A Message to You, Rudy

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"A Message to You, Rudy"
Specials Message to You Rudy single cover.jpg
Single by The Specials featuring Rico
from the album The Specials
A-side "Nite Klub" (double A-side)
Released 1979 (1979)
Format 7" vinyl
Genre Rocksteady Ska 2-Tone
Length 2:54
Label 2 Tone
Songwriter(s) Dandy Livingstone
Producer(s) Elvis Costello
The Specials singles chronology
"A Message to You, Rudy"
"Too Much Too Young"
"A Message to You, Rudy"
"Too Much Too Young"

"A Message to You, Rudy" is a 1967 rocksteady song by Dandy Livingstone. Originally entitled "Rudy, A Message to You", the song later achieved broader success when, in 1979, The Specials' cover reached number 10 in the UK Singles Chart.[1]

Veteran trombone player Rico Rodriguez played on both Livingstone's and The Specials' versions.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[3] 10
Chart (1980) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[5] 22
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[6] 29

Other cover versions[edit]

The song has also been covered by a number of artists, including The Specials, The Mescaleros, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Judge Dread, Barenaked Ladies, Dead Milkmen, Madness and Amy Winehouse.[7] The Specials performed the song on the BBC2 television show The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1979.[8]

Pete Doherty, at the Eurockéennes de Belfort, also performed the song in 2009, and Sublime featured lyrics borrowed from "A Message to You, Rudy" in their song "D.J.s." on their debut album. Propagandhi, a Canadian punk band, used the melody and partial lyrics in their song "Ska Sucks", featured on their album How to Clean Everything.

British hip hop band the Bogus MC's recorded an unofficial cover of the song for England ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[9] Rather than "A Message to You, Rudy", the Bogus MC's sing, "A Message to You, Rooney".

Crawley Town F.C. and musician Mike Dobie recorded a cover of the song ahead of their clash with Manchester United.[10] Rather than "A Message to You, Rudy", the Crawley Town fans sing, "A Message to You, Rooney" or "A Message to You, Fergie."

Dubmood created a chiptune cover of the song titled "A Message to You, Mom". The song was featured in the Razor 1911's keygen for Command and Conquer 3.[11]


  1. ^ "A Message To You Rudy/Nite Klub", Chart Stats; retrieved 2010-08-26.
  2. ^ "Rico Rodriguez". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Archive Chart: 1979-11-17" UK Singles Chart.
  4. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Specials – A Message To You Rudy" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 5, 1980" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  6. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Specials – A Message To You Rudy". Top 40 Singles.
  7. ^ "Amy Winehouse - A Message to you Rudy..best pics". YouTube. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  8. ^ The Old Grey Whistle Test (DVD). Warner Home Video. 2003. 
  9. ^ "England World Cup Song 2010 Message to you Wayne Rooney!". YouTube. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  10. ^ "Mike Dobie - Crawley FA Cup Song - A Message From All Crawley". YouTube. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  11. ^ "[KeyGen Music] Dubmood - A Message to you, Mom". YouTube. 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2014-02-06.