Ska


Ska (/skɑː/; Jamaican[skjæ]) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. It combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off beat. It was developed in Jamaica in the 1960s when Prince Buster, Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs.[2] In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and was popular with British mods. … There are multiple theories about the origins of the word ska. Ernest Ranglin claimed that the term was coined by musicians to refer to the ‘skat! skat! skat!’ scratching guitar strum. Another explanation is that at a recording session in 1959 produced by Coxsone Dodd, double bassist Cluett Johnson instructed guitarist Ranglin to ‘play like ska, ska, ska’, although Ranglin has denied this, stating ‘Clue couldn’t tell me what to play!’ A further theory is that it derives from Johnson’s word skavoovie, with which he was known to greet his friends. Jackie Mittoo insisted that the musicians called the rhythm Staya Staya, and that it was Byron Lee who introduced the term ‘ska’. Derrick Morgan said: ‘Guitar and piano making a ska sound, like ska, ska.‘ After World War II, Jamaicans purchased radios in increasing numbers and were able to hear rhythm and blues music from the Southern United States in cities such as New Orleans by artists such as Fats Domino, Barbie Gaye, Rosco Gordon and Louis Jordan whose early recordings all contain the seeds of the ‘behind-the-beat’ feel of ska and reggae. … To meet the demand for that music, entrepreneurs such as Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems. As the supply of previously unheard tunes in the jump blues and more traditional R&B genres began to dry up in the late 1950s, Jamaican producers began recording their own version of the genres with local artists. These recordings were initially made to be played on ‘soft wax’ (a lacquer on metal disc acetate later to become known as a ‘dub plate’), but as demand for them grew eventually some time in the second half of 1959 (believed by most to be in the last quarter) producers such as Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid began to issue these recording on 45rpm 7-inch discs. …”
Wikipedia (Audio)
Essential Traditional Ska Music CDs
Jamaican Ska Artists (Video)
Tracing Ska Music’s Great Migration
YouTube: Jackie Mittoo & the Skatalites – El Bang Bang, Keith & Ken with Byron Lee & the Dragonaires – Jamaica Ska, The Blues Busters – I Won’t Let You Go, The Skatalites – Fidel Castro, Coconut Rock – The Skatalites, Sweet Lorna – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics, Don Drummond & Roland Alphonso – Heaven and Earth (Roll on Sweet Don), Down Beat Burial “Buster’s All Stars”, Prince Buster – Wings Of A Dove, The Paragons – “The Tide Is High”

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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