Theophilus Beckford: Age 65 | Cause Of Death: STABBING

Theophilus BeckfordKing Curtis

(born 1935; died February 19, 2001)

Many people credited the pianist and vocalist Theophilus Beckford, who has died aged 65, as the originator of ska. He was stabbed to death in Kingston, Jamaica, following an altercation with an unidentified man.  Born in Trench Town, west Kingston, Beckford’s access to the family piano enabled him to develop his talent. He cited the Memphis jump-blues piano playing of Rosco Gordon as particularly influential on his style, with Fats Domino another major inspiration; he was also fond of singers Lloyd Price and Patti Page. …~ David Katz, Guardian, Monday March 19, 2001

“Easy Snappin'” became popular all over again when it was used in a UK jeans advertisement in 1990. For a second time, Beckford was denied his rightful remuneration. His son was pursuing those royalties when Theo Beckford was killed on the 19th of February this year. His death was brought by a hatchet blow to the back of the head following an altercation with an unidentified man. ~by MOHAIR SLIM