Max Romeo was born Maxie Smith, in the parish of St Ann's, 1944, he ran away from home at 14, and worked cleaning out irrigation ditches on a sugar plantation to survive. He always had a desire to sing, and in 1965 he successfully entered a talent contest in Clarendon which gave him the resolve to head for Kingston. In 1967, as the lead singer with the Emotions, he recorded his first disc I'll Buy You A Rainbow for the Caltone label. After recording some fine Rock Steady with the group, which also included Lloyd Shakespeare (brother of Robbie) and Kenneth Knight, he met producer Bunny Lee, and in Max's words, "he kind of invigorated me to go solo. And I went solo", it was Bunny Lee who decided to use the name Max Romeo. While with Lee, Max cut the infamous Wet Dream which propelled him to stardom, and at the same time wiped out his credibility as a serious performer, it is said that Lee had forced him to record the song against his better judgment. After the fuss had died down Max did make amends, if that's the right phrase, and recorded some thoughtful songs like: Pray For Me, Public Enemy Number One and Every Man Ought To Know, which showed there was a serious side to the man. About this time his devotion to Rastafarian beliefs also became apparent in his music, which makes it surprising that his composition Let The Power Fall was adopted by the People's National Party in the Jamaican General Elections of 1972. A little later Romeo teemed up with producer Lee Perry, and recorded the above and many other valuable tunes. Max again, "I think Lee Perry is one of the greatest producers who ever walk the land in Jamaica. He did a lot of things, we've been together for years, before I even start recording on the label we were friends".
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