Saturday, 10 September 2016

RIP Prince Buster

I've just heard of the death at 78 of the Jamaican ska pioneer Prince Buster.

Ska began in Jamaica in the early 1960's as a combination of musical styles: mento, the form of calypso native to the island, jazz, influenced by the Americans who played the hotels before sitting in with local musicians in after-hours jam sessions, and the rhythm and blues records beamed across the Caribbean by radio stations in New Orleans and other southern cities or imported by U.S. servicemen stationed there in World War II and just after.

In the late 1970's, there was a ska revival in Britain in the form of Two-Tone. Here's one of the bands associated with that movement, Madness, riding the Tube in London (in the days when you could still drink on it) as their musical inspiration Prince Buster performs the song they got their name from.

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