Island Records turns 50 and celebrates in London this May, 2009

Posted: 10th March 2009

1959, Golden Year? Indeed so, telling from the number of great institutions celebrating their 50th this year, from London jazz venue Ronnie Scott's to the record label Tamla Motown.

This is now Island Records' turn to blow candles.

The label, founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica, has discovered artists such as Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Nick Drake, Marianne Faithful, and Grace Jones, among many others, and its current roster counts the likes of Mariah Carey, The Killers, Sugababes, VV Brown and Amy Winehouse.

To celebrate its half-century in music, a series of gigs have been scheduled for the end of May at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire:

Reggae Legends Sly & Robbie, and Kid Creole & The coconuts will begin celebrations on May 26th, followed by the Fratellis and Bombay Bicycle Club on May 27th, Yusuf Aslam (fka Cat Stevens) on May 28th, Paul Weller, Ernest Ranglin & Spooky Tooth on May 29th, Keane, Tom Tom Club & Spooky Tooth on May 30th, and Amy Winehouse, Toots & The Mayals and Coco Sumner on May 31st.

Tickets cost £27.50, and go on sale this Freaky Friday.

Solange Moffi