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Encyclopedia > Alton Ellis

Alton Ellis (born 1944), from Kingston, Jamaica, is a musician best known as the innovator of rocksteady music. He began playing ska at the height of the genre's fame, recording for Studio One, but he reached his period of greatest popularity in the late 1960s. 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... Location of Kingston Kingston (population 652,000) is the capital of Jamaica. ... Rocksteady is the name given to a style of music popular in Jamaica between 1966 and 1968. ... Ska is a form of Jamaican music which began in the early 1960s. ... Studio One is one of Reggaes most renowned record labels, having been described as the Motown of Jamaica. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ...


Ellis was from Trenchtown, a poor area of Kingston, and learned to play the piano at a young age. In his teens, Alton and Eddie Perkins formed Alton & Eddie, scoring a hit with "Muriel". Ellis launched his solo career after Perkins left for the United States around 1965. He moved to Treasure Isle and began recording with the back-up trio The Flames. Trenchtown is a neighbourhood located in Kingston, the capitol and largest city of Jamaica. ... A grand piano A piano is a musical instrument which is classified as a keyboard, percussion or string instrument, depending on the system of classification used. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ...


His first hit was "Dance Crasher", a plea for peace, and followed it up with "Get Ready - Rock Steady", perhaps the first rocksteady recording. The song was recording with keyboardist Jackie Mittoo playing the bass part because the bassist did not show up; Mittoo could not keep up with the ska beat, and the tempo was slowed down to accommodate him. This allowed for a choppier rhythm that led Ellis to expand his vocal range. A keyboardist is a musician who plays keyboard instruments. ... Jackie Mittoo (March 3, 1948–December 16, 1990), born in Browns Town, Saint Ann, Jamaica), was a Jamaican pianist. ... Bass guitars typically have four strings instead of six as found on regular guitars. ... See also the beat disambiguation page. ... In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... // Rhythm (Greek ρυθμός = tempo) is the variation of the duration of sounds or other events over time. ...


Ellis' most well-known song is probably 1966's "Girl I've Got a Date". 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...



In 2006, Ellis was inducted into the International Reggae And World Music Awards Hall Of Fame (IRAWMA).


 
 

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