Jimmy Cliff left Jamaica, where he was the #1 local star, to try and make it in Britain in 1964.
He spent five years playing clubs in Britain and Europe with his soul/blues/West Indian ban the Shakedown Sound, before making the Top Ten all over Europe with Wonderful World, Beautiful People in 1969. The record stayed at #1 for four months in Brazil.
Jimmy found himself in demand as a producer and songwriter. Desmond Dekker had a hit with his You Can Get It If You Really Want and Bob Dylan reportedly said Jimmy’s Vietnam was the best anti-war song he’d ever heard.
In 1973 Jimmy starred in the highly successful West Indian movie The Harder They Come and had a hit with the title song.
Jimmy then parted company with Island Records and manager Chris Blackwell and signed with EMI.