The Abyssinians plus support

23 September 2021

The Abyssinians are a Jamaican roots reggae group, famous for their close harmonies and promotion of the Rastafari movement in their lyrics.

The vocal trio was originally formed in 1968 by Bernard Collins and Donald Manning. Their first song was “Satta Massagana”, which was strongly influenced by Carlton Manning’s “Happy Land”. “Satta Massagana” is a Rastafarian hymn sung partly in the ancient Ethiopian Amharic language. They recruited a third vocalist, who was still at school and often unable to attend rehearsals; he was soon replaced by Donald’s brother Lynford Manning, who had previously been a member of their brother Carlton Manning’s group Carlton and The Shoes.

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