Laurel Aitken

laurelaitken2Having relocated from Jamaica to Brixton at the start of the 1960s, it was pretty much right-time-right-place for Cuban-born ska legend, Laurel Aitken, as ska began filtering into London clubs and dancehalls.

His album After Midnight brought together earlier singles that owed as much to Louis Jordan's jump jive (such as Bad Minded Woman) as it did the sounds of the West Indies. The likes of What A Weeping found Aitken backed by The Skatalites and inspiring others such as The Wailers and Jimmy Cliff.

Aitken recorded an astonishing number of singles throughout the Sixties, earning him the nickname 'The Godfather of Ska'.

Laurel Aitken died in July 2005 and a blue plaque was unveiled at his home in Leicester in 2007.