Wake the Town

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"Wake the Town"
Single by U-Roy
Released 1970 (1970)
Genre Reggae

"Wake the Town" is a reggae song recorded by U-Roy.

Jamaican toaster U-Roy put the country on notice when the refrain "Wake the town, tell the people" first rang out of dancehalls and clubs in Jamaica in 1970. The song was one of the first major hits of the genre, taking reggae music to the next level, and was the primary inspiration of much of dancehall music for the next generation. The song was a revision of Alton Ellis' "Girl I've Got a Date", and the sense of familiarity the song carried, as well as the catchy hook and lyrics sent the song to the top of the Jamaican music charts. The recording that led to the single was initiated when John Holt attended a sound system party, and heard U-Roy deejay. Holt had just hit it big with "Wear You to the Ball", and he convinced U-Roy and producer Duke Reid to hook up. The duo cut two songs, and "Wake the Town" was born.

The song was sampled in the song "Good Night" by Kanye West for his album Graduation


Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture in Jamaica is a book discussing the history of dancehall music in Jamaica by California cultural anthropologist Norman Stolzoff.


Sampled in the 1994 song "Omaha Stylee" by 311.

Also sampled in the 1994 song "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)" by Dawn Penn.