The Skatalites

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About The Skatalites

More than a band, the Skatalites are an institution, an aggregation of top-notch musicians who didn't merely define the sound of Jamaica, but were the sound of Jamaica in the 1950s and '60s. Frequently credited as the originators of ska -- the mash-up of calypso, Caribbean mento, R&B, and rock & roll that pre-dated reggae and rocksteady -- the Skatalites' various members came up through the nation's hotel bar scene of the late '50s, banding together as both an original group and the often uncredited backing band for artists and producers such as Prince Buster and Duke Reid. Although the group officially existed in its original incarnation for less than 18 months between 1964 and 1965, its members brought their signature styles to hundreds of the island's releases. Their influence can be heard in following generations of musicians from the Clash and the Police to Sublime and No Doubt.

Kingston, Jamaica
May 1964
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