Laurel Aitken - Jamaica

Widely acknowledged as both the Godfather Of Ska and the High Priest Of Reggae, Laurel Aitken is a living legend as far as Jamaican music is concerned. Although born in Cuba in 1927, he emigrated to Jamaica with his family when he was eleven years old, and quickly became involved in the local music scene - busking in the streets, entertaining tourists, and singing in the talent contests of the day. His recording career began in 1958, and the following year he became the the first local artist to top the Jamaican charts with the double A sided Little Sheila and Boogie In My Bones.

In 1960, he left Jamaica as one of the country's top artists, and emigrated to England where he was to record hundreds of tracks, including Mary Lee for the newly formed Melodisc label, and Boogie Rock, the first release on the now famous Blue Beat label. He then worked with a variety of labels throughout the Sixties, moving from ska to rock steady and eventually to reggae. Not only he was one of the most successful reggae artists of the time, packing out clubs and selling thousands of records, he was also one of the top producers of reggae in the UK, working mainly with Pama and its many subsidiaries. He continued to work throughout the Seventies, but it wasn't until the coming of 2Tone that he once again found himself in the limelight. His Rudi Got Married was a top 60 hit in 1980, and incredibly remains Laurel Aitken's only appearance in the British charts to date. When the 2Tone era ended so did the mainstream's interest in Aitken's work, but he was given a new lease of life in the mid-Eighties when he teamed up with The Potato 5 for some of the best British ska and reggae of all time. He continues to spread the gospel of JA music to this day, covering everything from boogie to reggae, although now he performs with a variety of backing bands in the various countries he now tours.

His career spans more than amazing five decades, and Laurel Aitken remains one of the most popular performers on today's ska scene. A part of his historic work has been documented by the Grover Records releases "The Pama Years", "The Long Hot Summer" and the current selection "Godfather of Ska ". The majority of these songs have been recorded and produced in the United Kingdom and have contributed to Laurel Aitken's fame and immortality in the story of Jamaican music as songwriter, producer and outstanding performer.



Discographie (excerpt):
The Story So Far
GRO-CD/LP 008 (1995 Grover Records / SPV)

The Pama Years
GRO-CD/LP 022 (1998 Grover Records / SPV)

The Long Hot Summer
GRO-CD/LP 025 (1998 Grover Records / SPV)

Pioneer Of Jamaican Music CD / LP
(1999 Reggae Retro Records)

The Godfather Of Ska
GRO-CD/LP 039 (2000 Grover Records / SPV)

Meets The Potato 5
GRO-CD/LP 045 (2000 Grover Records / SPV)