Born in Westmoreland, Jamaica, Washington moved with his family to London in the early 1960s. His early experience in the music industry was as a session musician and tour manager. As a member of the band Rebel he recorded material for CBS Records which was not released.
In 1973 he released an independently produced single “Lonely Street” on the Count Shelly label. He recorded backing vocals for The Wailers on the Catch a Fire album, after befriending Bob Marley in the early 1970s, and he continued to provide backing vocals for Wailers albums until the late 1970s. Washington wrote songs with Marley and worked with him on making Marley’s lyrics more suitable for European listeners.
He also provided backing vocals on the debut album from Aswad. He continued to record as a solo artist and was one of the first reggae artists signed by Virgin Records in the mid-1970s, his “Give All the Praise to Jah” single becoming a success on the British reggae charts. He released two albums on Virgin, I Sus in 1976 and Rasta in 1977. Both albums featured musicians such as Al Anderson, Rico Rodriguez, and George Oban.
After leaving Virgin he released a handful of singles on different labels up to the early 1980s. He appeared on the 1984 Jah Shaka album Message From Africa, singing the opening track “Help One Another”.
Both of his Virgin albums were reissued in the early 2000s.
He died after a short illness on March 27, 2020.
- I Sus (1976), Virgin
- Rasta (1977), Virgin
- “Jah Man a Come” (197?), Lord Koos
- “Lonely Street” (1973), Count Shelly
- “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” (1973), Sir Christopher
- “Freedom Fighters” (1976), Axum
- “Give All the Praise to Jah” (1977), Virgin – 12-inch
- “Memories” (1978), Burning Sounds – Delroy Washington & Jah Son
- “It’s Like Magic” (197?), Burning Vibrations – 12-inch
- “Magic” (1980), Direction Discs/Ballistic – Delroy Washington Band
- “Cool Rasta” (19??), Ballistic
- “For Your Love” (1981), Ankh/Pinnacle
- Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p. 315
- Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p. 315-6
- Masouri, John (2010) Wailing Blues: The Story of Bob Marley’s Wailers, Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-1847727060
- Birchmeier, Jason “Delroy Washington Biography“, Allmusic, retrieved 22 September 2012
- Bewley, Hannah (2012) “Bob Marley’s mark on Neasden honoured with a plaque“, Harrow Observer, 20 September 2012, retrieved 22 September 2012
- British reggae pioneer Delroy Washington dies Published by Voice Online on March 27, 2020 and retrieved on the same day