In 1965, I heard Johnny Nash for the first time. This was seven years before his ginormous reggae-based hit “I Can See Clearly Now,” but by 1965 Nash had already put out more than thirty singles over a nine-year period, few of which made any kind of chart noise. “Let’s Move and Groove (Together)” went nowhere at Top 40 — well, to #88, which if not nowhere is certainly nowhere-adjacent — but it climbed all the way to #4 on Billboard’s recently revived R&B chart. A local Top 40 outlet deemed their library copy superfluous, and somehow it ended up with me. It’s still a great song, even if there isn’t even the faintest whiff of reggae in those grooves.
Nash would break through in 1968 with the bouncy “Hold Me Tight.”