Ongoing History Daily: The waves of ska

If we stand back and look at the history of ska, we are now in its fourth wave.

  • The first came in the 40s and 50s with the original ska pioneers in Jamaica who created this music with influences from calypso, New Orleans Dixieland, a form of music called mento, and American R&B.
  • Second Wave Ska appeared in the late 70s. This is where we find post-punk ska-inspired bands like The Specials, The English Beat, The Selector and the whole 2 Tone sound.
  • Third Wave Ska hit in the middle 90s when the ska sound mixed even more with punk. Think certain songs by No Doubt and Rancid.
  • Today, we’re in the midst of Fourth Wave. The best example of that sound would be the Interrupters. Ska is just one of those sounds that keeps coming back again and again.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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