Desmond Dekker – 007

28th September 1968 · 1960s, 1968, Music, Reggae, Uncategorised

This was probably the first Jamaican tune I ever heard – I was nine when it came out – and this amazing film, apparently, is the first music video to appear on Top of the Pops.

The documentary clip, shot on the streets of Kingston by Perry Henzell, captures the atmosphere of the time and place perfectly: I just love the girl in the white dress coolly skanking her way across a busy road filled with traffic.

Henzell, of course, went on to direct the landmark movie The Harder They Come in 1972, which brought reggae music to a wide (ie white) audience for the first time through its soundtrack, and introduced the outside world to Rastafarianism.

I can’t imagine the other-worldly impact I would have felt to see that film – and hear this great tune – alongside The Beatles and Tom Jones and The Tremeloes and Engelbert Humperdinck on a hot August night in 1967 on TV in England (largely because I didn’t live there myself). It would surely have blown my mind.

Anybody out there remember it? And anybody else remember seeing him at Stoke Newington Town Hall? Must have been around 1980 or so…