The History of Reggae
History of reggae music.
Map of Jamaica.
Jamaican national flag
The roots of reggae music is based in Jamaica, West Indies. Jamaica is one of the lardgest islands of the Caribbean and there are living around 3 million people on the island.
It started all in the late 60's. In that time their was ska, its own rhythm with influences from Otis Reddind , Fast Domino etc. The first time that ska was introduced to the world was a big hit "My Boy Lolipop" written and produced by Ernest Rangling, original guitarist of the ska uppsetter band the "Skatalite's". There were also more important people for ska, like Sir Clemment Dodd, Lee Perry, Jackie Mittoo and producer Leroy Sibbles. They had ska band's as; Sound Dimension, Soul Vendors, Soul Brothers and Soul Defenders. In the year 66/67 ska is transforming to a slower more soulfull, heavy musicstyle; rocksteady. From that time Duke Reid was a very succesful producer. He produced in that time music for bands as; Paragons, Techniques en Jamaicans. At the end of the 60's a new style was comming up; toasting. Every record in that time had a version of a song where dj's could toast over the instrumental music. U Roy was in 68/69 the first toaster who made records on his own. Mix technicus and electronics expert King Tubby's mixed these tracks of U Roy.
In the early 70's there where 2 different style's comming up; Dj and Dub music. People like U Roy, King Stitt, Prince Jazzbo, Dr.Alimantado, Dillinger, Trinity, Ranking Joe, I Roy, Big Youth, Dennis Alcapone and Tappa Zukkie are very popular toasters. They are the inspiration fore the later comming raggamuffin and even the Amerikan Rappers. From Rocksteady there came a faster style, Reggae. In this style the accent is by the hakking"skank" in the rythim. New producers in that time as Leslie Kong, Bunny Lee, Derek Hariott, Lloyd Daley, Harry J, Clancy Eccles, Lee Perry, Alvin Ranglin. Niney the observer, Herman Chin Loy, Leonard Chin, Keith Hudson and Joe Gibbs are searching for a own sound. Upcomming singers in that time are; Junior Murvin, Gregory Isaacs, Max Romeo, Junior Byles and Berres Hammond. In England in that time the Trojan label is very succesfull with hits like; Retun of the Jango, for a few dollars more and Double Barrel from Dave and Ansel Collins. In the period of '71 till '75 the roots reggae (skank) is under big influences of the rithyms of the Rasta Movement. Things like the repatiation of people to Afrika(Zion), praising the balck emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie 'Jah' Rastafari Makonnen, growing dreadlocks and smoking ganja for meditation are central in this movement. The tempo of the music was getting slower, the basslines were getting heavyer and the lyrics more concious and political militant. Echo's and phasing were making the music more psychodelic. Augustus Pablo was making hi first recordings by Randy's and Leonard Chin. Producers as Lee Perry and Bunny Lee were inspirated by King Tubby's. Thanks to the succes of Bob Marley and the Wailers in the 70's, reggae was introduced to the rest of the world and Jamaica was placed on the musical map. Under influences of the 'Phily Soul' and the rithym experiments of Sly& Robby, reggae was transforming. The comming of Cannel One studio were the Revolutionaries, also with Sly& Robby, recorded was very succesfull. Mixers(dub) like Soljie, Scientist and Prince Jammy, students of King Tubbys, are using singers like; Yabby You, Hugh Mundell and Horace Andy to mix the voices with effects to make it sound more rear.
Prince Jammy later known as King Jammy.
Between '80 and '85 a new style is breaking treu; live-dancehall. With the influences of deejays like Tappa Zukkie, Josey Wales, Michigan & Smiley, Lone Ranger and Clint Eastwood there came a new generation deejays like; Brigadeer Jerry, Charlie Chaplin General Echo, Yellowman and Eek a Mouse. Bald rithyms and 'slacknes' lyrics are dominating, and the tracks were produced by Junjo Lawes and played by the Roots Radics. They also played fore singers like Sugar Minnot, Frankie Paul, Barrington Levy and Michael Prophet. Halfpint and Ini Kamoze are making there debuut on the'Taxi' label. In England poets like Mutabaruka, Oko Onoura and Linton Kwesi Johnson are very succesfull. In the year of '86 a new style was comming up; raggamuffin. People like Philip Levy, Smiley Culture, Shinehhead, Gussie Clarke, Bobby Digital,Donovan Germain, Ton Kelly and Philip'Fatis'Burrel of the 'Exterminator' label are verry succesfull in this period.
To another look at Reggae and Ska: