Friday, May 26, 2006

Desmond Dekker Obituary

Desmond Dekker, Reggae music’s first superstar sadly passed away in the early hours of Thursday 25th May, after suffering a heart attack at his London home.

It is difficult to convey just how important Desmond was in the successful globalisation of Reggae. Between 1967 and 1970, he notched up a series of international hit singles that introduced the music of Jamaica to an international audience and established him as a household name around the world.

Yet despite this, he always remained a humble, unassuming man, never one to crow about his success or complain about the subsequent lack of recognition for his achievements.

Like many, many others around the world, I was drawn to Reggae through his music and to say his passing leaves a gaping hole would be a gross understatement. Musically, Desmond was a true giant of a man and there will never be his like again.

Laurence Cane-Honeysett

17 Comments:

Blogger Skaman99 said...

Desmond Dekker was one of the individuals that made reggae so exciting in the 70s. I was in my teenage years and still have loads of vinyl from that era and continue to buy old reggae/ska CDs or record my vinyl into my PC. I bought a DD CD just recently.

Very sad news, but a true reggae giant who will be played for years to come and who brings a smile to your face just imagining him on stage with his individual style and friendly warm manner.

6:39 AM  
Blogger STEADYBEAT69 said...

I MET DESMOND WHEN I BOOKED HIM IN SAN PEDRO, CA. HE HAD NEVER PLAYED IN THE AREA BEFORE THIS TIME. IT WAS A GREAT STEADYBEAT SHOW. THE MAN WAS MELLOW BUT WHEN HE TOOK THE STAGE, HE TOOK IT TO THE TOP, MAN WAS THAT CAT FULL OF ENERGY. HE WILL BE MISSED, I AM JUST SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE MET THIS GREAT MUSICAL PIONEER.
LUIS STEADYBEAT.

10:59 AM  
Blogger shelia said...

My been in love with you Desmond since she was a little girl, my dad bought 2 aunty has tickets for them to go see him for her birthday. When she was their she waited outside in wolver Hampton till three in the morning, she got the chance to speak to him and she said “you know iv been in love with you all my life and iv waited all my life to get a chance to see you” He told her “now you have” and put his arms round her and kissed on the side or her cheek. Which she said she’d never wash off. This is one memory that my aunty will never forget cos he was in her heart from such an early age. She’s devastated that she cant see you again, as she wanted to find out where u was touring and see you again. Rest in peace your loved so much Sheila Keating aged 50 from Gorton Manchester MWAH (this is the kiss that you gave me, im returning it.)

6:05 PM  
Blogger shelia said...

My been in love with you Desmond since she was a little girl, my dad bought 2 aunty has tickets for them to go see him for her birthday. When she was their she waited outside in wolver Hampton till three in the morning, she got the chance to speak to him and she said “you know iv been in love with you all my life and iv waited all my life to get a chance to see you” He told her “now you have” and put his arms round her and kissed on the side or her cheek. Which she said she’d never wash off. This is one memory that my aunty will never forget cos he was in her heart from such an early age. She’s devastated that she cant see you again, as she wanted to find out where u was touring and see you again. Rest in peace your loved so much Sheila Keating aged 50 from Gorton Manchester MWAH (this is the kiss that you gave me, im returning it.)

6:06 PM  
Blogger SkinheadJim said...

RIP Mr Dekker. Yesterday was a very sad day.
I felt honoured to have seen you perform. Truly a legend. You will be sadly missed

12:15 PM  
Blogger Zapatoo_the_Tiger said...

Though I was aware of Desmond Dekker's distinctive voice from 1967's "007 (Shanty Town)", it was hearing "Israelites" in the spring of 1969 on the radio that really convinced me about Jamaican music and Trojan's "This Is Desmond Dekker" was the first single-artists JA LP I ever bought - it's still a treasured part of my collection.

It seems Desmond's best work was the time he spent with Leslie Kong, which produced a catalogue of top-drawer tunes too, "Beautiful And Dangerous", "Fu Man Chu", "Get Up Edina", "Honour Your Mother And Father", "Intensified '68", "It Mek", "Jeserine", "King Of Ska", "Nincompoop", "Pickney Girl", "Pretty Africa", "Reggae Recipe", "Rudy Got Soul", "Wise Man", "You Can Get It If You Really Want" as well as the aforementioned "007" and "Israelites" and the later UK hit "Sing A Little Song"

I never had the opportunity to go see him live, though it seems it was almost always a joy, rarely disappointing.

A Reggae giant who joins the many other Jamaica stars in the musical heavens.

R.I.P.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Zapatoo_the_Tiger said...

Though I was aware of Desmond Dekker's distinctive voice from 1967's "007 (Shanty Town)", it was hearing "Israelites" in the spring of 1969 on the radio that really convinced me about Jamaican music and Trojan's "This Is Desmond Dekker" was the first single-artists JA LP I ever bought - it's still a treasured part of my collection.

It seems Desmond's best work was the time he spent with Leslie Kong, which produced a catalogue of top-drawer tunes too, "Beautiful And Dangerous", "Fu Man Chu", "Get Up Edina", "Honour Your Mother And Father", "Intensified '68", "It Mek", "Jeserine", "King Of Ska", "Nincompoop", "Pickney Girl", "Pretty Africa", "Reggae Recipe", "Rudy Got Soul", "Wise Man", "You Can Get It If You Really Want" as well as the aforementioned "007" and "Israelites" and the later UK hit "Sing A Little Song"

I never had the opportunity to go see him live, though it seems it was almost always a joy, rarely disappointing.

A Reggae giant who joins the many other Jamaica stars in the musical heavens.

R.I.P.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Miss P said...

I last met Desmond a couple of years ago in Spain at a reggae festival he was performing on. He ws his usual vibrant self and delivered a fabulous performance It is such a sad loss. He does however leave behind a wonderful musical legacy, like so many other talented Jamaicans who lit up the world with music.

9:26 AM  
Blogger JJ said...

desmond was a really decent and genuine man and i never tired of watching him or listening to him. i first saw him in 1986 in portsmouth when i was working on the door of a nightclub. i was asked to stand by the door to make sure he wasn't interupted whilst he was preparing to go on stage. he asked me in and offered me some soft drink. i will really miss his performances although i will still enjoy his music on my mp3 player.

1:28 PM  
Blogger DalePirate1970 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:04 AM  
Blogger DalePirate1970 said...

I contributed to Rhino's Rockin' Steady: The Best Of Desmond Dekker CD and
met THE MAN in Chicago in 1992.

I will miss him.

See www.geocities.com/cheatersx/itmek.htm

9:05 AM  
Blogger Polly said...

Rudy dead? I'll miss his live show and infectious humour. It Mek was the best tune. Sad day for rudies and skins.

4:28 AM  
Blogger ERIC D said...

Desmond Dekker was one of the first reggae artists that made me become a fan of Jamaican music and further more it made me decide to start the Ska, Blue Beat & Reggae Appreciation Society of Great Britain. Desmond was a great artist on and off stage and I was lucky to see him perform twice once at Wembley Stadium and the other at Butlins. Thank you Mr Dekker for all you did for Jamaican music and may your music live on for ever and ever, as I am sure it will.

9:16 AM  
Blogger colin gockelen-mac dougall said...

cant belive desmond has left us to sing in that reggae place in the sky it was it miek that started it all for me reggae was the no 1 music for me for ever skinheads boot boys smoothie new age mod thousands of reggae singles L.p.s c.d.s still reggae mad to this day still singing bam bam wailing try ah ah ah from isralites i know its wrong but thats what we thought it was in 1969 desmond will always be king of reggae to me we love you desmond puk up and a wailing another 1969 version of isralites a sad sad day for reggae + ska fans world wide

7:52 PM  
Blogger pip said...

I was priveleged to see Desmond several times in Wiltshire (especially the Flamingo Club) where I live. He was a fantastic live performer as well as a recording artist. I am deeply saddened at his passing and a piece of my youth (1970s)has gone forever. I will never forget the music of Desmond Dekker. My kids love his music and the Trojan label in general. Even today when the younger generation hear him they invarioubly ask me where they can get the music.
Reggae and ska are timeless and will always appeal. Desmond Dekker will always appeal.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Paulina said...

I met Desmond Dekker when he started coming to the same church as me Bethany Fellowship, to worship God. He regularly sang at Church ~ this was his way to worship. I didn't know much about him before I met him at church but he was always very humble and very approachable. I bumped into him perhaps 5 years back in Croydon and asked him to come meet a friend of mine...which he did. He made her day. He was very mellow not the confident superstar displayed on stage, but very down to earth. He was a gentle big guy and will be missed by many.

10:40 AM  
Blogger baws said...

RIP Desmond

So sorry to hear of your passing, you were a truly great man and a truly great performer. You never forgot your roots or stopped caring about people

So glad I got to see you perform again in Sheffield just a couple of months ago

Loved and bought your music right from the 60's...we're really gonna miss ya rude boy

With admiration

Paul, a 60's ska and reggae boy

5:46 PM  

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