Sunday, January 30, 2011
This Is Ska - Watch The Original 1964 Documentary In Its Entirety
In honor of both the Reggae Britannia live show and documentary and the upcoming London International Ska Festival, which includes a number of original Jamaican reggae and rocksteady artists from the 60's and 70's, I wanted to post about the very rare 'This Is Ska' film/documentary that was originally released in 1964.
Running just under 40 minutes and filmed on location in Kingston, Jamaica, it features performances by a who's who of up-and-coming ska artists of the day including Prince Buster, Jimmy Cliff and The Maytals. They would all later go on to create rocksteady and early reggae hits that changed the course of music history around the world, influencing multiple generations of musicians including the entire roster of 2-Tone bands. After watching the film, I can't help but wonder if it inspired Jerry Dammers to film 'Dance Craze.'
The line-up and songs performed in order of appearance incldue:
Jamaican Ska - Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
Sammy Dead-O - Eric 'Monty' Morris
One Eyed Jack - Jimmy Cliff
Wash Wash - Prince Buster
Treat Me Bad - The Maytals
She Will Never Let You Down - The Maytals
So Marie - The Charmers
Rough 'N' Tough - Stranger Cole
Two Roads Before Me - Roy & Yvonne
I Don't Know - The Blues Busters
Sammy Dead-O - Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
King Of Kings - Jimmy Cliff
While the film has never been officially released on DVD, it came out on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan in the late 1980's. According to a Swedish music blog, a television show there announced they had 'discovered' the film on a trip to Kingston in 2000 and aired the film. If they had done a simple Google search they could have discovered that the film wasn't lost at all!
Now through the magic of YouTube, you can watch the entire film below. Enjoy!