King Stitt / Sept 17, 1940 - Jan 31, 2012

Here's a shout-out to "The Ugly One", pioneering Jamaican dee-jay "toaster" Winston Sparkes aka King Stitt. Born with a unique face and a stuttering habit, he embraced these attributes and they became part of his public persona.

He got his start as an early deejay for Coxone Dodd's Downbeat sound system in 1956 after being spotted by the OG deejay Count Machuki and went on to be a popular attraction during the ska years. In '69 he cut his first recordings for producer Clancy Eccles (not including some live action sound system recordings from '63 that weren't released until later).

He paved the way for the toasters to come and was considered the champion until U-Roy came along. He made a late career comeback in the 2000s, toasting over a Serge Gainsbourg song and made the festival rounds before his demise from prostate cancer.

Tagged: Celebrate Icons, classic albums, King Stitt, reggae, ska

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