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The Skatalites

Formed in 1964, The Skatalites is a music group from Jamaica. They played an important role in the creation and popularization of ska. The band members met while playing in the jazz orchestras of Baba Motta, and Clue J. & his Blue Basters, the leading studio band of the time. Before becoming the Skatalites, the group played under the name of the "Sheiks" in 1962, the "Cavaliers" in 1963 and then the "Studio One Band". The name "Skatalites" was born from the news of the time and was proposed as a pun related to the launch of satellites around the Earth. Their music quickly became popular, and their first record Ska Authentic was one of the first successes of the label, and helped to launch the record industry in Jamaica. Don Drummond wrote most of the songs (more than 200 in 1964!). The title Man in the Street will be ranked in the British Top 10. Considered one of the best jazz trombonists in the world, he is very popular, and will take on the role of leader that he shares with Tommy Mc Cook, known for his strong personality. Jamaica was at the time in search of a musical identity, and the Skatalites came at the right time to launch it, as their sound was new and 100% Jamaican, which obviously contributed greatly to their success. Jamaica had found the Jamaican sound: ska. Identity that has not yet left her: although reggae and ragga, among others, are very present today, all Jamaicans know that their music comes from ska, and that it comes largely from the Skatalites. In addition, they participate in all Studio One recordings, as backing bands, with many artists such as Prince Buster. The future looks bright for the island's eight leading musicians. However, on January 1 > 1965, Don Drummond was imprisoned for the murder of his partner, Anita "Margarita" Mahfood, a cabaret dancer who was heard on Woman a Come, whom he stabbed during an argument. He will be interned at Bellevue Asylum. Add to that the rivalries between Tommy Mc Cook and Roland Alphonso, as well as the alcoholic tendencies of Lloyd Brevett, and the group is dying. They gave their last concert in August 1965. Two new bands were created: the Soul Brothers, later renamed Soul Vendors with Jackie Mittoo and Roland Alphonso, produced by Studio One, and the Supersonics, led by Tommy Mc Cook.

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