After a long hiatus, Oldies Sunday is back!
Today’s Oldies Sunday entry comes from the Reggae Band, Third World. Titled “1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade)“, this was a single of their 2nd album of the same name which was released in 1977 on Island Records. In the song they sing about the Morant Bay Riots of 1865 which resulted in the death of 400 blacks during the riot and 350 more through hangings which included National Heroes Paul Bogle and George William Gordon. The line “96 Degrees In The Shade” suggests the temperature on that day, real hot!
“1865” was a standout track off their 2nd album and brought alot of consciousness to Reggae. Though it never charted, the single managed to be a highly requested song at many Third World concerts. “1865” as a single and album introduced the world to the late Bunny Rugs, who became lead singer after replacing Milton “Prilly” Hamilton. The song was later sampled by French artists Weedy and Le T.I.N. in 1996 and covered by the Saian Supa Crew in 2005.
Third World went on to release many more singles and albums since 1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade) and have gained great popularity over the years. Third World has performed with The Wailers, The Jackson 5, and they have also been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charles Drew University. They’ve also collaborated with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Shaggy, Bounty Killa, Papa San, and even had their singles sampled by the likes of Heavy D, Biz Markie, Danny Brown and Damian Marley. Over the years they have seen the departure of a few members including Ibo Cooper and the recent death of Bunny Rugs, but they’ve still managed to perform wherever they’re requested and their songs still grace the airwaves and commercials.
Thank you Third World for this great song! R.I.P. Bunny Rugs.