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Dawn Penn 

When: Fri., Oct. 12, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $17.50, $20

Dawn Penn is one of the unsung pioneers of the rock steady sound, and one of the first female singers to hit the charts in Jamaica. She was still in high school when she cut her most famous hit, "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)," for the Studio One record label with the backing of the Soul Vendors -- even though she was studying classical music at the time. But she dropped out of the music business until 1994, when famed reggae dancehall production duo Steely and Clevie produced a modern version of the tune. It was a hit again and inspired Penn to return to performing. She created her own label and released two albums, Never Hustle the Music (2004) and City Life (2011). Penn will be flying in from her London home for this not-to-be-missed engagement at The Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on Friday, October 12. Franco Nero, a local band that recreates the feel of early ska, will back Penn and open the show with its tasty originals. 9 p.m., $17.50, $20. UptownNightClub.com

— j. poet

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