘Have Mercy Mr. Percy’, all recorded on the Studio One label. Lloyd Parks also did a stint with the Techniques as lead vocals on songs like ‘Say You’, ‘Love Me’ and ‘Good Girl’. His big song, ‘Officially’, was recorded in 1970 at Randy’s Studios. It was number one for six weeks on all Jamaican radio stations, and has played continuously on the local stations for over three decades. Another big song for Mr. Parks is Mafia. “This song was written as a gimmick of course; I’m not really a Mafia (laugh).” Lloyd Parks and We The People Band has been the top backing band for over three decades. They have backed almost every artiste that came out of Jamaica as well as R&B singers Dorothy Moore, The Chi-lites, Gene Chandler, Percy Sledge, The Persuaders, The Main Ingredients and please send me The Bee Gees and Whitney Houston! “One of the most memorable performances that stands out in my mind is John Holt in symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and Lloyd Parks & We The People Band and special guest Freddie McGregor in 2000.” In New York in 2007 and in Miami in 2008, these were sold out concerts. Their reputation for excellence and the dedication to upholding the highest standards in Jamaican music also resulted in the conferring of the prestigious ‘Order of Distinction’ honor on the band’s leader, Lloyd Parks, by the Government of Jamaica. It is a fitting reward for a band which has brought much pleasure to reggae fans all over the world. Success definitely has its rewards. The band has literally toured the world earning, for them and Jamaica, high praises for the wonderful music they continue to pour out, as they persist in being outstanding ambassadors for Reggae Land. LLOYD PARKS INTERVIEWED BY JIM DOOLEY Lloyd Parks has had a very lengthy and prolific career as both a master bass player and singer. From his first vocal group in the late 60’s, to his continued success as a backing musician, Parks has probably come in contact with everyone in the reggae music business. There are not many reggae musicians who have been in demand for 30 years. Parks’ current band ‘We The People’ continue to be an engaging and impressive live force. Now with the addition of a couple of second generation Parks’ (son Craig plays drums, and daughter Tamika, keyboards), the future looks and sounds as impressive as the past. I interviewed Lloyd Parks in his hotel room in Ottawa, Canada on May 15 1997. ‘We The People’ were just starting a 3 date Canadian tour backing up long time associate Dennis Brown. Even though Parks claimed to be ‘exhausted’ from traveling when we spoke, he didn’t show any signs of fatigue when he hit the stage a couple of hours later. To me the soft-spoken and diplomatic Parks demonstrates a professionalism that seems rare.