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Laurel Aitken


Referred to as “the Godfather of Ska,” Laurel Aitken was Jamaica’s first proper recording star. He was a pioneer in lots of other respects aswell: he was among the initial artists ever release a a ska record, the first ever to work at marketing his music within the U.K., and something of the first ever to record for the seminal Isle label, itself a significant force within the worldwide recognition of Jamaican music. Trimming his tooth on the type of leap blues and boogie shuffles well-known during the start of American R&B, Aitken documented numerous strikes for a number of brands over time, taking pleasure in his heyday through the ’60s. His continuing presence within the U.K. produced him an elder statesman to both Firmness ska revival motion from the punk period, and he continuing to tour actually into the fresh millennium. Aitken was created in Cuba on Apr 22, 1927, and relocated to his father’s homeland of Jamaica in 1938. At age group 15, he received a prominent skill competition along with his rendition of “Pennies From Heaven”; around once, he also sang within a calypso group that performed for visitors arriving on the isle from cruise lines. Aitken created his performing and songwriting chops on a multitude of material: leap blues (specifically those of Louis Jordan as well as the youthful Nat Ruler Cole), New Orleans R&B, calypso, as well as the indigenous Jamaican folk design mento. He became a favorite nightclub performer around Kingston, and officially became a member of the nascent Jamaican documenting market in 1957, when he documented (and created) the R&B/calypso religious “Move Jordan Move.” The next year, he started documenting for maker Chris Blackwell’s fledgling Isle label; his double-A-sided “Small Sheila”/”Boogie in my own Bone fragments” was the 1st solitary ever released on Isle, in addition to among the first ska records. It had been also an enormous strike in Jamaica, topping the graphs for nearly 90 days, and continued to become the very first Jamaican record ever released within the U.K. Aitken obtained another strike with 1959’s gospel-informed “Judgement Day time,” an early on production from the famous Duke Reid, and repeated his achievement with 1960’s “Boogie Rock and roll.” For the time being, he recorded for a number of prominent makers, including Reid, Leslie Kong, and Ken Khouri. In 1960, spurred from the recognition of his information in Britain, Aitken shifted to London, particularly the heavily Western Indian section of Brixton. There he started documenting for Blue Defeat, the very first British-based label to focus on Jamaican immigrant preferences. Blue Beat’s 1st solitary was a reissue of “Boogie Rock and roll,” rather than lengthy after, “Mary Lee” became the very first song Aitken documented designed for the label. Being a prominent Jamaican who’d selected to create his house in Brixton, Aitken’s reputation one of the U.K.’s Western world Indian immigrants shortly exceeded the stardom he’d appreciated back. Aitken cut a lot more than 15 singles for Blue Defeat, then temporarily came back to Jamaica in 1963 for the documenting binge that frequently found him supported by the Skatalites. Some monitors, like “Weary Wanderer” and “Zion,” had been made by Reid; another, the strike “Poor Minded Girl,” premiered by Aitken’s brand-new U.K. label, Rio. Aitken continued to be with Rio through 1966, issuing around 20 singles and in addition documenting for several various other small brands. Rio proceeded to go bankrupt, and through the later ’60s, Aitken agreed upon a new cope with the Pama category of brands (Nu Defeat, Doctor Parrot, etc.), partially because the firm helped him out along with his overdue kid support obligations. This arrangement led to a few of his biggest U.K. strikes, a lot of which he penned himself: “Fireplace in Mi Wire,” “Pussy Cost” (both early slack quantities), “Landlord and Tenants,” “It’s As well Later,” “Jesse Adam,” “Rise & Fall,” “Woppi Ruler,” and “Skinhead Teach,” to mention the largest. This materials was among Aitken’s most long lasting, and broadened his attract white viewers (mainly skinheads and mods). The ascent of Bob Marley and the brand new Rastafarian focus on culturally relevant reggae produced Aitken’s music appear somewhat outdated within the ’70s. He shifted to Leicester, well beyond London, even though he performed sometimes, he was efficiently retired from documenting. However, both Shade ska revival from the past due ’70s produced Aitken’s design hip yet again, and the British Defeat rewrote the lyrics of “Pussy Cost” for his or her own “Position Full Prevent.” Aitken came back to the documenting studio and developed “Rudy Got Wedded,” which became his 1st ever U.K. graph solitary in 1981. Aitken resumed his regular U.K. trips through the ’80s, and spent annually . 5 dealing with a music group known as the Potato 5, with whom he documented on Gaz’s Rockin’ Information. In 1986, he made an appearance alongside David Bowie within the mod film Overall Newbies; additionally, UB40 protected Aitken’s one “Guilty” (documented beneath the name Tiger) on the strike Labour of Like album, further raising his presence. Aitken performed with many third influx ska bands on the ’80s and ’90s, and even though his documenting activity fell off significantly, he continuing to tour in to the brand-new millennium, also documenting and launching a performance entitled Live at Membership Ska, released in 2004. After six years of documenting and executing, Laurel Aitken’s reign because the Godfather of Ska found a finish on July 17, 2005 when at age 87 the vocalist suffered a coronary attack and passed method.

Quick Facts

Full Name Laurel Aitken
Died July 17, 2005, Leicester, United Kingdom
Profession Singer
Nationality Cuban
Siblings Bobby Aitken
Music Songs Rudi Got Married, Skinhead Train, Sally Brown, Boogie in My Bones, Reggae 69, Bad Minded Woman, Woppi King, Scandal in a Brixton Market, Rude Boy Dream, Baba Kill Me Goat, Skinhead, Hey Bartender, Suffering Still, West Indian Cricket Test, Aitken's Boogie, Mighty Redeemer, Mi vida sin tu amor, Reggae Prayer, Ringo the Gringo, Skinhead Invasion, Pussy Price, Take Off My Pyjamas, Hey Little Girl, Reggae Popcorn, Jeannie Is Back, Mr. Popcorn, Run Powell Run, Big Fat Man, It's Too Late, If It's Money You Need, Zion City Wall, Come Back Jeannie
Albums Ska With Laurel, The Clash of the Ska Titans, The High Priest of Reggae, Fire, Live at Club Ska, The Long Hot Summer, Ska Titans, En Español, The Pama Years, Original Cool Jamaican Ska, The Story So Far, Laurel Aitken Meets Floyd Lloyd & The Potato 5, Original Albums Collection, Clash of the Ska Titans/Guns of Navarone, Golden Hits By Laurel Aitken, Voodoo Woman - Music For Mods: Soul & Ska Sounds From The Sixties, Jamboree, Whole Lotta Rock, Scandal in a Brixton Market, Rocksteady Party, Nightfall In Zion, Vol. 2, Ringo the Gringo, Laurel Aitken: Original Jamaican Reggae & Ska, Nightfall In Zion, Vol. 1, The Pioneer of Jamaican Music, Rudi Got Married, The Fantastic Laurel Aitken, The Blue Beat Years, Godfather of Ska, Volume 3, Everybody Ska! Rudi Got Married - 1980 to 1992, Bar Tender, Backup the Best of Laurel Aitken, Rasta Man Power, Legends of Ska - Three Classic Artists, Jamaican Singles (volume 1), Jamaican Singles (volume 6), Trust In Reggae: Best Of Laurel Aitken, The Singles Collection 1960-1962, Boogie Rock, Rise & Fall / It's Too Late, Ska Elite: Laurel Aitken, UK Singles (volume 2), Jamaican Singles (volume 4), UK Singles (Volume 14), You Got Me Rockin': The Best of the Blue Beat Years 1960 - 1964, The Greatest Hits Collection - Laurel Aitken & Carol Campbell, Best Of Laurel Aitken, Vol.2, Rest of the World Singles (volume 1), If It's Money You Need, Woppi King, Singles Under Different Names - A & B Sides (Volume 3)
Movies Ska Explosion

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1 Was born in Cuba, but moved to Jamaica at the age of 10. He later emigrated to the United Kingdom



Call the Midwife 2015 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Absolute Beginners 1986 performer: "Landlords and Tenants" / writer: "Landlords and Tenants"



Skinhead Attitude 2003 Documentary Himself
Scharfe Glatzen - Skinheads zwischen Musik und Politik 1993 Documentary short Himself

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