Ever since the days of ska, Jamaican music honoured its African roots. That really
came out of the Rastafarian sensibility amongst the musicians, not only amongst
people like Count Ossie's Afro-Combo - who were the musicians on records like the
Folkes Brothers 'Oh Carolina' - but also in all those players who made Studio One such
a definitive sound. Titles of instrumentals like 'African Blood' (Raymond Harper),
'Ethiopia', 'Distant Drums' (Baba Brooks) 'Addis Ababa' and 'African Beat' (Don
Drummond) speak volumes. Vocal songs that clearly ring out the African roots are, for
example, 'Africa' (Gaylads), 'Marcus Garvey' (Bongoman Byfield), 'Woman A Come'
(Marguerita), 'Congo War' (Lord Brynner & Shieks), 'Rasta Put It On' (Peter Tosh) and
'Selassie In The Chapel' (Wailers). Sporadically Jamaican artists toured Africa in the
1960's. Millie Small toured Nigeria and Ghana a couple of times, performing with local
musicians. Owen Grey visited Europe and Morocco (and even Lebanon). And the
Pioneers toured Egypt (and Lebanon) in 1970. But I do not know of any African ska,
rocksteady and reggae in the 1960's.

South Africa