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Desmond Dekker

Biography

While ska had never been much of a hot commodity outside of Jamaica, save a few rabid fans of the genre in Britain, Desmond Dekker was able to harness an international top ten single with his compelling "Israelites." The song spread like wildfire across the world in 1969, guaranteeing Dekker a place among a short list -- including the Skatalites, Laurel Aitken and Derrick Morgan -- of Ska's most important figures. His success would be consistently precarious despite the profound influence that he would later exert on the legions of Ska-makers who followed in his footsteps, including the bands who composed the 2-Tone roster. After years of languishing in obscurity after the death of his producer and collaborator Leslie Kong in 1971, Dekker would once again regain popularity in the early '90s based on the use of his "Israelites" in a commercial for Maxwell tapes.

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