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Lest We Forget

Posted on May 25, 2006

Desmond Dekker

Singer of 1969 hit “Israelites”

1941-2006

Desmond Dekker, best known for his 1969 smash hit “Israelites”, died May 25, 2006. Born Desmond Dacres on July 16, 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica, Dekker originally entered the workforce as a welder. However, he found fame with his band “Desmond Dekker and the Aces” – their international hit “Israelites” topped the UK charts and made the top 10 in the US in 1969. Other successes included “007 (Shanty Town)” and “Rude Boy Train”, which established him as an icon of Jamaica’s 1960s rude boy scene – the ska subculture of sharp-suited urban youth who lead violent invasions of dancehall parties. Although Dekker was best known in for “The Israelites”, his career spanned 43 years. His self-penned debut single, “Honour Thy Father And Thy Mother”, reached number one in Jamaica in 1963 and started a career that saw him define the “rocksteady” sound. Prior to Bob Marley’s emergence, Dekker was Jamaica’s biggest international star. Dekker was 64 when he collapsed and died at his home in Surrey.

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