The Selecter, “On My Radio”
A great interview with Pauline Black, front person for The Selecter:
“It’s 1979 and Pauline Vickers’ ska band The Selecter has just started to take off, courting media attention and frothing crowds desperate for their addictive, upbeat 2 Tone sound. Working as a radiographer in Coventry—a city in the Midlands which still bore the brutal scars of heavy bombing during the Second World War—Vickers has run out of vacation days, but somehow needs time off to play shows.
There’s only one thing for it. She changes her name, so colleagues don’t discover she’s performing across the country and being written about in the music press. Pauline Vickers, a Yoruba prince’s daughter who was adopted by a middle-aged white couple in post-war Essex, became Pauline Black. ‘I am black and that’s the one thing my family never called me—they always called me colored,’ she states, when we meet her more than 35 years later, on the eve of her 62nd birthday. ‘I thought, “They’ll just have to call me black now.”‘ The queen of British ska smiles when she explains the “ripples” of her name change are still being felt in her adopted family to this day.”