A new Spotify playlist celebrating the Windrush generation has been launched in honor of the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in Britain.
The Windrush 75 Network, a group of organizations working together to commemorate the occasion, has compiled a top 20 playlist featuring tracks from legendary artists, including Winifred Atwell, Stormzy, Beverley Knight, and Craig David.
Pianist Winifred Atwell, who was the first black woman to have a UK Number One, leads the pack with her 1954 hit, “Let’s Have Another Party.”
Atwell’s track sets the tone for the playlist, which is a chronological list of tracks spanning from 1948 to 2021.
Lord Kitchener, who wrote “London Is the Place for Me,” performed the track live on a Pathé News report as he stepped off the Windrush at Tilbury Docks in 1948.
Mykaell Riley, the director of the Black Music Research Unit and PI for Bass Culture Research at the University of Westminster, oversaw the playlist’s creation.
Riley, who was also a founder member of British reggae band Steel Pulse, says the playlist scratches the surface of the Windrush generation’s cultural contribution.
“In many ways, it’s a teaser to what lies beyond the beats, melodies, and songs that have found their way into so many lives,” he adds.
The playlist’s tracks showcase the Windrush generation’s massive contribution to the UK’s music scene.
The list features iconic tracks like Millie Small’s “My Boy Lollipop,” The Equals’ “Baby Come Back,” and Boney M’s “Sunny,” among others.
The playlist’s final track, “Woman,” is by Little Simz, a modern-day artist who represents the new generation of black British musicians.
The Windrush 75 Network Top 20 playlist on Spotify is a celebration of the Windrush generation’s immense contribution to British music.
The playlist highlights the diversity of music genres and artists that emerged from the Windrush generation, and their descendants and others from across the Commonwealth.
As the world continues to grapple with issues of race and inclusivity, it’s important to recognize the Windrush generation’s impact and honor their legacy.
- 1. Lord Kitchener: London Is the Place For Me (1948)
- 2. Winifred Atwell: Let’s Have Another Party (1954)
- 3. The Southlanders: The Mole in a Hole (1958)
- 4. Millie Small: My Boy Lollipop (1964)
- 5. The Equals: Baby Come Back (1968)
- 6. Cymande: Brothers on the Slide (1974)
- 7. Billy Ocean: Love Really Hurts Without You (1976)
- 8. Boney M: Sunny (1976)
- 9. Janet Kay: Silly Games (1979)
- 10. The Selecter: Three Minute Hero (1980)
- 11. UB40: One in Ten (1981)
- 12. Loose Ends: Hangin’ on a String (Contemplating) (1985)
- 13. Soul II Soul: Keep on Movin’ (1989)
- 14. Massive Attack: Unfinished Sympathy (1991)
- 15. Goldie: Inner City Life (1994)
- 16. Craig David: Rewind (1999)
- 17. Beverley Knight: Shoulda Woulda Coulda (2002)
- 18. Wretch 32: Don’t Go (2011)
- 19. Stormzy: Blinded By Your Grace, Pt.2 (2017)
- 20. Little Simz: Woman (2021)