Annette Funicello, RIP
April 09, 2013, 12:56 AM
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One cultural oddity is that ska music, a Jamaican forerunner to reggae and, on its own, a dance music that recurrently becomes a craze in the U.S. every decade or two, was introduced to the American public by Annette Funicello with her 1964 hit "Jamaica Ska." 

It's not as good as late 1960s ska songs like Desmond Dekker's "The Israelites" or Toots and the Maytals' "Pressure Drop," not to mention first revival ska songs like the English Beat's "Mirror in the Bathroom" or Madness's "One Step Beyond," or second revival hits like Rancid's "Time Bomb," but "Jamaica Ska" was on AM radio in America in 1964.

Ska is unusual in that it's a dance music genre that became increasingly monopolized by straight guys.