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Desmond Dekker: Close to the Best Ones!

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Desmond Adolphus Dacres is better known as the famous Desmond Dekker.  On July 16, 1941, this great artist pen-named Desmond Dekker, which is not only a reggae but a ska songwriter and singer, was born in Kingston, Jamaica.  His first international hit was called “Israelities”, which was played in conjunction with his backing group called The Aces. Desmond is considered to be the second major reggae musician from Jamaica since Bob Marley is believed to be the first one.  However, this does not mean that getting all his goals as an artist was an easy task.  Due to the fact that Desmond got to be orphaned when he was just a teenager, he started working as a welder.  Nonetheless, everybody around him felt how interested he was in singing, and their friends and coworkers always encouraged him.

But it was not until the moment when Derrick Morgan, after some unsuccessful attempts to find an appropriate label, conferred him the opportunity to be signed.  Nevertheless, he did not record anything until 1963 due to the fact that Leslie Kong had decided to wait for the best song, which was “Honour Your Father and Mother.”  Some time after, the song “King of Ska” made Dekker a complete star in the island.  Five years later, the previously mentioned “Israelities” was released.  At this point, he was the first singer in introducing pure Jamaican music to the United States.

In the 70’s, “You Can Get It if You Really Want” was the name one of the best releases received.  Also, since Leslie Kong died in 1971, Dekker’s success is considered limited after this time.  During the late 70’s, Dekker changed to Stiff Records, but he could not get to be what he was some time before.  In fact, in 1984, he declared bankruptcy.  Nevertheless, in the late 80’s, he kind of recovered his success by releasing a new version of “Israelities.”  Nonetheless, regardless of what may happen, Desmond Dekker will represent good reggae for ever and ever.

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