Ruhr Reggae Summer

Ruhr Reggae Summer

The Ruhr Reggae Summer is a music festival taking place in Germany in the Ruhr area, each year since 2008. It’s a festival of reggae¬†music. Since 2013, it’s happening twice a year, in Dortmund and at Ruhr¬†

Line-up of Ruhr Reggae Summer

Beside the Ruhr Reggae Summer let’s see the sotry of Reggae: It’s developed from¬†ska¬†and¬†rocksteady¬†in the 1960s. Larry And Alvin‚Äôs ‚ÄėNanny Goat‚Äô and the Beltones‚Äô ‚ÄėNo More Heartaches‚Äô competed for the status of first reggae record. The beat was distinctive from rocksteady in that it dropped any of the pretensions to the smooth, soulful sound that characterized slick American R&B, and instead was closer in kinship to US southern funk, being heavily dependent on the rhythm section to drive it along. Reggae‚Äôs great advantage was its almost limitless flexibility: from the early, jerky sound of Lee Perry‚Äôs ‚ÄėPeople Funny Boy‚Äô, to the uptown sounds of Third World‚Äôs ‚ÄėNow That We‚Äôve Found Love‚Äô, it was an enormous leap through the years and styles, yet both are instantly recognizable as reggae.¬†The shift from rocksteady to reggae was illustrated by the organ¬†shuffle¬†pioneered by Jamaican musicians like¬†Jackie Mittooand Winston Wright and featured in transitional singles “Say What You’re Saying” (1968) by¬†Eric “Monty” Morris¬†and “People Funny Boy” (1968) by¬†Lee “Scratch” Perry.¬†The Pioneers’ 1968 track “Long Shot (Bus’ Me Bet)” has been identified as the earliest recorded example of the new rhythm sound that became known as reggae.

Early 1968 was when the first¬†bona fide¬†reggae records were released: “Nanny Goat” by¬†Larry Marshall¬†and “No More Heartaches” by The Beltones. That same year, the newest Jamaican sound began to spawn big-name imitators in other countries. American artist¬†Johnny Nash’s 1968 hit “Hold Me Tight” has been credited with first putting reggae in the American listener charts. Around the same time, reggae influences were starting to surface in¬†rock¬†and¬†pop music, one example being 1968’s “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by¬†The Beatles.

The Wailers, a band started by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963, is perhaps the most recognized band that made the transition through all three stages of early Jamaican popular music: ska, rocksteady and reggae. Over a dozen Wailers songs are based on or use a line from Jamaican mento songs. In 1951, recordings of mento music began to be released. These recordings showcased two styles of mento: an acoustic, rural style and a jazzy, popular style. Other significant reggae pioneers include Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker and Ken Boothe.

However, another pioneer was¬†Millie Small¬†(born 6 October 1946),¬†a¬†Jamaican¬†singer-songwriter, best known for her 1964 blue-beat/ska¬†cover version¬†of “My Boy Lollipop” which was a smash hit internationally.

Notable Jamaican producers influential in the development of ska into rocksteady and reggae include:¬†Coxsone Dodd,¬†Lee “Scratch” Perry,¬†Leslie Kong,¬†Duke Reid,¬†Joe Gibbs¬†and¬†King Tubby.¬†Chris Blackwell, who founded¬†Island Records¬†in Jamaica in 1960, relocated to England in 1962, where he continued to promote Jamaican music. He formed a partnership with Lee Gopthal’s¬†Trojan Records¬†in 1968, which released reggae in the UK until bought by Saga records in 1974.

Reggae’s influence bubbled to the top of the U.S.¬†Billboard¬†Hot 100¬†charts in late 1972. First¬†Three Dog Night¬†hit #1 in September with a cover of¬†the Maytones’ version of “Black and White”. Then¬†Johnny Nash¬†was at #1 for four weeks in November with “I Can See Clearly Now”.¬†Paul Simon’s single “Mother And Child Reunion” – a track which he recorded in Kingston, Jamaica with¬†Jimmy Cliff’s backing group – was ranked by Billboard as the No. 57 song of 1972.

In 1973, the film¬†The Harder They Come¬†starring¬†Jimmy Cliff¬†was released and introduced Jamaican music to cinema audiences outside of Jamaica.¬†Though the film achieved cult status its limited appeal meant that it had a smaller impact than¬†Eric Clapton’s 1974 cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” which made it onto the playlists of mainstream rock and pop radio stations worldwide. Clapton’s “I Shot The Sheriff” used modern rock production and recording techniques and faithfully retained most of the original reggae elements; it was a breakthrough pastiche devoid of any parody and played an important part in bringing the music of Bob Marley to a wider rock audience.¬†By the mid-1970s, authentic reggae dub plates and specials were getting some exposure in the UK on¬†John Peel’s radio show, who promoted the genre for the rest of his career. Around the same time, British filmmaker¬†Jeremy Marre¬†documented the Jamaican music scene in¬†Roots Rock Reggae, capturing the heyday of¬†Roots reggae.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the UK¬†punk rock¬†scene flourished, and reggae was a notable influence. The DJ¬†Don Letts¬†would play reggae and punk tracks at clubs such as¬†The Roxy. Punk bands such as¬†The Clash,¬†The Ruts,¬†The Members¬†and¬†The Slits¬†played many reggae-influenced songs. Around the same time, reggae music took a new path in the UK; one that was created by the multiracial makeup of England’s inner cities and exemplified by groups like¬†Steel Pulse,¬†Aswad¬†and¬†UB40, as well as artists such as¬†Smiley Culture¬†and¬†Carroll Thompson. The Jamaican ghetto themes in the lyrics were replaced with UK¬†inner city¬†themes, and Jamaican¬†patois¬†became intermingled with¬†Cockney¬†slang. In South London around this time, a new subgenre of¬†Lovers Rock, was being created. Unlike the Jamaican music of the same name which was mainly dominated by male artists such as¬†Gregory Isaacs, the South London genre was led by female singers like Thompson and¬†Janet Kay. The UK Lovers Rock had a softer and more commercial sound.Other reggae artists who enjoyed international appeal in the early 1980s include¬†Third World,¬†Black Uhuru¬†and¬†Sugar Minott. The Grammy Awards introduced the¬†Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album¬†category in 1985.

Females also play a role in the reggae music industry personnel such as Olivia Grange, president of Specs-Shang Musik; Trish Farrell, president of Island/Jamaica; Lisa Cortes, president of Loose Cannon; Jamaican-American Sharon Gordon, who has worked in the independent reggae music industry. [Source: Wikipedia]