Veteran singer gives praise with new single

June 16, 2021
Audley Rollen
Audley Rollen

In the 1960s when Audley Rollen got into music, producers ensured that singers learned everything, including playing an instrument.

The veteran singer goes back to basics for Never Knew Love Till You, an inspirational song done to a rocksteady beat. He co-wrote and co-produced the single with his wife, Dawn Marie Wisdom.

"What makes this song personally special to me is that it is a little different, because it has a lot of chord changes and that makes it big, musically," said Rollen. "In addition, it transcends borders, because it meets people where they are. Understand that it does not appeal to only believers, it appeals to everybody."

Rollen and his wife are pastors who live in South Florida. Though he has been a Christian for 20 years, Rollen has not turned his back on the secular sounds that made him popular in the 1970s with The Emotions, and as a solo act. Never Knew Love Till You, he said, relates to lovers of gospel music and secular ballads.

"What's really beautiful about Never Knew Love Till You is that it can be viewed as a male and female love song, but on the real it's a song about God's love for us and how great it is," he explained.

Rollen was raised in Greenwich Farm and Allman Town, but came of age musically in east Kingston, where he was a member of The Emotions, which also included fellow singers Milton Henry, Leroy Brown and Lloyd Shakespeare, older brother of famed bassist Robbie Shakespeare.

"How can I not remember those Emotions days, considering all who it turned out? It was a university... (I learned from) 'Family Man' Barrett, Carlton Barrett (of The Wailers), Robert Shakespeare, Max Romeo, Milton Henry, Leroy Brown, to name a few," he said. "Those were good times. I go back every now and then to look over the landscape and to reminisce about the great times."

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