Crack of Dawn

Meet Rupert “Ojiji” Harvey and Alvin Jones. They represent two members of the Canadian r&b/funk outfit Crack of Dawn. In 1975 they became the first Canadian black band to ever sign with a major label, after inking a deal with Columbia records. Columbia released one LP and four singles including the Chuck Jackson written “It’s Alright” which went to No.42 nationally in the spring of 1976. A cool side story that Alvin noted off camera: “The cover of our album was very expensive for those days. They [Columbia] paid for a jet to go up in the sky and take a photo of the sunrise. It’s one of the more expensive album covers produced”.

The group toured across Canada, and eventually, amidst the changing climat of the music industry, decided to part ways, with members moving on to other endeavors. Rupert Harvey (who’s been studying Martial Arts for over forty years) went on to found Messenjah, Carl Harvey (Rupert’s brother) went on to play with Toots and the Maytals. Glenn Ricketts went solo, and is also the proud father of Canadian singer Glenn Lewis. Alvin himself also worked on some projects. The important thing is (both Alvin and Rupert note) they are all still close friends. They decided to get the group back together for the first time in 27 years (they last reunited for a 1985 run at the now closed Blue Note in Toronto). They will be playing the Westjet Stage at 2pm on Sunday (Canada Day). As Alvin says in our interview, the last time they got together, it was just for fun. This time they hope to make a little more of it. We can’t wait to see what’s next for Crack of Dawn.

Check out our full video interview below:

The original line-up of the group is as follows:

Jackie Gabriel (vocals)
Grant Gabriel
Rupert Harvey (rhythm guitar)
Trevor Daley (trombone)
Mark Smith (bass)
Alvin Jones (saxophone, flute)
Dwight Gabriel (trumpet)
Glenn Ricketts (vocals)
Carl Harvey (guitar)
Jacek Sobotta (keyboards)
Carl Otway (drums)
Andre King (bass; replaced Smith)
George Flint (bass, guitar, vocals; 1981)
James McGee (lead vocals; 1981)
Douglas Buchanan (keyboards; 1981)