Desmond Dekker / July 16, 1941 - May 25, 2006

Happy birthday to the Desmond Dekker, best known for singing his original compositions "The Israelites" and "007 Shantytown", among others. In the early '60s he signed to Beverly's Records, recorded some ska singles and became well-known on the island.

In the late '60s he became popular in the UK with his rocksteady songs commenting on rudeboy culture. "Israelites" was a huge world-wide hit in '69 (including being the first charting reggae song in the US). His music was featured in The Harder They Come, but his career sagged a bit in the '70s until the Two-Tone bands helped bring a revival. He recorded for punk label Stiff Records in the '80s. He collaborated with The Rumour, The Specials and Apache Indian and continued touring until his passing. His classic tunes continue to sell to this very day.

Tagged: Celebrate Icons, Desmond Dekker, reggae, rockabilly, ska

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