Ernest Ranglin: Tiny Desk Concert Watch a talented, charming guitar legend make magic as his band Avila holds down the beat. At 82, Ranglin still plays the ska, reggae and jazz sounds he's been perfecting for more than half a century.

Tiny Desk

Ernest Ranglin

Ernest Ranglin: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/340636520/340637500" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

At 82, legendary guitarist Ernest Ranglin still plays the ska, reggae and jazz that he's championed and helped perfect for more than half a century. Ranglin was a key figure in shaping the sounds of ska — influenced by New Orleans jazz and R&B — in Jamaica in the late 1950s. But most of the world wouldn't hear of ska until producer Chris Blackwell teamed Ranglin up with a Jamaican singer named Millie Small. Together, they recorded "My Boy Lollipop," a song that became a smash at the height of Beatlemania and helped put ska and Jamaican music on the map forever.

You've probably also heard Ranglin if you've seen the James Bond film Dr. No — particularly the scenes set in Jamaica. The effects of Ranglin's fluid and rhythmic playing on Jamaican music, from mento to reggae, are deep and long-lasting. But his work as a jazz artist is equally amazing, and here at the Tiny Desk he does a bit of everything, including music from his lyrical and wonderful album Bless Up. So watch as this humble, charming gentleman makes magic on guitar, with his talented young band Avila holding down the beat.

Set List

  • "Surfin"
  • "Jones Pen"
  • "Avila (Oscar's Song)"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Colin Marshall; Production Assistant: Sarah Tilotta; photo by Sarah Tilotta/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Wire plays a Tiny Desk concert. Kisha Ravi/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR

Wire

More than 40 years after forming, the British post-punk pioneers finally visited the Tiny Desk.

Clem Snide with Scott Avett play a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Clem Snide With Scott Avett (Home) Concert

Clem Snide and Scott Avett play spiritually searching songs from Forever Just Beyond while maintaining social distancing for their Tiny Desk (home) concert.

Buddy and Kent Jamz play a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Buddy And Kent Jamz (Home) Concert

The two rappers perform tracks from their joint mixtape Janktape Vol. 1 for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Sylvan Esso plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Sylvan Esso (Home) Concert

Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn perform three songs from their couch for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Lankum plays a Tiny Desk concert. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Lankum

The award-winning Irish quartet performs three songs from its latest album, The Livelong Day, at the Tiny Desk.

Raul Midón plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Raul Midón (Home) Concert

The jazz singer and guitarist has multiple Grammy nominations to his name. He performed five songs for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Alex Isley plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Alex Isley (Home) Concert

The R&B singer, whose music appeared on Season 4 of Insecure, performs four songs for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Ashley McBryde plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Ashley McBryde (Home) Concert

The country singer performed four songs from her latest album, Never Will, including one of our top 25 songs of 2019.

Frances Quinlan plays a Tiny Desk concert. Kisha Ravi/NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR/NPR

Frances Quinlan

The frontwoman of the indie-rock band Hop Along made her second appearance at the Tiny Desk, this time performing songs from her debut solo album.

Back To Top