Welcome to yet another month of the world famous Donkey-Show. Still going because I have too many records not to. Anyway, lets start this month’s show with this gem, only $3.20. I do not come across much ska so I tend to jump on something when I find it.
Ska, the father of rocksteady and reggae, was born in Jamaica in the late 1950’s. It was a mixture of Caribbean folk music and American rhythm and blues. Musicians/producers/promoters, Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd, and Duke Reid recorded their own songs for use in their DJ sound systems. The music form was popular in the 1960’s and had a rebirth in the UK in the late 1970’s. Both movements contributed to a movement in the USA in the late 80’s and 90’s. Incidentally, Prince Buster passed away last month. I did a obit post for him.
This was released by Diplomat Records which was owned by Ambassador Records which was owned by Synthetics Plastic Company of Newark, all of which owned by Daniel Kasen (some of which with his brother Louis). Other than that, I know little else about the album or the band.
The record label is a budget label so this must have been made on the cheap. The band does sound kind of authenic , though so I doubt this was spit out by some folks from Jersey. A few copies have been floating around the Net between $11 and $50.
The album is pretty good. I mean, it is watered down in some parts as compared to the authentic Jamaican output done by Reid, Dodd, and Buster. There is nothing gritty about it. Other than that statement,, I like this album. It features good versions of “My Boy Lollipop”, “Marianne”, “Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Goin’ On”, and the old Leadbelly standard, “Cotton Fields”.
There are also dance instructions on the back which is pretty cool. There are two basic ska steps, a ska step with hand variation, the western roll, the Kingston head roll, rowing, rowing across, and the in place hand drive.
This is a satisfactory record for me. It could of been harder and maybe a bit more authentic but for the records I see, this is a pretty good find.