Determined to carry on the legacy of arguably reggae’s greatest group, The New Melodians are gearing up to record new songs and perform on major shows. The New Melodians are Winston Dias, Taurus Alphonso and Lee Milo.
Milo officially joined the group last year, replacing founder Trevor McNaughton who died in 2018. A drummer/vocalist, he is a veteran of the South Florida reggae scene, having recorded and played with the Tishan band for many years.
Dias, Alphonso and Milo have done a handful of dates together, the most high-profile being the Red Rose For Gregory Valentine’s Day show in Kingston, Jamaica last February. According to Dias, who had a hit song as a teenager in 1964 with Cericy Tea, Red Rose For Gregory was a timely introduction to a Jamaican audience. “It exposed our talent, and we are happy and proud about the response. A lot of potential shows came from it,” he said.
Dias and Alphonso joined McNaughton in The Melodians after the deaths of original members Brent Dowe and Trevor Brevett in 2006 and 2013, respectively. That edition performed throughout South Florida, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Milo, whose real name is Lee Spence, is originally from Montego Bay. He learned drums as a boy with the Salvation Army. As a youth in Jamaica, he remembers listening to The Melodians. “Mi used to love songs like Everybody Bawling and Come on Little Girl. Those songs were ahead of them time,” he said.
Formed in Greenwich Farm, Kingston, The Melodians are one of reggae’s storied groups. McNaughton, Brevett and Dowe had a series of hits at producer Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle studio during the rocksteady craze of the 1960s, such as “Little Nut Tree,” “Swing And Dine” and “Sweet Sensation.” Their biggest hit was “By The Rivers of Babylon,” produced by Leslie Kong.