Dennis Vassell, better known as Dennis Walks, is a Jamaican reggae singer, best known for his work with Harry Mudie in the late 1960s and 1970s. His stage name was given to him by Roy Shirley.[1]

Dennis Walks
Birth nameDennis Vassell
OriginSpanish Town, St Catherine Parish, Jamaica[1]
Years active1968–present

Life and career


Walks first recorded in 1963 for Duke Reid at Treasure Isle.[1] In the late 1960s, he recorded for producer Joe Gibbs ("Having a Party"), but is best known for his recordings with producer Harry Mudie; "The Drifter" and "Heart Don't Leap" were both big hit singles in Jamaica.[2] In 1974 he had another hit with "Margaret", backed by the Mudie's All Stars, which formed the basis of Lennie Hibbert's "Margaret's Dream".[3] In 1975 he had a hit on the UK reggae charts with "Sad Sweet Dreamer" and a reissue of "Margaret".[3] Walks' debut album Meet Dennis Walks, collecting several of his earlier hits, was released on the Moodisc label in 1976. The "Drifter" rhythm has been recorded on by several artists over the years, including versions of "The Drifter" by Dennis Brown and Cornell Campbell, a deejay version by I Roy, and Reggae Bible (Book of Drifters), an entire album based on the track.

Walks also worked with Bunny Lee, and Prince Jazzbo in the late 1960s and 1970s and continued to release singles into the 1990s.[2] He had further hits in the early 1980s with "The Lover", "Roast Fish and Cornbread" (with Billy Boyo), and "Shut Up Your Face" (with Lee Van Cliff).[3]

In 2004 he released the Gwanee Gwanee album, recorded with Mafia & Fluxy. He has performed in the 21st century in "oldies" shows such as Stars R Us and Vintage Showcase.[4][5]




  • Meet Dennis Walks (1976), Moodisc
  • Gwanee Gwanee (2004), Jet Star


  • "Having a Party" (1968), Amalgamated
  • "Uncle Sam's Country" (196?), Amalgamated – promo only
  • "Belly Lick" (1968), Blue Cat
  • "Heart Don't Leap" (1969), Bullet
  • "Love of My Life" (1969), Bullet
  • "The Drifter" (1969), Crab – B-side of Grossett's "Run Girl Run"
  • "Combination Drifter" (1970), Afro – with I Roy
  • "Heart Don't Leap" (1971), Moodisc – with I Roy
  • "Time Will Tell" (1971), Moodisc
  • "Snowbird" (1971), Afro – with instruments by Mudies All Stars, piano by Gladstone Anderson and female backup vocals by The S.P.M.s though uncredited on a 45 RPM single
  • "Ooh Wee Baby" (1972), Moodisc
  • "Margaret" (1974), Count Shelly
  • "Sad Sweet Dreamer" (1974), Moodisc
  • "Misty" (1975), HAM
  • "Don't Play That Song" (1975), Magnet
  • "Pretty Dress" (197?), Conrack
  • "Almighty I" (1978), Joe Gibbs
  • "Togetherness" (1978), Velvet Sound
  • "Fancy Dress" (1980), Orbit
  • "Drifter" (1981), Jah Guidance – 12-inch
  • "Roast Fish & Cornbread" (1982), Greensleeves
  • "Fisherman" (198?), Midnight Rock
  • "Don't Worry" (19??), Everglaids
  • "Only Time Will Tell" (19??), Moodisc
  • "Shoulder To Shoulder" (19??), Ujama
  • "Business" (1985), Hard Rock
  • "Better To Be Early" (1987), Arietha Productions
  • "You Could A Deal" (1992), Mandingo
  • "True Love Is All I Need" (1992), Mandingo
  • "Father And Son" (19??), Icom – Dennis Walks & Zebra
  • "Drifter Mix" (2010), Jah Life – Dennis Walks & Carl Meeks


  1. ^ a b c Taylor, Angus (1 May 2016). "Interview: Dennis Walks in Kingston". United Reggae.
  2. ^ a b Foster, Chuck (1999) Roots Rock Reggae, Billboard Books, ISBN 0-8230-7831-0, p. 271
  3. ^ a b c Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 314
  4. ^ Cooke, Mel (2004), "Vintage Showcase Builds to Unsatisfactory End Archived 10 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Jamaica Gleaner, 4 October 2004. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Stars R Us is back Archived 17 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine", Jamaica Observer, 10 August 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2012.