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Tony Beet (born 24 November 1962) is an English musician best known for being the lead singer of The International Beat (1988–1993). The band included members of The Beat (Saxa, Everett Morton) and General Public and Dexys Midnight Runners (Mickey Billingham), and poet Louie Campbell.
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Beet was born in Birmingham, England. He started playing the guitar at the age of fourteen and soon fell in love with the sound and dynamics of an acoustic guitar, on which all of his songs are written. His roots are in ska and rocksteady, which are reflected in his songs; they are a blend of ska/reggae and rocksteady/soul sound mixed with urban folk. Beet is a singer, songwriter and soprano saxophone player, which is what he was playing when he met Saxa in 1984. Their The Hitting Line album was produced by Ranking Roger and Mickey Billingham.
Beet wrote and co-wrote many songs for The International Beat. They performed live around the world, including tours in the U.S. and Europe, alongside Bad Manners, The Selecter, The Toasters, and original English Beat members Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, among others.
He currently[ when? ] plays with The Acoustic Theatre, playing ska and rocksteady songs with acoustic instruments.
Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae", effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political commentary. Reggae spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as "rudie blues", then "ska", later "blue beat", and "rock steady". It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.
Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. It combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off beat. It was developed in Jamaica in the 1960s when Prince Buster, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs. In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and was popular with British mods. Later it became popular with many skinheads.
General Public was an English band formed by vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, and which included former members of Dexys Midnight Runners, the Specials and the Clash. They are best remembered for their hits "Tenderness" (1984) and "I'll Take You There" (1994).
The music of Jamaica includes Jamaican folk music and many popular genres, such as mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub music, dancehall, reggae fusion and related styles.
Rocksteady is a music genre that originated in Jamaica around 1966. A successor of ska and a precursor to reggae, rocksteady was the dominant style of music in Jamaica for nearly two years, performed by many of the artists who helped establish reggae. For example harmony groups such as The Techniques, The Paragons, The Heptones and The Gaylads; soulful singers such as Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, Bob Andy, Ken Booth and Phyllis Dillon; musicians such as Jackie Mittoo, Lynn Taitt and Tommy McCook. The term rocksteady comes from a popular (slower) dance style mentioned in the Alton Ellis song 'Rocksteady' that matched the new sound. Some rocksteady songs became hits outside Jamaica, as with ska, helping to secure the international base reggae music has today.
Neville Eugenton Staple is a Jamaica-born English singer for the 2-tone ska band The Specials as well as his own band, The Neville Staple Band. He also sang with Ranking Roger in Special Beat.
Cecil Bustamente Campbell, known professionally as Prince Buster, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that would be drawn upon later by reggae and ska artists.
The Beat are a band founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978. Its music fuses Latin, ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock.
The Slackers are an American ska band, formed in Manhattan, New York in 1991. The band's sound is a mix of ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, soul, garage rock, and jazz. The Slackers' notability is credited to their prolific career, tours of North America, Europe, and elsewhere, and signing to notable punk label Hellcat Records.
I Just Can't Stop It is the debut album by UK 2 tone band the Beat. The album was released in 1980 via Go Feet Records in the UK. It was released the same year in the US on Sire Records under the band name "The English Beat".
Roger Charlery, known professionally as Ranking Roger, was a British musician. He was a vocalist in the 1980s two-tone band the Beat and later General Public. Later, he headed up a reformed Beat lineup.
All the Rage is the debut studio album by English band General Public, released on 28 January 1984 by I.R.S. Records. It was recorded digitally. After his expulsion from the Clash, Mick Jones was a founding member of General Public. Though he is listed in the credits of the album as a member, Jones left General Public part way through the recording process and was replaced by Kevin White. White's picture appears on the back cover; Jones' picture does not. Jones did play guitar on many of the album's tracks however, including "Tenderness". The album spent 39 weeks on the US Billboard 200 chart and reached its peak position of No. 26 in mid-February 1985. However, it failed to chart in their home country.
Victor "Vic" Ruggiero, is a musician, songwriter and producer from New York City who has played in reggae, blues, ska and rocksteady bands since the early 1990s, including The Slackers, Stubborn All-Stars, SKAndalous All Stars, Crazy Baldhead and The Silencers. He has also performed with punk rock band Rancid, both live and in the studio. He has released four solo acoustic albums and continues to tour and record worldwide. Ruggiero is known primarily as a singer and organist, although he also plays piano, bass, banjo, cigar box guitar, guitar, harmonica and percussion.
Special Beat Service was the third album by British ska band the Beat. Like the rest of their material, it was released in the US under the name "the English Beat". It reached #39 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 1983 on the strength of two singles, "I Confess" and "Save It for Later," the videos for which received modest airplay on the fledgling MTV video network.
Saxa was a Jamaican saxophonist famous for having performed with the British ska band The Beat. He also played with many early ska and reggae stars such as Laurel Aitken, Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker. He moved to the UK in 1960, living in London for 18 months before moving and settling in Birmingham.
Mickey Billingham is an English keyboardist. He was the former keyboardist of the band Dexys Midnight Runners. After the band split, he and another member, Andy "Stoker" Growcott, became co-founding members of General Public, contributing to the album All the Rage (1984).
Wha'ppen? is the second album by the British ska band the Beat, released in 1981 via Go Feet Records in the United Kingdom and Sire Records in the United States. After the critical and commercial success of I Just Can't Stop It (1980), which mixed ska, reggae and punk rock with social lyrics, the band changed direction on Wha'ppen?, taking influence from many other musical styles which were intriguing the band, including African, steel band and dub music, while keeping reggae at its core. The fast pace of the band's previous work is also exchanged for a slower, mid-tempo pace. At odds with the music is the socially conscious and political lyrics. The band recorded the record at Roundhouse Studios with producer Bob Sargeant.
Everett Morton is a drummer and percussionist from Birmingham, England, most notable as the drummer for the early 1980s ska band The Beat. Originally from the West Indies, Morton is known for his distinctive drumming style that includes syncopation and polyrhythm in a rock beat. His reggae drumming helped give The Beat their characterful sound.
Gladstone Anderson, also known by his nickname "Gladdy", was a Jamaican pianist, keyboard player, and singer, who played a major part in the island's musical history, playing a key role in defining the ska sound and the rocksteady beat, and playing on hundreds of recordings as a session musician, a solo artist, and as leader of Gladdy's All Stars, featuring bassist Jackie Jackson, drummer Winston Grennan, guitarist Hux Brown, and keyboardist Winston Wright. As Harry J All Stars the band had a massive hit in Jamaica and United Kingdom with the instrumental song "The Liquidator" 1969.
The Donkey Show was a ska band based in San Diego that played Ska during the eighties. The band was formed in 1985. They introduced many people to ska music and were in the unique position of being one of the founding bands of the "California Ska Sound", a precursor to what some would call the third wave of ska. At one point they even received radio play on major radio stations such as KROQ-FM.