Heart attack takes main ska man...
Lowri Williams

12:22 20th July 2005

Laurel Aitken - RIPThe Godfather of Ska, Laurel Aitken has died at the age of 78 of a heart attack.

Aitken was born in Cuba, and from the age of 10 he was raised in Jamaica before emigrating to the UK in 1960.

He was at the forefront of the Ska movement and had the first recording release on the Island Records Label.

His whole life was spent singing, in his early years he entertained tourists singing calypso for the Jamaican Tourist Board at Kingston Harbour, reports the BBC.

After moving to London, Aitkin appealed to not only the African and West Indian music audience, but also to the skinheads and mods.

During his later years Aitken was based in Leicester, but still performed with a number of ska bands.

Mark Wyeth, promoter of Club Ska live music nights, said: "Laurel was a great man and a good man, the Godfather of Ska and someone who was deeply loved."

He will be missed.