Thursday, July 26, 2012

95 Songs of Summer, #37 - "Israelites" (1969)

When I was 9 years old, I had no idea what "reggae" was, but I doubt that I was alone.  And even though "Israelites" was all over the radio that summer, I don't recall any DJs making reference to that term either.

The song was nothing more than a memory until I bought my copy of "The 'King' Kong Collection," a collection of reggae classics that had been recorded and produced by the late and legendary Leslie Kong.  It is probably long out of print, but it's well worth seeking out - it's the only vinyl album that I've ever converted entirely to a digital format - it's that good.

The other thing I remember about the song is my dad, every time he heard it on the radio, saying "What is he saying?  I can't understand what he is saying."  Truth be told, I couldn't tell either - I just knew that it sounded great.

I don't know what became of Desmond Dekker, but at the very least he left us with one true gem: "Israelites," from the summer of 1969.

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