Ska Online: Story of Jamaican Music Documentary

A few years back, the BBC made a great documentary, Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music. It was fantastic, covering the birth of Ska during Jamaica’s independence and all the way up to Dance Hall.

I was most interested in the first episode which dealt mostly with the early ska days. The film takes us to the Alpha Boys School, and introduces us to the nun that helped raise the Skatalites, as well as many other notable Jamaican musicians. The cameras travel down the neighborhoods of Kingston where the original studios and clubs have been left to rot. We hear from likes of Lord Creator, and the then Prime Minister of Jamaica, before the film follows ska’s path to the UK, where we are privy to interviews with UB40, Paul Simonon, and many others.

If you have friends that need a good primer on Jamaican Roots music, I highly recomend this show. My only complaint is that the narrator states outright that Ska is Jamaica’s first type of music, even though the guests anecdotally refer to both Mento and Nyahbinghi in the interviews.

Here now, is the first episode of this great series, broken into four parts (as per Daily Motion rules)

UPDATE 05/10/08: DailyMotion is not cooperating with my embed plugin, but the links are still active:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

P.S. DailyMotion is a great site. They let you upload longer segments than YouTube, and I love the way they display their tags, making the more popular tags more prominent than the others. Try searching for obvious tags: Ska, Reggae, or your favorite band. But given their constant embedding issues and increasingly limited content, I don’t really advocate the site any longer.


  1. yaz Says:

    fantastic just what i was looking for! if only the video links were still working :(

  2. JJ Loy Says:

    Well, I can’t figure out the problem, just yet- I know that it’s my video plugin that’s letting us down- but the good news is that the video links still work.

    Thanks for letting me know, I can always use another set of eyes.

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