Prince Buster, “The King of Ska”

“Wash Wash” Live from The Sombrero Club in Jamaica (1965)–Watch Video on YouTube

Prince Buster was a pioneer of ska and rocksteady. Among his musical innovations were to have guitarists focus on the afterbeat (instead of the stronger downbeat) and to slow down the pace of tracks, a trait that would help define rocksteady. Dub has its roots in the marathon production sessions he oversaw.

Prince Buster was the stage name of Cecil Bustamente Campbell (May 24, 1938-September 8, 2016). A largely self-taught musician and producer (he began his career as a boxer,) he was a prolific recording artist and producer in the 1960s until reggae began to take over in popularity. His single “Al Capone,” was the first Jamaican Top 20 hit in Britan and would help lay the groundwork for a ska revival that came out of Britain in the 70s and 80s.

He was also influential in contributing to the sound system culture, a phenomenon in which trucks would bring DJs, turntables and speakers to the streets of Jamaica.

In honor of his contributions to Jamaican music, he was awarded The Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in 2001.

“Judge Dread” on Spotify

Gladstone Anderson, Jamaican Studio Pianist And Singer

“Just Like A River” with Stranger Cole

Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson was a prolific pianist, keyboard player and singer, who contributed to the sounds of numerous reggae, ska and rocksteady (a subgenre he’s credited with naming) bands in his native Jamaica.

“Love Me Today” with Stranger Cole

Anderson (June 18, 1934-December 3, 2015) was associated with a number of bands, perhaps most notably, Lynn Taitt and the Jets, and his own Gladdy’s All Stars.

“You’re Welcome”

He also appears on several albums with flautist Herbie Mann, including Reggae recorded in London in 1973 for the Atlantic label, and with Jimmy Cliff on House of Exile.