Wesley Tinglin of The Viceroys dead at 75

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Friday, September 21, 2018

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Wesley Tinglin, founder, lead singer and chief songwriter of The Viceroys, died September 18 at the University Hospital of the West Indies. He was 75-years-old.

His daughter, Petronia Tinglin, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Splash that he died from lung cancer. She said Tinglin suffered a seizure in July at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay while waiting to board a flight to Paris, France where The Viceroys were scheduled to perform.

The group had recently returned from San Diego, California where they did a show.

Petronia Tinglin said while her father was recovering at Cornwall Regional Hospital in his native St James that doctors discovered he had terminal cancer.

Born in Montego Bay, Wesley Tinglin moved to Kingston at 12 years-old to live with his sister in Trench Town. He formed The Viceroys with Daniel Bernard and Bunny Gayle, and first recorded for producer Clement “Coxson” Dodd at Studio One.

It was there that they did Ya Ho, which is their signature song. They recorded for a number of producers during the 1970s and 1980s including Lee “Scratch” Perry, Phil Pratt, Lloyd “Matador” Daley, Sly and Robbie, and Linval Thompson.

The trio had a massive hit in 1980 with Heart Made of Stone, produced by Sly and Robbie.

The Viceroys enjoyed a revival 12 years ago when they recorded an acoustic album for French independent label, Makasounds. That earned them a short tour of France as members of the Inna De Yard band.

A jeweler by profession, Tinglin held a nine-to-five job throughout his career with The Viceroys. In a 2004 interview with Reggae Vibes magazine, he said. though he wrote most of the group's songs, he never earned a cent from royalties.

For the past 25 years, Tinglin lived in Albion, St Thomas with his family. He is survived by his wife Beaulahlin Tinglin, nine children and 12 grandchildren.

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