Skabook.com

Books about Ska by Heather Augustyn

By - haugustyn

Ska Takes Center Stage at the Palace Theater

This is the interior of the Palace Theatre today in downtown Kingston. It’s hard to imagine that this outdoor movie theater was once not only host to some of the most legendary Jamaican ska and music artists, but this is the very stage that launched their careers. The Palace Theatre was home of the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour, a talent

By - haugustyn

Spies, Gun Slingers, and Gumshoes. American Film in Jamaican Ska.

Here is an advertisement for Guns of Navarone from the Daily Gleaner, January 19, 1963. Certainly it inspired The Skatalites and Don Drummond to create their classic ska version of the American film’s soundtrack. American movies were incredibly popular in Jamaica during the 1950sand 1960s, as were all types of American culture and media, especially music. Spaghetti westerns with tough

By - haugustyn

Music Is My Occupation

The Jamaica Defense Force Band (JDF), or as they are commonly referred to, the military band, plays here last February at Hope Gardens in Kingston where I was fortunate enough to see them play under the direction of maestro Albert Hird. There were three bands where boys could play for a paycheck in this arena—the Jamaica Military Band, the Jamaica

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Rude Roots

Here is a photo I took of the gorgeous and talented Pauline Black on September 14th, 2013 at RiotFest in Chicago where Selecter performed. She is amazing, her vocal range is impressive and what a show-woman! Because my blog focuses on the foundation of ska, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the link between bands like Selecter

By - haugustyn

Skanking with Sister Iggy!

This is Sister Mary Ignatius Davies turntable! It is in the collection at the EMP Museum in Seattle, donated by Sister Iggy herself. Sister Mary Ignatius Davies, also known as Sister Ignatius or Sister Iggy, was crucial to mentoring, educating, and raising the boys at Alpha, and she single-handedly shaped the course of music with her passion and devotion to her boys. She

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Tonight! Marguerita and Don Drummond

There has been much speculation about how and when Anita Mahfood, stage name Margarita or as it is spelled here, Marguerita, and Don Drummond met each other. Some say it was in the Wareika Hills, but there is evidence they met long before that. Here in this June 15, 1955 advertisement in the Daily Gleaner, we see that Don Drummond

By - haugustyn

Ska's Next Generation in Jamaica

Take a look at what the Alpha Boys Band is learning to play–Addis Ababba, written by Don Drummond! I visited the Alpha Boys School for the first time in 2011 and again this year and Band Director Sparrow Martin is always challenging his boys with music of the greats, like Don D, as well as classical, band music, jazz, and

By - haugustyn

Skanking Models

  Skanking models–no, that’s not a rude put-down, it’s the description of a photo spread from Mademoiselle magazine, September 1964. This issue featured a six-page spread of models “doing the ska,” complete with some text that makes the dance, and hence the music, sound like the newest hippest thing. Here are a few excerpts from the text: “What’s it like