Published on August 3rd, 2018 | by Alan Cross2
The Ongoing History of New Music, encore presentation: A Not-So-Brief History of Ska, Part 1
When it comes to genres of music, most of them come and go. They’re hyped, reach some kind of peak, and then fade away.
Just look at the graveyard of forgotten genres. Anyone remember glitch? That scene began around the start of the century and featured some weird electronic manipulations of bloops and bleeps. It existed alongside electro-clash, a half-hearted resurrection of music from the synth side of the New Wave era.
We also had grim, freak-folk, crabcore, crunk, nu-balearic, blog house, glo-fi, hipster metal–you get the idea. All of these genres and scenes had their moments and then faded into the background or were killed off altogether.
There are, however, certain types of music that seem immortal.
The blues will never, ever die. Hip-hop isn’t going anyway. Neither is metal or punk or pop. They will all evolve and mutate over time, but the kernal at the heart of their operating systems will remain pure.
This brings me to another genre that will not die. Since ska was born in Jamaica in the 1950s, it was declared dead at least twice. The first wave petered out in the late 60s as reggae took over. After a big post-punk surge, the second wave was declared passe in the early 80s. But on both occasions, ska rose from the dead to return even stronger.
Songs heard on part one of this history of ska include:
English Beat, Mirror in the Bathroom
Prince Buster, Al Capone
Desmond Dekker, The Israelites
The Special AKA, Gangsters
The Selector, The Selector
Madness, The Prince
The English Beat, Ranking Full Stop
Specials, Ghost Town
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Hope I Never Lose my Wallet
The Uptones, Get Out of My Way (Live)
As usual, we have this Eric Wilhite-supplied playlist to go along with everything.
Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
- 102.1 The Edge/Toronto – Sunday night at 7
- Live 88-5/Ottawa
- 107.5 Dave-FM/Kitchener
- FM96/London – Sunday night at 7, Monday night at 11
- Power 97/Winnipeg (Sunday nights at 11)
- Rock 97.7/Grand Prairie – Sunday nights at 6.
- Sonic 102.9/Edmonton
- The Zone/Victoria
- The Fox/Vancouver
- Live 105/Halifax
- WAPS/WKTL The Summit/Arkon, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown The show runs at 11 am Sunday. This, by the way, is a great option for American listeners who are prevented from listening to the show live because of geo-blocking,
We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor, Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.