Get an early start on summer with one dozen original ska songs



Summer doesn't officially begin until this Sunday, June 21. But it's been a bit hot outside this week (when not raining), and in case you want to get an early start, why not begin with the official music of summer? I speak, of course, of ska.

Ska music began in Jamaica with the Folks Brothers(backed by rhythmical genius Count Ossie and produced by Prince Buster, who was quite nearly the James Brown of Kingston)' "Oh Carolina" in 1958, and ended in Jamaica in the mid 1960s when rocksteady took over. (There have been dozens of ska revivals, of course, but none of those are the music of summer; they are the music of sadness and fright, soundtrack only to that moment when a tornado has devoured your house and you're trembling in the cellar.)

For a pretty great look at some original performers towards the end of the scene, check this 1964 BBC documentary on the music. Here are one dozen ska songs to make you happier than you have ever been before in your bright, summery lifetime.