Skipping ahead a hundred and fifty years: On this date in 1962, after 4 years of being a province in the Federation of the West Indies, gained full independence and adopted its national anthem.
However, it's not the music of the National Anthem that has spread Jamaica's reputation around the world: It's Reggae music. According to the WikiWackyWoo:
Many other internationally known artists were born in Jamaica including Millie Small, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Big Youth, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Desmond Dekker, Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Grace Jones, Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Buju Banton, Sean Paul, I Wayne, Bounty Killer and many others. Band artist groups that came from Jamaica include Black Uhuru, Third World Band, Inner Circle, Chalice Reggae Band, Culture, Fab Five and Morgan Heritage. The genre jungle emerged from London's Jamaican diaspora. The birth of hip-hop in New York City, New York also owed much to the city's Jamaican community.
I had the pleasure of working for Island Records Canada when it was still an independent company run by Chris Blackwell. Blackwell is one of my heroes. He didn't create Reggae, but he took it global starting with Millie Small. Blackwell discovered the 15-year old singer and produced her single "My Boy Lollipop," which sold over 7 million records worldwide. Then he signed Bob Marley and many other Reggae artists; launching many careers (and not just Reggae artists) onto the international stage. I met Blackwell once, on the same day I met Bob Marley, yet they were not together, nor were they even in the same country. It's a long, complicated story that I keep promising to write and, maybe, one day I will.
|Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, is a fitting|
symbol for How Jamaica Conquered The World
However, let's face it: It's the music and ganja for which Jamaica is known. Since I can't push any ganja through my computer, I am reduced to just sharing a small sampling of the music. Here's a Jamaican Jukebox so you can celebrate along with Jamaicans all around the world as they proudly wave the flag on their half-century anniversary.