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Dawn Penn: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Oct 10 2012

From 1966 to 1970, between the decline of Jamaican ska and the rise of reggae, rocksteady held sway in Jamaica, impacting the U.S. and U.K. charts as well. Figureheads like Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, and Dawn Penn laid the foundation for reggae with an approach that was smooth — but not overly slick — and based in American R&B. Where reggae addressed people's trial and tribulations, rocksteady was mostly about affairs of the heart, and Penn was one of its few female stars. Her biggest hit, "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)," continues to influence modern music, having been covered and sampled by Hexstatic, Ghostface Killah, and Rihanna. Backed by local ska/rocksteady traditionalists Franco Nero, Penn brings her Jamaican legacy to Oakland this week for a rare Bay Area show.

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Mark Keresman

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