We all know those crabby old people that complain that the music is too loud, that rock ‘n’ roll is devil music and corrupting the youth, that the youth who listen to it are mindless and all on drugs. It has been said for decades, for every new creation that hooks the masses, like rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm & blues,
This is the companion piece to last week’s post, Dissension in the Ska Camp, where we find artists responding to the hub-bub created between Prince Buster and Ronnie Nasralla over how ska was promoted in the U.S., specifically at the ska gala in New York at the Shepheard’s Club in April, 1964. Ronnie Nasralla, Roy Willis, Roy Panton, Alphonso Castro,
The premiere of the ska in America was controversial then, as it is now. I recently found an article from 1964 called “Dissension in the Ska Camp” that shows even when musicians were in the thick of it, it was a contested issue of who was included and who was excluded, who created it first and who was following suit.
Can you imagine grabbing a Red Stripe and heading into this dance at Shady Grove in 1956? Duke Reid, Coxsone Dodd, Admiral Comic (or here, Kosmic)–what a night this must have been! It was 1956, before ska, so these sound system operators were spinning “rock ‘n roll” as the advertisement states–rhythm and blues secured from American. We know that Duke
Stanley Motta is always mentioned as an early pioneer in the ska industry since he had the first recording studio on the island, although they were not pressed there–Motta sent the acetates to the U.K. for duplication. But Motta began the recording industry in Jamaica. His recording studio was opened in 1951 on Hanover Street and his label, M.R.S. (Motta’s