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1960 - 1970


  • Ska, Jamaica’s first indigenous urban pop style. Pioneered by the operators of powerful mobile discos called sound systems, ska evolved in the late 1950s from an early Jamaican form of rhythm and blues that emulated American rhythm and blues, especially that produced
    in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Ska is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off beat. It was developed in Jamaica in the 1960s when Stranger Cole, Prince Buster, Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs.

Rock Steady

  • Rocksteady is a musical entity originated in Jamaica around 1966. A successor to Ska and a precursor to Reggae, Rocksteady was performed by Jamaican vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, The Maytals, The Heptones and The Paragons. 

  • The celebrated Trinidadian guitarist Lynn Taitt, who died of cancer at 75, after a long illness, played a pivotal role in the establishment of rock steady, “the slow dance music” that took Jamaica by storm in the mid-1960s.