Music

Jerry Dammers

Born 22 May 1955.
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Jerry Dammers talks about the genesis of 2 Tone Records

The founder of The Specials talks about The Walt Jabsco logo which helped shape 2 Tone's iconic image.

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Biography

Jeremy David Hounsell "Jerry" Dammers, (born 22 May 1955) is a British musician who is a founder, keyboard player and primary songwriter of the Coventry, England based ska revival band The Specials, The Special A.K.A. and The Spatial AKA Orchestra.

Dammers was born in Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu, South India, the son of Horace Dammers, Dean of Bristol Cathedral (1973–1987). Jerry Dammers attended King Henry VIII School, Coventry.

Dammers was a Mod in the 1960s, then became a hippie, before becoming a skinhead. He had been a member of The Cissy Stone Soul Band, and studied art at Coventry's Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University), where he met Horace Panter.

He founded 2 Tone Records, which helped develop the 1970s/1980s ska revival. He became an anti-Apartheid campaigner, helping to create Artists Against Apartheid in the U.S., and writing the song "Free Nelson Mandela" about the jailed African National Congress leader in South Africa. In 1985, in the wake of the Band Aid single, he organized the recording and release of the "Starvation" single, a version of The Pioneers' 1969 song, in aid of famine relief in Africa, featuring members of The Special AKA, UB40, Madness, The Pioneers, and The Beat. In early 1986, he took part in the Red Wedge tour that also featured The Style Council, The Communards, Junior Giscombe, Lorna Gee and other special guests. He also introduced Simple Minds to producer Tony Hollingsworth and they became the first major act to agree to perform at Hollingsworth's Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert, which was broadcast worldwide from London's Wembley Stadium, on 11 June 1988. That same year, he briefly played with the re-formed Madness on their single "I Pronounce You" and its attendant album, The Madness.

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Labels

  • Founded Two-Tone Records
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