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The King of Ska

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Album Review

Desmond Dekker was one of the first Jamaican singers to break rocksteady and reggae into the world market when "Israelites" became a surprise international pop hit in 1968, paving the way for other island stars like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. This offhand and rather random single-disc collection includes two of Dekker's most enduring songs, "Israelites" and "007 (Shanty Town)," as well as lesser-known songs like "Rudy Got Soul," but it hardly does more than scratch the surface of Dekker's catalog.


Born: July 16, 1942 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Probably no other Jamaican artist has brought more international acclaim to his island home than Desmond Dekker, barring, of course, Bob Marley, but Dekker came first. Most people's introduction to the island's unique musical sound came via the singer's many hits, most notably "Israelites" and "0.0.7. (Shanty Town)." Needless to say, he was even more influential in his homeland. Born Desmond Dacres in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 16, 1942, the star-to-be was orphaned in his teens. Left to earn a...
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The King of Ska, Desmond Dekker
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