<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.
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.
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.
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.
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