Earl 'Ska' Campbell


Jamaican music has the strangest stories of any genre I’m aware of.


Ska was a genre of music that predated reggae by several years and was basically the Jamaican equivalent of big-band jazz. The aural calling card of ska was an insistent ‘oom-pah’ upbeat played by horns. Apparently, the ska sound was largely indebted to one Earl ‘Ska’ Campbell, who did the oom-bah upbeat thing better than anyone else. His epigram:


“It’s said that his style was so taxing to his structure that the first time Ska Campbell got a solo, he died shortly thereafter.


‘I think he really did die a few months after the Skatellites fell through. What he did just became obsolete and no one needed it anymore. He had to try something different, but what he did just about killed him.'”




Ska sample here.

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