First Roots Margate gig heads to Olby’s Soul Café

Roots Margate have five themed nights planned

A celebration of the history of Jamaican music and its impact on music and culture through the years will be held in Margate on Friday, May 19

Roots is an old-school blues dance that takes an audience from the early 20th century conception of Reggae to its current form today.

Organisers say the event will not only be a space for Jamaican people to connect to their roots through music, community, food and drink; it will be an experience for all people to learn and appreciate black history.

There are five main events planned with the first on May 19th at Olby’s Soul Café, Margate. It is a free, non-ticketed event running from 7pm – late.

Acts include Youth Downbeat SoundSystem and The Great Wassie One.

The evnts are themed Proto-Reggae 1920s-60s; Early Reggae 60s/70s; Roots Reggae 70s/80s; Dubwise Reggae 70s/90s and Future Reggae 90s/current day

Find Roots on facebook here



  1. “early 20th century conception of Reggae”?? As other music historians will tell you, probably THE biggest influence on Ska and Rock Steady – which would quickly evolve into Reggae – was American Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, particularly those from New Orleans such as Lloyd Price and Fats Domino. Check out the latter’s 1959 hit ‘Be My Guest’, it is only a very small step away from Ska!

    Peter Checksfield (Music Historian and Author)

    • Incidentally, Ska/Blue Beat/Reggae artist Millie Small (of ‘My Boy Lollipop’ fame) cut a whole album of Fats Domino songs at the height of her fame in 1965. THAT’S how highly regarded he was to Jamaican musicians at the time.

  2. You’re of course referring to an album by Millie Small that didn’t even make the charts and was a commercial failure following on the success of her one hit wonder . My boy lollipop .

    • She was the world’s most famous Jamaican musician at the time (she no doubt would’ve had more success with something like “Millie sings The Beatles” but chose to celebrate her hero instead).

  3. The ‘skinhead’ movement deserves a lot of credit for popularising reggae. Not many people outside Jamaica had heard it before 1967.

    • Chris Blackwell who founded Island Records deserves a mention for reggae music being popular in UK
      Without him Bob Marley & The Wailers might not have become so successful .

        • Classic Reggae acts like Toots & The Maytals , Burning Spear , Black Uhuru , Sly & Robbie , Third World , Aswad , Inner Circle , Bob Marley …… all owe their careers to a “white contributor” like Chris Blackwell who broke a lot of barriers to this type of music
          That’s not an opinion but a fact !
          I notice the events covers new and old reggae , so a mention for the brand new album by reggae band Easy Star All stars which has excellent reggae cover versions of Bowie songs starting with Steel Pulse jointly doing the Bowie classic Five Years .

        • The most successful Reggae act in the UK was the mixed-race UB40, outselling even artists like Bob Marley. Just like other forms of music, the genre isn’t the sole preserve of one race.

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