Ska was the name given to the music that came out of Jamaica between 1961 and ’66, based on the American R&B and doo-wop records that the sound systems in Kingston used to play. But the American records’ style started to mellow out while the Jamaicans preferred a more upbeat sound. So the sound system bosses became record producers to cater to this demand. Sir Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid led the way, putting the top musicians on the island in the studio to make music, with the emphasis on the offbeat making the music unmistakably Jamaican.

WIRL (West Indies Records Limited) was set up by the Jamaican politician Edward Seaga in the late 1950s. He had … More

Don Drummond became famous as one of the original members of the instrumental ska band The Skatalites. He composed most of their tunes and recorded different tunes in the ’50s and ’60s. He was an excellent trombonist and the famous producer Duke Reid remixed a couple of his tracks years after his death. The instrumentals which are blended together searching for the famous ska sound. The different musicians, who never seem to be out of the Jamaican Hit Parade, bring you 12 numbers packed with the infectious West Indian beat which will make you want to dance and keep on dancing. The so-called Memorial Album illustrated how Drummond’s talent would change the future of Trojan.

Repress vinyl LP available in store and online.

Whilst DJing, I was playing some of The Skatalites records and someone came up and said to me, “Can’t you play any ska?” I replied I am, they’re called The Skatalites… Yet another Don D. Special album with complete saxaphone and trombone harmony. Drummond, McCook and Alfonso at their very best.

Faithful reproduction of the original 1969 Treasure Isle collection featuring 12 prime slices of The Skatalites at their finest , … More

Born OTD in 1931, saxophonist and founding member of The Skatalites, Roland Alphonso. “..Coxsone maintains that his first-ever commercially minded session, with a band led by saxophone colossus Roland Alphonso, disappeared somewhere between the mastering rooms in New York and Kingston harbour”.

The first major account of the history of reggae, black music journalist Lloyd Bradley describes its origins and development in … More