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20 Segments




Reggae Pioneer Desmond Dekker

Rock historian Ed Ward remembers Jamaican singer Desmond Dekker, who died last week at the age of 64. His 1969 hit "Israelites" was for many Americans the first reggae they'd ever heard.


A Collection Of Vintage Pop From 'Panama!'

Dedicated and curious music fans are regularly finding new chapters in rock history from around the globe. Critic Milo Miles reviews one recent collection, a series of anthologies focusing on the lively story of vintage pop in Panama.


Music Review: Reissues from Toots and the Maytals

Music critic Milo Miles looks at the career of reggae greats Toots Hibbert and his band, the Maytals. The group's recent re-issues are Time Tough, Funky Kingston (Island Records) and Monkey Man (Trojan Records).


New Album Proves Protest Songs Can Be Enjoyable.

Commentator Milo Miles introduces us to England's reggae artist and record company owner Linton Kwesi Johnson. He lyrics are a mix of poetry and politics. A new two-cd set called "Independent Intavenshan" features Johnson's music in the 1980's. It is available by Island Records.


Literary Gifts for the Music Lover.

Commentator Milo Miles recommends three music books that might make suitable last minute gifts. “The Rough Guide to World Music,” (Penguin) “The Rough Guide to Reggae,” (Penguin) and “Portrait of The Blues.” (DaCapo Press). Miles is former music editor of The Boston Phoenix. He writes about music for The Village Voice and The New York Times.


A Label that Promoted Artists from Two Islands

Rock Historian Ed Ward continues his five part series on what impact several small record companies have had on the music world. Today he discusses Island Records, founded in England by Jamaican-born musician Chris Blackwell.


A Sterling Record from the Caribbean.

World music critic Milo Miles checks out "Dig," the new album from The Burning Flames, a Caribbean band that started out playing soca, added a strong rock beat, and came up with some of the most infectious dance music anywhere. (It's on Island Records).


The Harder Edge of Dancehall Reggae

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two albums representative of the new, technology fueled variation on the classic Jamaican style. He says its accessibility may give reggae the larger audience it deserves.


Reggae, Race, and Politics.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two new reggae albums, "One Bright Day," by Ziggy Marley (son of the late Bob Marley) and "Cumbolo" by the Jamaican group Culture.


Time Again for the Tucker Top Five

Rock critic Ken Tucker once more looks at the best and worst songs currently hitting the airwaves. Represented artists include Matthew Sweet, Bunny Wailer, Violent Femmes, Tone Loc, and Emmylou Harris.


Three Singers in it for the Art, Not the Money

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews new albums by Etta James, Willie Dixon and Toots. Tucker says it's refreshing that each of these artists continues to record and perform, even after their popularity has peaked.


A Cult Artist's Eclectic Influences

Kid Creole is the alter-ego of songwriter August Darnell. His charming but boasting album titles and complex lyrics may have kept him from rock stardom, but rock critic Ken Tucker says the music on his new album--I, Too, Have Seen the Woods--is beguiling.


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