Albert Craig aka Apple Gabriel (born early 1950’s) was raised in the Mona rehabilitation center in East Kingston and would become one of the most endearing voices in Roots Reggae music. Treated there since childhood until his sighting of Rastafari would cause the center to remove he and fellow Polio victims Cecil Spence “Skelly,” and Lascelle Bulgin “Wiss.” For a while Apple attended the famed Alpha Boy’s School and seemed destine for a future in music. At age 14 he felt disrespected and oppressed by the school’s authorities and ran away choosing a life of homelessness and poverty once again joining his childhood friends, Wiss and Skelly.
The three young teenage Rastaman would spend most of their time singing songs, reading the Bible, and meditating on the issues effecting Jamaican society. A popular Rasta movement known as the 12 Tribes of Israel taking root in Kingston in the early 1970’s brought the young singers under their wing. Together Apple, Skelly, and Wiss would take the name Israel Vibration and would help spread the message of Rastafari and Reggae music throughout the world.
Right from the start the group had a very distinguishable sound due in large part to Apple’s rhythmic pulse style of backing vocal harmonies, which he would later teach to Wiss, and Skelly solidifying the Israel Vibration sound. The group enjoyed huge worldwide success from their first album Same Song in 1978 until 1997’s Free To Move. Seeing the three polio survivors take the stage with their crutches and long dread locks along with the audience’s anticipation and amazement created a truly incredible moment.
Since 1997 Apple Gabriel has detached himself from his longtime friends do to friction as to the concept and overall direction of the group. Today Skelly and Wiss alone continue to tour and record as Israel Vibration. Apple has self-produced one solo album in 1999 and today struggles to get his music and message out to the people.
Groundation is honored to feature the great Apple Gabriel singing both lead and harmony vocals on their 2004 We Free Again album.