Himons, the iconic dreadlocked giant of a man who earned a place as
one of the most colorful figures in the history of Nashville's club scene,
died today after a long illness. He was 68.
Himons was perhaps best known for his reggae group Afrikan Dreamland, a
fixture on the Rock Block during the 1980s boom years of college radio. But
his music career dated back at least to the late 1950s, when he made his way
to New York and then Washington, D.C., as a teenage R&B and doo-wop singer.
Under his real name, Archie Himons, he fronted an Washington-era R&B group
called Little Archie & the Majestics. In 1966, he signed with the late Buddy
Killen's label Dial.
It was Afrikan Dreamland, however — reportedly the first U.S. reggae band to
get a video on MTV — that made Himons an unforgettable figure on Nashville's
music scene. Despite his towering presence, he had a gentle nature and a way
of disarming people with his trademark greeting, "One heart." Many stayed
close to him over the years as he faced various personal demons, long bouts
of bad health, and most recently the death of his wife of 40 years,
Kristina, last January.