Charlie Sloth

On Air Now 16:00 – 17:45

What happened in 1966

  • Ian Smith rejects Harold Wilson's proposals for majority rule in Rhodesia, and so Rhodesia leaves the Commonwealth.
  • Euston station staff 'colour bar' ends. Although it was an 'unofficial' policy, Asquith Xavier, a train guard from Dominica, was refused a job at Euston Station because of his colour. Managers overturn the ban and he gets the job. Later the British army also drops its colour bar.
  • The Caribbean Artists Movement is founded in London. It oversees and protects the literary, academic and performance skills of Caribbean writers and artists. Andrew Salkey, Edward Kamau Brathwaite and John La Rose were the catalysts.
  • The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is published to international acclaim. Born to a white Creole woman from Dominica and a Welsh father, Jean left the Caribbean in 1907 when she was 17. However the book brought into the public consciousness some of the issues surrounding inter-racial relationships and colonialism.
  • The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense is created by Huey P Newton with Bobby Seale and David Hilliard. Launched in California after the death of Malcolm X and the Watts riots it captures the spirit of the times by offering an alternative to the dominant non-violent theme of the civil rights movement. The panther was adopted for it's power as an image. The party's style of black leather jackets and black berets was equally strong.
  • African American model, Donyale Luna appears on the cover of US Vogue. She becomes an important black celebrity, showing that the ideals of beauty were becoming more inclusive.

In the music

  • Jimi Hendrix arrives in Britain; his musicianship and stage show would soon become the talk of London.
  • Prince Buster. This was actually the year that Rocksteady conquered Jamaica but the king of Ska (Jamaica's first indigenous music) came through with the classics, Hard Man Fe Dead, Rude, Rude, Rudie and Shanty-Town. The following year he even had a track in the UK charts - Al Capone.
  • One of the most consistent Tamla Motown acts was the Four Tops who had UK hits from the mid sixties for about 8 years. They'd actually been going for seven years before signing up with the label in 1963. Their biggest hit was 'Reach Out I'll Be There', a number one on both sides of the Atlantic in 1966. Their 'Greatest Hits' album was also a chart topper in 1968. 14 top 40 hits in the 60s in the UK.
  • Stevie Wonder started young - his first US number one was recorded when he was twelve - and has been a regular on the UK singles and album charts ever since.Uptight (Everything's Alright) - no. 14
  • Cortelia Clark was a blind street singer from Nashville who sang his songs and sold shopping bags at the corner of Church and Union. In 1966, Elvis' producer, Felton Jarvis, persuaded RCA Nashville to record Clark on that very corner, complete with street noise. The resulting album won a Grammy as Best Folk Recording.
  • British underground clubs are playing UK releases of American soul (later imports too). These clubs such as the Twisted Wheel in Manchester nurture the cultural phenomenon that grows out of mod culture - northern soul. Dave Grodin didn't coin the phrase til1970 but the appreciation of rare black music grew substantially during the 60s.
  • Blues & Soul magazine launches in London. It's part of the solidifying UK scene that pays tribute to black music and artists.

Key Releases


Grammy awards

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