47 artists, 2216 songs
During the mid 1960s, several Jamaican producers slowed down the fast pace of ska and developed a slower and more soulful style that became known as rock steady. Performers downplayed melodic instruments like the trombone that commonly took center stage in ska and emphasized vocal harmonies and rhythmic elements like the bass and drums instead. Many popular ska artists like the Wailers successfully made the transition to rock steady, while new artists like the Paragons and the Heptones helped establish rock steady as a viable alternative to ska. "The Israelites" was rock steady's biggest hit, and it made Desmond Dekker the first Jamaican artist to become a star in the U.S.