Gardiner first came to prominence in the late 1960s when he, along with many famous Jamaican musicians, were part of the studio based group, The Upsetters. He charted solo with "Elizabethan Reggae" in 1970. Actually, he nearly did not appear at all. The story about his first hit is that, when it was released in the UK, the first copies were printed with the label incorrectly identifying Byron Lee as the performer. The reality was that he was the instrumental track's record producer. The UK Singles Chart for the first entry, and the subsequent first four weeks of its re-entry into the charts all reprinted this error. However, all charts and discs printed after 28 February 1970, duly gave Boris Gardiner the credit he deserved. His debut album Reggae Happening was also released in 1970 and (although it did not make the pop charts) "sold respectably for a reggae LP" in the UK, according to music journalist Ian McCann. Although Gardiner continued to be successful in Jamaica, he had no more hits in the UK during that decade. However, in 1986 he recorded the pop single, "I Want To Wake Up With You", a surprise UK Number One, which spent two months in the Top Ten. It was followed into the same chart by "You're Everything To Me" (which just missed out being another Top 10 entry when it peaked at Number 11), plus "The Meaning Of Christmas". Later, Gardiner signed to RCA Records.