A Trinidadian, not a Jamaican, is the foundation of Reggae Music.

Lynn Taitt, the Trinidadian responsible for reggae music.
Lynn Taitt, the Trinidadian responsible for reggae music.

The entire world knows that reggae music comes from rocksteady. What most people don’t know, however, is that although rocksteady started in Jamaica, it was started by a Trinidadian. The creator of rocksteady is Lynn Taitt from Trinidad and Tobago.

Today the bassline and guitar riffs of rocksteady are still prominent in dancehall and reggae music.

Taitt made his name as a prolific session musician during the 1960s, playing on countless hit songs by Hopeton Lewis, Desmond Dekker, Johnny Nash, Alton Ellis, and The Melodians.

It was while leader of The Jets that Taitt helped fashion a new beat. The song that transitioned ska to rocksteady was Take It Easy by Lewis, and it was recorded at Federal Records in 1965.

“When I went to Jamaica and started playing with Baba Brooks and those guys, everything was fast, but in Trinidad they had fast calypso and slow calypso,” Taitt said in a 2003 interview with a Jamaican tabloid. “So that day I told Gladdy AKA keyboardist Gladstone Anderson to slow the tempo and that’s how Take It Easy and rocksteady came about. Rocksteady is really slow ska.

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Born in the San Fernando region of Trinidad as Nerlin Taitt, he came to Jamaica in 1962 to play in a band celebrating Jamaica’s independence. The first hit song he played on was Chang Kai Shek, an instrumental by Brooks’s band that has driven numerous hits.

Taitt also recorded early on with The Skatalites, playing on several of their outstanding songs, including Guns of Navarone, Confucius and Gun Fever.

His signature riffs can also be heard on Nash’s Hold Me Tight, Alton Ellis’s Girl I’ve Got A Date, Desmond Dekker’s Israelites and 007 (Shantytown), The Melodians’ You Have Caught Me, and Keith and Tex’s Stop That Train.

On many of the sessions played Taitt, he was accompanied by The Jets. His bandmates were Anderson, saxophonist Headley Bennett, guitarist Lynford Hux’Brown, organist Winston Wright, and bass player Brian Atkinson.

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Nerlin “Lynn” Taitt, who was never recognized for his contribution to Jamaican music, died in January 2010 in Montreal, Canada, at age 75.

 

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. He said he told Gladdy to slow down the music that Jamaica already had which was Ska. How did he created reggae from that? And without evidense thats debatable.he was involved in the “Change” as in the slowing down of the tempo and adding his bass lines to some of the beats with other instruments playing by Jamaican musicians, hence rocksteady which also made another transition to reggae years after so don’t know what’s the purpose of saying this guy created reggae..

    • Do you agree that Reggae is a slower version of ska? He is the one who slowed down ska, creating reggae. So he is not the root of reggae, the creators of ska should get that credit. But he is the one who slowed down the ska to get what we know today as reggae.

  2. Since the Trumpster created the ‘genre’ called Fake News any- and everyone can publish his fancy and pass it off as ‘truth’. There is no denying the weight and import of Lynn Taitt’s work in the development of the popular Jamaican music. His guitar is ubiquitous in Rocksteady recordings (and in Reggae too since many modern songs just rehash the old Rocksteady rhythms), and he was indeed an innovator. But to claim Lynn Taitt “is the foundation of Reggae Music” is a stretch too far. That is ‘Trumpesque’. Tommy McCook must be rolling in his grave! And even Tommy couldn’t and didn’t make such a claim. (BTW, Taitt didn’t actually make the claim either; it seems to come about because of some over-zealous reporting, probably intent on sticking it to Jamaicans.)

    Big up, the late and great Lynn Taitt! Down with fake news (chat ’bout “creator” and “foundation”).

    –Æ.

  3. GOOGLE http://WWW.ERNESTRANGLIN.COM THIS SITE WILL GIVE YOU INFORMATION ON WHO REALLY INVENTED SKA AND REGGAE. ROCK STEADY AND REGGAE CAME FROM SKA. NEARLIN TAITT/LYNN TAITT DID NOT INVENTED REGGAE. ERNEST RANGLING IS PART CHINESE AND PART BLACK HE IS A JAMAICAN. HE INVENTED SKA ALONG WITH COXSONE DOBB. ( I forgot to post this on my first comment.) REGGAE WAS INVENTED BY ERNEST RANGLIN. LEE SCRATCH PERRY, COXSONE DOBB, CLANCY ECCLES WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN DEVELOPING AND ESTABLISHING OF REGGAE. CLANCY ECCLES NAMED THE MUSIC REGGAE FROM A KINGSTON SLANG STREGGAE FOR LOOSE WOMAN. ERNEST RANGLIN NAMED SLOW SKA WHICH HE INVENTED ALONG WITH COXSONE DOBB ROCK STEADY. LEE PERRY CREATED DUB STYLE.

    • COXSONE DOBB A JAMAICAN PRODUCER AND MUSICIAN FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. SLOWING DOWN SKA TO ROCK STEADY DOESN’T MAKE YOU INVENT REGGAE. THERE WERE SOME JAMAICAN MUSICIANS THAT WERE INVOLVED IN SLOWING DOWN SKA TO ROCK STEADY. WINSTON GRENNAN, HUGH MALCOLM, CHARLES CAMERON, GLADDY ANDERSON AND MANY MORE. WINSTON GRENNAN A JAMAICAN DRUMMER DEVELOPED FOR ROCK STEADY THE ONE DROP RHYTHM THAT WAS MARKED BY A PROMINENT SNARE DRUM STROKE ON THE THIRD BEAT OF EVERY MEASURE, IT WAS THIS BEAT ON THE THIRD THAT WOULD CUT THE BEAT IN HALF. IT WAS A UNIQUE STYLE CHANGING SKA TO ROCK STEADY.

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