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.
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.
THIS MANíS GONNA MASH UP DE TOWN!!
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)