Ernest Ranglin learned to play ukulele and guitar at a very young age. At 16, he performed with various big bands in the capital, Kingston, and its surroundings. Not long after, he formed his own band. At the end of the 1950s, under the leadership of Coxsone Dodd, Ranglin recorded several instrumental pieces that played a role in setting the foundations for a new genre, ska. In the early 1960s, he released several discs on the Island label and collaborated with Prince Buster and Baba Brooks. He was also called on to work with Millie Small, The Melodians and The Wailers. Among his recent significant recordings are Below the Bassline (1996) and Modern Answers to Old Problems (2000), which venture into the realms of jazz and worldbeat.