I was going to feature Desmond Dekker, born Desmond Adolphus Dacres in Jamaica, and another artist in a tribute to “one-hit wonders” this week, but it turns out Desmond was quite popular among reggae crowds and had a number of hit records in Jamaica and the UK between 1963 and his death in 2006. We just never heard about it. Reggae didn’t make a big splash in this country until the 1970’s.
The first time I ever heard reggae music was the first time I heard the first song today, “The Israelites.” I had never heard anything like it, but somehow I knew I liked it. A lot of people liked it, because it reached #1 in the UK and #9 in the US in 1968. Our second song, “007 (Shanty Town),” was the title track from his first album (on the Doctor Bird label) in 1967.
Since Dekker’s death, his friend and business partner Delroy Williams has kept the music alve with Dekker’s old band, The Aces, and his daughter Deserene. The band has a web site, which combines news about the band with tributes to the man who was their inspiration.
Desmond Dekker, your Two for Tuesday, January 13, 2015.