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Kerrie “Junior” Byles was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1948. He was still in his teens when he formed the Versatiles with fellow vocalists Earl Dudley and Louis Davis. It was the height of the rocksteady era and vocal trios ruled the land. The Versatiles were just one of many hopefuls at the auditions for the Festival Song Contest in 1967, each desperate to catch the eye of the producers who stalked the contest in search of new talent. The trio was proud of their entry, an upbeat Byles’ composed celebration of unity, “The Time Has Come.” The infectious song and the trio’s obvious enthusiasm caught the attention of Joe Gibbs, who brought the group into the studio. At the time, Lee Perry was working as Gibb’s chief engineer, and thus oversaw the Versatiles’ first recordings, including their festival entry. Perry left in a huff over production credits soon after, and his assistant, the young Niney Holness, took over.