Cover image for Solid foundation : an oral history of reggae
Solid foundation : an oral history of reggae
Katz, David, 1965-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2003.
Physical Description:
xiii, 396 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3532 .K38 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A groundbreaking and comprehensive history of reggae, with firsthand accounts by reggae's most prominent and popular figures.

Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae is an original, in-depth look at one of the most influential music genres. Through exclusive interview material and previously unpublished photographs, David Katz brings to life over one hundred of reggae's most important artists, including Toots and The Maytals, The Melodians, the Skatalites, and the Wailers Band, Augustus Pablo, Culture, Sugar Minott, Cocoa Tea, and Frankie Paul, who speak for the first time about their roles in the music's progression. From the pre-ska years of the late 1950s to the dawning of the digital age in the mid-1980s, Solid Foundation charts the evolution of ska, rock steady, traditional and untraditional reggae styles, and the sub-genres of dub, deejay, and dancehall. The book is largely drawn from conversations Katz conducted with the architects of Jamaica's popular music, and with perceptive and detailed commentary, he celebrates the creativity and individuality that have made reggae music one of the most popular contemporary styles throughout the world.

Author Notes

David Katz is author of one previous book, People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee Scratch Perry , a contributor to The Rough Guide to Reggae , and a contributor to the forthcoming A Jamaican Tapestry: The Best of Skywritings . His writing and photographs have appeared in many different international publications, including The Guardian, Mojo, Rhythm and the Beat . He has coordinated and annotated several retrospective collections of Jamaican music, released an original record in France, and has co-hosted reggae radio programs on three continents. Originally from San Francisco, he currently lives in London, where he sometimes deejays at select night spots.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
1. Boogie Rock: Sound System Culture and Jamaican R&Bp. 1
2. Celebration Time: Authentic Skap. 31
3. Take It Easy: Cool Rock Steadyp. 65
4. Feel the Rhythm: Ribald Early Reggaep. 97
5. Blood and Fire: The Prophetic Sound of Early Rootsp. 135
6. Merry Up: Deejay, Dub and Other Innovationsp. 163
7. Deejay's Choice: The Further Ascent of the Toasterp. 191
8. None Shall Escape the Judgement: The Flyers and Rockers Stylesp. 209
9. Natty Dread Taking Over: The Ultimate Rise of Roots Reggaep. 233
10. Oh Lord: Deejays and the International Pinnacle of Rootsp. 267
11. Nice Up the Dance: Dub Poetry and Dancehall Rub-a-Dubp. 293
12. Under Mi Sleng Teng: Bringing Dancehall to the Brink of Digitalp. 329
Notesp. 349
Select Bibliographyp. 357
Indexp. 359