Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Skyliters - Tribute to Spree (1976) - California's first ska record

The band The Skyliters formed in 1973. They performed calypso and Belizian music. They released their first (and only?) record in 1976. The A-side was a cover of Lord Kitchner's "Tribute to Spree Simon" which was a very adept rendition, but the impact of this record came from the B-side. This is California's first recorded ska song.
A - Tribute to Spree
B - Bumping Onn Down


Some members went on to form the band Babylon Warriors

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Steve Alaimo did not release New York's first ska record

Steve Alaimo was a diverse musician. In 1961 he was doin' the twist. In 1964 he was...well, he was crying...every day.  But in 1965 he was Doing the Ska! He released the album "Starring Steve Alaimo" which included a ska cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me", and a few actual ska covers - Monty Morris' "Sammy Dead", the Blues Busters' "Soon You'll be Gone", and Ken and Keith's (backed by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires) "I Won't Let You Go".
This compilation here is a non-official Tone and Wave collection. It includes all of the ska songs off the album, a couple from singles, and a couple unreleased.

1 Everybody Likes to do the Ska
2 I Won't Let You Go
3 Gotta Lotta Love
4 Stand by Me
5 Be Hold
6 Sammy Dead
7 I Don't Wanna Cry
8 Soon You'll be Gone
9 You're Driving Me Crazy

"Everybody Likes to Do the Ska"
"Stand by Me"

1965 - the year Steve Alaimo brought ska to New York.

But wait...

There was a Soul/Doo-Wop group from Long Island called The Pussycats who had a minor hit with the song "You May be Holding My Baby" which was released (first pressing - white label) in 1963 (a second pressing with a pink label was released in 1964). The B-side was a song called "Come on and Ska" which sounds very similar to the Ska Kings' "Oil in My Lamp", but that was released in 1964.

A - You May be Holding My Baby
B - Come on and Ska

DOWNLOAD Steve Alaimo and the Pussycats

[The next post will be California's first ska record]

Monday, November 11, 2013

BFA - BFA 7" (1984)

Midwestern ska (from Michigan, I think). Four songs - two ska, 1 reggae, 1 dub.

A1 - Poor Boy
A2 - Mr. Big
B1 - Up Your Mind
B2 - Rock the Nation

"Poor Boy"
"Rock the Nation"


Bileams Åsna - Saab Turbo 7" (1983)

...submitted by Rikard
Bileams Åsna's Wikipedia

A Saab Turbo
B - Lurad


Paul McCartney

...just a couple reggae inspired Paul McCartney songs. Streaming only. I was going to make them for download but then I realized that's probably not a good idea.
"How Many People" from Flowers in the Dirt (1989)
and "Good Times Coming" from Press to Play (1986)

Equators - Rescue Me 7" (1980)

A - Rescue Me
B - If You Need Me


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Robert Wyatt and the Swapo Singers - The Wind of Change (1985)

Do I dare call this "The Specials AKA with Robert Wyatt"? No, I better not.
Marco did a great write up of this record HERE.

This download includes the 7" and 12" versions.

A - The Wind of Change
B - Namibia