Talk:Desmond Dekker

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Importance in History[edit]

I once heard that "Israelites" was the first ever reggae song to be in the US Top 40. Anyone know if this is true? If so, it ought to be mentioned, no? Sholom 18:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Now done. Derek R Bullamore 15:45, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

No, The First Reggae song Was "Do the Reggay" by The Maytals. BareNakedMike 19:15, June 5 (UTC)

"Do the Reggay" by The Maytals. The first reggae song in the US Top 40 ? Really, because that counteracts what I have read. Probably the first song with the word 'raggay' / 'reggae' in the lyric, more like. Tell us more, please.
Derek R Bullamore 21:13, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Technically speaking, "Israelites" was the first-ever reggae song to hit the US Top 40, because earlier songs weren't "reggae." (I think "My Boy Lollipop" might have charted in the U.S., and maybe "Jamaica Ska"--I avoided making any pronouncements about chart positions in my essay because the information on these figures is notoriously error-ridden.) "Do the Reggay" never reached the American charts, so far as I know, and I'm not even sure if it came out before "Israelites"--both were issued in 1968 in Jamaica. If it's important, I'll try to track down all the chart information on Dekker's songs, but the only reliable source in America requires a subscription to Billboard.

By the way, I made one correction to this entry: I changed Dekker's birthplace to where he was born. See interview linked in my essay. Thanks for doing this. -- Pete Scholtes

I just (on 12/19/10) deleted "Oh Holy Night" (on Doctor Bird Records) from the singles discography: This is a mis-attribution going back to The Great Rock Discography, where it lists that record for Dekker; it's actually a Desmond Tucker record, as documented here and elsewhere: -- Pete Scholtes —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 19 December 2010 (UTC)


He died today. Someone update the article

Also now completed. Derek R Bullamore 15:45, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

No - the source says he died wednesday - that was the 25th (at least in England)

In the article it says both 24th and 26th. But most of mine says 25th. -- 19:03, 27 May 2006 (UTC)


"[...] Dekker was one of the most popular musicians within Jamaica, and one of the best-known musicians outside it."

I'm wondering if this could be reworded to more encyclopedic phrasing while retaining the original content as well as the (justified) stress on Dekker's importance in popular music history. -Hoot

Reference 2[edit]

the Reference 2 Biography by Jo-Ann Greene". [Allmusic] is very often used in the Article, but this Article by sets his Birthday in the Year 1942, not 1941 like here in th Wikipedia - so what is now correct? the official website is in biographical things..... erm... would it be the Wikipedia I would call it "stub" -- (talk) 20:53, 15 October 2012 (UTC)


I've restructured some of the sentences. Just trying to improve the flow when reading. Feel free to revert my edits if you disagree. Sluffs (talk) 00:41, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

There are some questions to do with the Derrick Morgan statements. Dekker has said that he was recording immediately for Kong (1961) with Morgan stating that it was two years before Dekker recorded (1963). You can find the relevant info on the external link "Desmond Dekker Came First" given at the bottom of the article. Also I've put that Kong as the label owner surely must have decided when to release Dekker's first single. I can't see any businessman wasting time and money on a low-standard product or allowing their artists (or anyone else) to decide these matters. Sluffs (talk) 17:03, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Paul McCartney on Ob La Di, Ob La Da[edit]

May have to remove the claim that Dekker was implied by the use of name "Desmond" in The Beatles song.

McCartney says this on Anthology

"It's a very me song, in as much as it's a fantasy about a couple of people who don't really exist, Desmond and Molly. I'm keen on names too. Desmond is a very Caribbean name."

Desmond is such a common West Indian name that Channel Four's first major West Indian sitcom was named Desmonds. The difficult part is that Dekker was already well-known in the UK (pre-Israelites) and therefore McCartney despite the fictional claim may have consciously used Dekker's first name for the song's character.

I'll leave it in due to the fact that even the New York Times says Dekker was name-checked in this song. If anyone knows for sure then please change the article.

Sluffs (talk) 23:45, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Well its the next day and I've removed the claim. I will double-check the McCartney statement and if I'm wrong I'll revert my edit.

Sluffs (talk) 15:18, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Problem with the claim that a re-recorded version of Israelites charted in Belgium[edit]

I've gone at looked at the Belgium official charts which has been compiled since 1954 by a non-profit organization called Ultratop. They run their own site which lists all the releases that charted and Israelites appears including the re-recorded release. According to the site the only time the song charted in Belgium was in 1969 and it was the original release not the re-recorded version.

Here's the link to the page for everyone to check.

entry on the song Israelites

This is the serial number for the re-recorded 1979 version: Creole 6.12550

I may find that Ultratop lists only the Top Twenty and that the re-recorded version did enter the Top Hundred but until then I'm going to remove the statement. If anyone knows different or finds that my lack of Dutch language skills has led to me not reading the above link correctly then please revert my edit and restore the statement.

Sluffs (talk) 16:06, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Use of the term working-class to describe Mods[edit]

I've used the term "working-class" to describe the main followers of the Mod scene in the 60s in the UK. The Wikipedia article on Mods has a small dispute about whether the mod scene was an outgrowth of the middle-class beatnik scene, a east-end Jewish phenomena, etc. I think it may have been all - in the UK scenes tend to emerge because there's been a breaking down of cultural and class barriers. Its no coincidence that the Mod scene coincided with the mass arrival of West Indians, the first boom after two decades of post-war austerity, the first strains against the older class system through the media influence of America and other countries, etc. However it was still a scene that drew the working-class young to its flag of "modernism" albeit with a generous contingent of middle-class participants as well.

Sluffs (talk) 21:41, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

It didn't coincide with the influx of West Indians at all really - that started in 1948 with the arrival of the Windrush and so had been in full swing for getting on for nearly 15 years by the time Mods were first seen.

Re the class thing at first when they were still called Modernists in the very early 60s it did include a lot of West End middle class types with some working-class but by the time it was the mass movement in had become by 1964 it was more or less completely working-class with maybe the odd lower middle-class participant. Most movements in England related to dance music tend to be mainly working-class (mods, skinheads, northern soul scene, jazz-funk scene, hardcore rave and many of the other post-1988 dance scenes. Middle class/student types tended to like more rock influenced scenes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:08, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Maxwell TV Advert featuring the song "Israelites"[edit]

I'd totally forgotten about this ad and found it on YouTube where it has very healthy viewing figures. Its a classic fun ad from the 1980s with its Bob Dylan "lyric cards" and its "tongue 'n' cheek" view of the difficulty of translating the lyrics to the song "Israelites". Worth checking out for a few light-hearted minutes.

Sluffs (talk) 16:36, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Dekker interview on YouTube[edit]

I found an interview on YouTube. The interview was posted by secretrecordslimited and runs to 5.30 min. It is from his statements in this interview that I've updated the early years with information about his church attendance and religious beliefs. I wouldn't want to reference the statements as an inline citation however I see no problem in pasting the link here for any editors that need to check the statements.

Here's the link:

Because YouTube videos sometimes disappear I can't guarantee that it'll be there but it has been up since 2007 (uploaded May 9, 2007). Interview with Desmond Dekker by Jet Martin, Filmed in London 12th July 2004.

As for the inclusion of his religious beliefs into the article. Augustine article without his Confessions just wouldn't make sense if excluded and the same applies here.

Sluffs (talk) 18:56, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

For Reggae researchers and fans[edit]

I just found this article about Dekker at The Jamaica Gleaner:

I removed the Alpha Boys School ref. The Gleaner says Font Hill Primary School. I'm not going to add that yet since The Gleaner says "history has it that" which is newspaper code for "We're pretty sure but don't quote us in case we get sued". I would advise anyone who edits Reggae articles to use The Gleaner and the other Jamaican online newspapers and magazines. It one of Jamaica's longest running newspaper and they have a vast archive. It is obviously prone to mistakes as is every source but with a little work esp. cross checking against the Larkin Encyclopedia (which I must point out was published before the internet became a world-wide phenomena and therefore may be more unreliable than newspaper archives) and other sources we should be able to write extensive entries for all the Reggae articles.

The link to the article above will show you how useful (or not) The Gleaner can be. Please note that its not a good idea to insert the claim that Derrick Morgan auditioned Dekker. Dekker himself in the book "Oral History of Reggae" says that Morgan and Jimmy Cliff were on the door when he went to see Kong and that he went PAST them and directly up to Kong and asked Kong personally for an auditon. There's a good chance that all three of them sat there while Dekker auditioned. Also Kong claimed that "Honour your Mother and Father" was the audition song. I'm more inclined to believe Kong partly on the basis that he's not a recording artist and has no need to promote himself. Imagine Richard Branson and you get the idea.

Please note that the Alpha Boys School has an official website which has a page dedicated to its past pupils who achieved fame. Its called "The Hall of Fame" - Dekker is not listed but Yellowman is. I find it incredulous that Yellowman who never reached No.1 in the UK charts is more famous than Dekker who did. If Dekker did attend the Alpha Boys School he would be listed on "The Hall of Fame". So please don't restore that claim which also appears on the Wikipedia article on Alpha Boys School (which I'm about to remove) until you are sure that he did and can provide a solid ref for that claim.

Sluffs (talk) 23:08, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Original Research. Analysis or Synthesis[edit]

Since I've inferred that elements of the ruder boy subculture had its roots in general social and economic conditions I thought I'd better prove that it contains none of the issues of original thought. The Trench Town article clearly states that the delineation based on partisan local support for one or other of the two main political parties that formed after Independence was based on economic conditions. Dekker himself came 2nd place in the 1st Jamaican Independence Festival Song Competition and the following year came 1st. He was at the height of his Jamaican career at a time of great social upheaval. Shanty Town refers to the rural migration to the more prosperous cities of Jamaica. Since Intensified won the 1968 Independence Festival and the Trench Town political violence happened in the early 1970s unless every one in Trench Town had suddenly packed up and moved somewhere else then I imagine that they are the same people from both time periods. Its not original research, analysis or synthesis to state the obvious.

"This page in a nutshell: Wikipedia does not publish original thought: all material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source. Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources themselves."

Sluffs (talk) 13:08, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

The inclusion of Laserlight and Emporio releases[edit]

I'm questioning the inclusion of these budget labels in the discography. Specialists in releasing re-recordings. Rarely are they mastered well and may not contain any original recordings. Their booklets are normally devoid of information.

Castle Pie is a reissue label and does make an effort with regards to quality but I would still question if its necessary to direct readers to albums on these labels when the original recordings are available.

I'm removing Emporio and Laserlight on the basis that readers should be directed to the best source and highest quality recording available.

Sluffs (talk) 10:40, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

In keeping with WP:NPOV, I have reverted. None of the above arguments are good reasons for removing these. --Michig (talk) 10:53, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi Michig! Sluffs is very concerned about the reversion of this edit and the quality of this article, but is expressing it at Talk:The Beatles#Inclusion of Emporio and other sub-standard Beatles releases into this article. I'm trying to encourage Sluffs to discuss it here per WP:BRD. Since Desmond Dekker#Discography is half of the article, you may want to discuss here whether to create a new Desmond Dekker discography page per Wikipedia:WikiProject Musicians/Article guidelines#Discography section, and then trim Desmond Dekker#Discography to only include the major releases. Happy editing! GoingBatty (talk) 01:53, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
If sources can be found, there would be benefits in differentiating between, on the one hand, releases that were approved by Dekker, his management, and/or his record label; and those releases which were not approved and/or cannot be treated as canonical. I'm afraid I've no idea if those sources exist. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:21, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I would have no objection to such a separation but I very much doubt that the sources exist to differentiate 'good' compilations from 'bad' ones. As I have pointed out elsewhere, many reggae albums on recognized labels are released without the consent of the artists concerned and often with no royalties going to the artist - picking out a couple of labels because they tend to be poorly packaged doesn't make a lot of sense. As far as I can tell, all of the compilations listed contain tracks licensed from the legal owners of the recordings, which is often the producers and/or record companies rather than the artists, which is a shame, but that's just how it is. I'm all for discussion, but hopefully concentrating on the principles that this project is based on rather than the perceived colour of an editor's skin. --Michig (talk) 15:58, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
If we were to follow the guideline, we could remove ALL compilations from Desmond Dekker#Discography without having to debate the quality of each compilation. GoingBatty (talk) 23:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Which guideline? --Michig (talk) 06:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC) Ok, I see which one you mean, but that's really just suggesting only listing studio albums in the artist article when the full discography is in a separate article. --Michig (talk) 06:25, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Maybe the best thing would be to improve and expand the article to the level where splitting the discography to a separate article becomes appropriate,and we can then just list studio albums here. I have several good book sources that have not yet been used in the article, and there's plenty online, so it should be possible to do something. --Michig (talk) 06:37, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good, Michig. If you list the tasks needed to improve and expand the article, maybe Sluffs will want to help too! GoingBatty (talk) 18:00, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

The policies on this user generated site have been formulated under a consensus policy. I find it very interesting that "the perceived colour of an editor's skin" is held to be anathema to the general ethos of Wikipedia - whether stated through the pillars of wisdom, comments or policies. Yet those very same consensus policies are generally formed by a caucasian majority. Here's a question for you. How many West Indian administrators have been active in the past year expressed as a percentage in relation to non-West Indian administrators?

I think its essential that this question be answered first before we discuss some other questions to do with "who" created the policies, etc. Only then is the groundwork laid for an informed discussion about these inclusions and why the well-meaning but misguided caucasian administrators can allow themselves to be blinded by the light of their own delusions of equality for all Wikipedia members and articles.

Sluffs (talk) 02:17, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Dekker a stage name[edit]

According to a purported relative posting on a YouTube video, Dekker's surname at birth was Dacres. Can anybody produce documentary proof of this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

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