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Stanley was born February 17, 1942 in the parish of Portland. He was orphaned as a child and wound up living in Kingston. Taking a path that other Jamaican recording artists followed, he began singing in church, and then gained prominence by winning on the Vere Johns radio talent competition. Stanley recorded reggae as Stanley & The Turbines and in The Starlites. Although clearly reggae, his music had a tinge of mento, displaying a country sound, especially due to Stanley's mento style vocals. (He sounded like the great mento singer Harold Richardson.) When the mento influence was stronger, his recordings could best be described as "mento-reggae".

Before moving to mento, Stanley Beckford released several reggae albums and numerous singles from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, enjoying hits such as "Soldering" and winning Festival three times. In addition to original compositions, Stanley recorded reggae covers of a number of mento songs, such as "Balm Yard", "Big Bamboo", "Banana", "Sweet Jamaica" (with new lyrics), "Dip Dem", "Samfie Man", "Maintenance and Chi Chi Bud", "China Man From Montego Bay".