Stan Rankin T was born Stanley Tyrell in the rural setting of Portland Jamaica. His family was steeped in musical history from the early days of Quadrille (Quadrille is a form of dance normally accompanied by a band consisting of instruments such as guitar, fiddle, fife, violin, trumpet, and rhumba box.) Stan was raised in the church playing drums and singing in the choir, but at seven years old he came across a Rastafarian elder preaching in a market square. The meeting was broken up by the police but even at that young age, Stan realized he was a Rasta.
At the age of seventeen, Stan moved to Kingston where his first professional experience was with his cousin, Mas Man Tyrell, for King Edward The Giant. Every Sunday he would audition at studios like Coxones, J.J. ‘s, Duke Creeds, and Federal Recordings. It was before a couple of these auditions that he was helped out with chords and tones on his guitar by Bob Marley.
“My music school was under a black mango tree listening to The Gladiators, The Gaylads, The Ethiopians, and Marcia Griffiths. Peter Tosh was often around playing his guitar.”
He joined the Jamaican hotel circuit where he sang with Count Owen and his band and in 1969 Stan Rankin T went on the road and in Nassau was the opening act for Slim Smith, Delroy Wilson, and Bob Andy.
Political unrest in Jamaica in the 1970s caused Stan Rankin T to travel to Nassau, Miami, Belize, Los Angeles, and Canada. Juggling working for a living and music was difficult but not impossible and several bands from Count Owen to the I-zits were influenced by Stan’s membership. In 1973 Stan was even a member of The Soul Providers, an American Rythm and Blues band.
In 1981 Stan Rankin T was invited to Las Vegas to do an interview on KCEP radio about reggae music and the I-zits. While in Las Vegas he became interested in a local Thursday night radio show on the new college radio station KUNV. The following year he moved to Las Vegas and eventually took over the show. In 1984 he started a Saturday morning show in KCEP but after a year returned to KUNV 91.5 FM where he still has a weekly reggae show to this day.
As the local reggae scene grew, Stan created a new reggae band named Meshack and in 1985 opened a cultural music store called Caribbean Lifestyles, providing Reggae, Soca, and African music along with clothing and arts and crafts. The store was a cultural icon in Las Vegas for 27 years and was finally closed a couple of years ago due to the drop in sales caused by online digital purchase and streaming.
Over the years Stan Rankin T has continued to perform on the casino circuit in Las Vegas as well as the reggae club scene in Los Angeles. He also continues to record, with his most recent albums, “Follow Him” and “Look To The East” being released in early 2021.
It appears that Stan Rankin T. isn’t going to retire anytime soon.