(The Selecter - Pauline Black and crew riding a big wave of Ska)
The UK called it a "resurgence in Ska", but we never got it the first time around, so it was all new to us. The closest the U.S. ever got to Ska was Millie Small's My Boy Lollipop in 1964 and "Israelites" by Desmond Dekker in 1968. We all knew about Bob Marley, but that was Reggae and, according to aficionados, different than Ska.
So in 1979 Ska burst back (or burst on in our case) the scene, bringing us the likes of The Specials, Madness, The Bodysnatchers, The Selecter and many others. The fast-paced music and high energy performance were a shoe-in with Punk audiences and Ska appreciated a huge popularity all over the world in a very short period of time.
Tonight's track is by The Selecter, fronted by singer Pauline Black. On My Radio was a huge hit in the UK and Europe and did quite well over here. It was one the first of several hit singles the band would have between 1979 and 1981. The Selecter would go through a series of personnel changes and reformations, disbanding and reforming between 1982 and 2005. Black would go on to a successful acting career between leaving the band and getting back together with them.
The Selecter were a landmark band during a pioneering time. And for some reason, the music just doesn't seem old. That's a good thing.