In Memoriam: Leonard Dillon aka The Ethiopian

Ska And Rock Steady Pioneer Flies Away Home

The AP is reporting that Leonard Dillon, the founder of the seminal ska and rock steady group The Ethiopians, has died in Jamaica at age 68. His daughter Patrice Dillon told the AP that her father died Wednesday at her home of lung and prostate cancer. Diagnosed with cancer in June, he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor earlier this year. Leonard Dillon began his career using the stage name Jack Sparrow in the early 1960s. He recorded a series of ska songs, including “Bull Whip,” which featured a young Bob Marley on backing vocals. Dillon later formed The Ethiopians, who dropped hits like “Train to Skaville” and the classic reality tune “Everything Crash.” When his partner died he continued to perform as The Ethiopian, singular. He was a singular talent, and as one of his songs put it, a man with a good ambition. Run the track…

UPDATE: Check out his New York Times obituary.

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