Dizzy Johnny Moore

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Johnny Moore was born in 1938 to a family that looked down upon musicians to some degree. With friends at the now-legendary Alpha Cottage School receiving a top-notch musical education for the area, Moore…
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Johnny Moore was born in 1938 to a family that looked down upon musicians to some degree. With friends at the now-legendary Alpha Cottage School receiving a top-notch musical education for the area, Moore decided to join the Alpha Boys. The problem with this was that the Alpha School was run by nuns and only for wayward youth. To take care of this obstacle, Moore purposely acted bad and caused enough trouble for his mother to bring him to the school, where he learned music alongside other future luminaries such as Don Drummond and Rico Rodriguez. After his time at the Alpha School, Moore went on to join the Jamaican Military Band, but was eventually kicked out because he was "not amenable to military discipline, though a good musician." He then moved on to work with Eric Dean, who at the time had the top dance band on the island. After a short time with Dean, he grew his dreadlocks out and began working on a scheme for new music, which was to become ska. He took his idea to Sir Coxsone and others, who laughed at the idea (also where he gained the nickname "Dizzy"; for having such a crazy idea, he must be dizzy in the head). After about six months of convincing, though, the producers began to give in. From there, he began the Skatalites, based on a round of spontaneity that he used to keep the music flowing -- everyone had a part, and none of them were written. He's since become something of a legend, though not so much has been heard from him since the Skatalite days.