The Ska anthem 'A Message to you Rudy' is performed live on the BBC television show 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' in 1979 by British two tone group The Specials. Captions over the performance explain how the band's founder member Jerry Dammers also formed the Coventry based Two Tone label that made The Selector, Madness and The Beat famous. The Special's 1979 hit was a cover of the 1967 Rocksteady classic composed by Dandy Livingstone.
This clip could be used as an introduction to reggae music. As they listen, without the screen displayed, students could write down the instruments they can hear. Introduce the idea of the 'skank', also known as the offbeat. Students could also research the features that are characteristic of reggae and ska music. Ask the students, in groups, to create a performance of this song, or another well-known reggae song.