Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rocksteady - Roots of Reggae

Growing up in south London in the 60s I was exposed to Jamaican music - the great sounds of ska, rocksteady and early reggae. This weekend BBC4 has been celebrating these musical art forms with a series of programmes. Last night Reggae Britannia featured the likes of Ken Boothe and Rico Rodriguez in a recent concert at the Barbican, followed by a 1973 Old Grey Whistle Test which included Nicky Thomas and The Pioneers among others.
Tonight's programme - Rocksteady - Roots of Reggae - brought together many of the original rocksteady pioneers, including Hopeton Lewis, Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan and Marcia Griffiths, who relived their roles in the evolution of ska into rocksteady in the late 60s. Sadly the King of Rocksteady, Alton Ellis, is no longer with us, but it brought back memories of the West Indian clubs that I frequented in Brixton back in the day. The music sounded fantastic then, and it sounds fantastic today.
The photo shows what may be the first rocksteady record to be issued in the UK.


At 4:55 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wicked Big Youth and Mr Rocksteady Ken Boothe at Reggae Brittania....caught the dread DJ at his best! photo by Pogus Ceser


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