Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: June 29, 2019: 31 Years of Reggae Radio!

Greetings,

<New broom sweeps clean, old broom knows the corners!>

Early spring 1988,  my roommate and I were in the Pie Pizzeria near the Univ. of Utah campus. They were listening to the local community radio station, KRCL. I had discovered its Saturday afternoon Reggae program called Smile Jamaica about a year previous. KRCL were looking for new volunteers to train for graveyard shift shows.

My roommate, also a music fanatic, wanted to do a mid 80s college show. I was interested in Reggae. They had enough rock programmers but wanted someone to do a late night program that could mix up Reggae with Ska and World.

I started training late spring and was granted a show that debuted just before the 4th of July 1988: 3 o’clock Roadblock – named for the Bob Marley song because the show aired from 3am-6am late Sunday night/early Monday morning.

includes 3 o’clock Roadblock

I learned how to juggle tunes for a radio audience for probably a couple hundred graveyard shift workers, night owls and insomniacs.

Black Uhuru was the group that got me into Reggae music. I loved them: Michael Rose, Puma Jones (dawta) and Ducky Simpson (dread.) Their album, Anthem (the first Reggae Grammy award) was a booming 80’s synth from Sly & Robbie meshed with heartical roots and dread anthems.

I had met a guy in the U of U dorms, Neil Copperman. Jewish kid from Baltimore who had all these new compact disks on a massive hi fi with Bose speakers. I had been an early adopter of the round aluminum disks, (and I also favored Bose 301’s),  when I moved to SLC from Bozeman, Montana; Fall Semester 1986. So we would trade disks and listen to each other’s selections.

The dorms were concrete bunkers and the drum and bass from Sly & Robbie ricocheted around the room.  I was hooked on Reggae from that moment forward. I had a few Marley’s, Tosh’s, Toot’s & Cliff’s. None of them made the instant impact Black Uhuru did.

From late June 1988-Aug. 1989 when I quit the late night, I would always start each edition of 3 o’clock Roadblock with a Black Uhuru tune.

<Anthem lit the fuse; 66 sec.>

I was only off air for about 2 months. In Oct. 1989, my mentor Rutabaga Reese offered to have me split Smile Jamaica with him. And that lead to my Saturday adventure of almost 30 years.

In between I have been a part of the digital media transition and this podcast was created before there was even a word for it. I knew that radio was gonna go internationally online.

<Smile Jamaica pre-podcasting “podcast”; 23 sec.>

But that’s a story I will continue Oct. 2019 – when, Jah wiling, I get my 30 year badge.

Humans of the U: Robert Nelson

So enjoy this possible recreation of the very first 3 hours of Reggae Radio from I ‘n’ I. CDs on this podcast. In a month, I will do the same for vinyl.

Thanks for listening from day 1 or 31 years fresh.

bless, Bobbylon

Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: June 29, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 1 min. 56 sec.

Set 1: 1972-1976

  • Black Uhuru – Party Next Door; Anthem (Mango) ’83 Best of 31 Years of Reggae Radio
  • Augustus Pablo – Unity Dub; Africa Must Be Free by 1983 Dub (Rockers) ’83 YS US vinyl dub album of the hour
  • Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come; The Harder They Come Soundtrack (Mango) ’72

<The Harder They Come and Reggae in US/UK; 74 sec.>

  • The Wailers – Stir It Up; Catch a Fire (Tuff Gong) ’73 US w/ guitar and piano overdubs

<Catch a Fire and Reggae in the US/UK; 65 sec.>

  • Burning Spear – Down By the Riverside; Presenting (Studio One) ’73
  • Peter Tosh – Legalize It; Legalize It (Columbia) ’76

Set 2: 1976

  • The Mighty Diamonds – Back Weh Mafia; Ice on Fire (Virgin Front Line) ’76 soul producer, Allen Toussaint prod’n
  • Judy Mowatt – Put It On; Black Woman (Shanachie) ’76 Wailer cover
  • Max Romeo – One Step Forward; War ina Babylon (Mango) ’76 Lee “Scratch” Perry/Black Ark riddim shower (1) – vox
  • Prince Jazzbo – Ital Corner; Ital Corner (Clocktower) ’76 Black Ark riddim shower (2): deejay

<Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark studio>

Set 3: 1976-1977

  • Martha Velez – Bend Down Low; Escape From Babylon (Sire) ’76 Bob prod’n/Perry mix/Wailers on the riddims/Wailers cover

<Martha Velez; 38 sec.>

  • Bunny Wailer – This Train; Blackheart Man (Mango) ’76 Woody Guthrie cover
  • The Congos – Children Crying; Heart of the Congos (Black Art) ’77 Black Ark prod’n
  • The Revolutionaries – Dawn Creation; Phase  One Dub Wise volume 2 (Phase One) ’80 UK vinyl dub album of the hour

Set 4: 1977

  • Culture – Two Sevens Clash; Two Sevens Clash (Shanachie) ’77

<When the 2 7’s clashed; 72 sec.>

  • Jolly Brothers – Conscious Man; Conscious Man (Seven Leaf) ’77 Lee “Scratch” Perry Black Ark prod’n
  • Yabby You – Judgment Time; One Love, One Heart (Shanachie) ’77

Set 5: 1978-1979

  • I Roy – Tiddle Le Bop; Heart of a Lion (Virgin Front Line) ’78 nursery rhyme
  • Ijahman Levi – Jah Heavy Load; Haile I Hymn (Jahmani) ’78 feat. Steve Winwood on organ
  • Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking; Uptown Top Ranking (Object Enterprise) ’78 female dj duo
  • Dennis Brown – Love Jah; Words of Wisdom (Shanachie) ’79

Set 6: 1979

  • The Morwells feat. Bingy Bunny – Bit By Bit; Kingston 12 Toughie (RAS) ’79
  • Capital Letters – Run Run Run; Headline News (Greensleeves) ’79 UK youth group w/ female harmonies
  • Marcia Griffiths – Steppin’ Out of Babylon; Steppin’ (Shanachie)
  • Sugar Minott & Soul Syndicate – Walking Through the Ghetto; Ghetto-ology + Dub (Easy Star) ’79
  • Roots Radics – Rockers Almighty Dub; Rockers Almighty Dub (Clocktower) Bronx, NY vinyl dub album of the hour

Set 7: 1979-1980

  • Keith Hudson – Musicology; Rasta Communication (Greensleeves) ’79
  • Johnny Osbourne – Jah Promise; Truths and Rights (Studio One) ’79
  • Earl Zero – I No Lie; Visions of Love (Epiphany) ’79
  • Pablo Moses – Dubbing is a Must; A Song (Mango) ’80
  • Wailing Souls – Old Broom; Very Best of (Greensleeves) ’80 comp.
New broom sweeps clean. Old broom knows the corners!

Set 8: 1980-1981

  • Ken Booth (sic) & the Iranian Students – Peace Time/Khomeni Skank; Jack Ruby Hi-Fi (Auralux/Clappers) ’80
  • Sister Jam – People of the World; Rockers International (Greensleeves) ’80 Augustus Pablo prod’n
  • Flo & Eddie – Rock With Me; Rock Steady With Flo & Eddie (Epiphany) ’81 of the Turtles; Melodians cover
  • Garland Jeffreys feat. Linton Kwesi Johnson – Miami Beach; Escape Artist (Epic) ’81 NY rock artist w/ dub poet
  • Mikey Dread – World War III; Beyond World War III (Dread at the Controls) ’81

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