They came from Jamaica to London with ambition, determination, and not a little bit of style, wit and humour. All things they needed to survive and prosper in a country that was too often cold, indifferent, and even openly hostile. For these men the early days of West Indian immigration to Britain are remembered as both the best and worst of times. They arrived– some on banana boats– all with more hope than money, and gradually transformed a gray post-war city both for their own community and a growing number of British followers. Big personalities with colourful monikers like Duke, Count and Lucky, “The Originals” introduced the British to ska, reggae and sound system culture, and in doing so forever changed the musical landscape of the country. Respect is their due.
PALM Pictures is a new channel that highlights the PALM catalogue (films & albums) as well as original and never-before-seen productions (including a documentary on Dancehall Queens and unseen Don Letts interview footage).
Created by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell (Bob Marley, Grace Jones, etc.) Palm explores the roots and branches of Jamaican music and much more.
PALM recently launched the first in a new series called “The Originals” which set out several years back to interview the Jamaican pioneers who brought ska, reggae and sound system culture to the UK.
This first 4-part interview is with the legendary Rico Rodriguez and covers his early life in Jamaica and his coming over to Britain.
Here is Part 1: interview with Rico Rodriguez