Friday, September 09, 2016

RIP Prince Buster

From The Guardian:

"It was boxing ability as much as musical talent that helped Prince Buster become a key figure in the birth of Jamaican ska music. During the mid-1950s Buster, who has died aged 78, sang in a number of small-time bands in the island’s capital, Kingston.

But he also had a promising career as a street fighting boxer, and it was his reputation as a quick-witted and assertive gang leader that brought him to the attention of the legendary Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, operator of the famous Downbeat sound system that travelled the country playing the latest dance records from the United States.

Coxsone took Buster on as a security guard-cum-personal helper, and the young man used the experience to learn all he could about the fledgling Jamaican music business...

He was the first Jamaican to have a top 20 hit in Britain – with Al Capone in 1965 – toured the country regularly to sell-out crowds, and appeared on Ready Steady Go in 1964. It was also in Britain that he converted to Islam and changed his name to Mohammed Yusef Ali after a meeting with the boxer Muhammad Ali..."

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