Alerth Rockford Bedasse was central to the mento era of Jamaican music. He was the lead vocalist and chief music arranger for perhaps the most popular mento aggregation: The Chins Calypso Quintet. Along with Count Lasher, Harold Richardson and The Ticklers and Lord Flea and His Calypsonians, they were the essence of the mento upsurge during its heyday of 1950 to 1956. Bedasse’s role was crucial to a movement that not only became the forerunner of ska and rocksteady, but also had an influence on reggae.
Born in a district named May Kraal in north Clarendon, Bedasse grew up in Pennants. He got into music when two cousins, after observing his youthful musical exuberance, coincidentally bought him two guitars as presents from America. It inspired him to begin fooling around with the instruments, and after observing his musician friends operate theirs, the youngster began teaching himself to play the instrument.