Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
The Jamaican vocal trio formed late '60s, led by Bernard Collins. Support singers were Donald and Linford Manning, brothers of Carlton Manning, lead singer with rock steady group Carlton And The Shoes. The Abyssinians recorded only sporadically but were influential; first release was "Declaration Of Rights', made at Studio One; Collins soon formed his own Clinch label and recorded their seminal "Satta Amassa Gana' and similarly inflected "Yis Mas Gan', both titles quoting from the ancient Ethiopian Amharic language. In mid-'70s they released LPs Forward On To Zion and Arise, showcasing their understated style; Collins lived in the UK late '70s.