As I write about Desmond Dekker, a Gregory Isaacs song (Love is Overdue) is coming to me from across the way. I’m thrilled to see that the music popularized by artists such as Dekker, Isaacs, Marley, Dennis Brown, etc., is holding its own against dancehall.
Desmond Dekker and his backup band, the Aces, won the Jamaica Festival Song Competition in 1968 with Music Like Dirt and had a string of hits that year, including A It Mek and Poor Mi Israelite. Israelite topped the charts in the UK and made Dekker the first Jamaican artist to have a UK hit. The success of Israelite paved the way for other Jamaican artists who made up the ska/reggae “invasion” of the UK that went on to influence punk music there.