My brother lives in Minneapolis. When the Polar Vortex hit, it took me back to my youth in Montana.
Cold so bitter, just closing the car door shattered glass. Only Chinook winds, (warm winds) kept Montana from being Alaska
<Chinook Winds; 46 sec.>
So when it became our turn in Utah to be homebound with a massive mid week snowstorm, I took advantage of the day:
Feb. 6 – Bob Marley’s Birthday. Once I got the notice on my phone to stay home. I turned off the alarm, cranked up the furnace and decided what better way to celebrate a Snow Day than starting with The Wailers Catch a Fire and play through to Uprising.
Zicam and Vitamin C during the Holiday/plane rides – check
I shouldn’t have gone back to work. That was what laid me low. Second day back. Too busy to get sick so I paid the price Saturday.
Everyone else came from their travels and those of us working with the public are well exposed. After 2 weeks off air seeing family, I didn’t want to miss a show.
Bad radio etiquette to hack and wheeze on air, but I soldiered on. The worst thing about colds for a deejay? Not only the horrible voice croak announcing set lists, but worse: Congestion for me settles between my ears. That makes it rough to cue up the record when I drop the needle.
<COLD, COLD WINTER>
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-nuary 12, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 1 min. 27 sec.
Rasta Generation Band feat. King Caleb – Stand By Jah; Stand By Jah (Black Spade) ’90 Oakland, CA vinyl – Ben E. King update
The Aggrovators – A Version of Class; Dub Justice (Attack) UK vinyl dub album of the hour; 70’s Bunny Lee B-Sides
Eric “Rebel Lion” Bubble – Forward Jah People; Roots of Black People (Progressive International) 2013
Joy White – Tribulation; United Dreadlocks (Rhino UK) ’77
Linton Kwesi Johnson – It Noh Funny; A Capella Live (LKJ) ’93 in Brussels UK dub poet
<LKJ poem; 46 sec.>
Clint Eastwood & General Saint – Stop That Train; Stop That Train (Greensleeves) ’83 UK cover of Keith & Tex
My first semester at college – Montana State, Fall 1983:
Soviet Union shot down a Korean jet liner
Beirut bombing of US army barracks killing hundreds
America invaded Grenada
It looked like the Cold War was getting “thawed”. Yet, by the time I graduated from the University of Utah in 1989, the wall had fallen and the Cold War was over.
Not so fast….
Wheel it forward to 2016. Trump defeats Hillary. How could that have happened? Let’s blame the Russians. Add in Syria and Ukraine, the recent aggressive update of our Nuclear Response Review. And 1 Trillion in nuclear “improvements.” Mueller’s investigation and innuendo against Russian “hacking”.
Rachel Maddow might call me Ivan, but the reality is:
Russia, no longer the Soviet Union, is feeling the strain of a new Cold War. Their incumbent President, Vladimir Putin, has an election of his own next week. His State of the Nation was a warning to America and its allies.
I no longer do Radioactive political interviews on KRCL but I still follow the news. I am worried a confrontation in the Syrian Panhandle could lead to World War III.
Of course, my antennae is attuned to Reggae as prophecy. I played a Justin Hinds song on this Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive edition that brought me right back to Sept. 1983.
So until the bombs drop, enjoy this March edition of Smile Jamaica. Forward ever, backwards never. War Time is over!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: March , 2018 Annotated Playlist; 100 sec.
Devon Russell – Homebound Train; High Times All-Star Explosion (Alligator) ’85 vinyl Chicago blues label
Scientist – Hail HIM Dub; High Priest of Dub (Tamoki Wambesi) ’82 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Before the crappy Digital Millennium Copyright ACT (DMCA) I used to spin one half of an album midway on Smile Jamaica. Usually something rare that hadn’t been issued on CD (much less digital).
Orrin Hatch put a stop to that.
DMCA verboten: Can’t play more than 4 songs by the same artist
DMCA verboten: Can’t play more than three songs in a row of any one album.
So I switched up a new tradition: Rockers do Reggae
I ‘n’ I am a music obsessive who listens to a lot more than Reggae. So I have 2 CD Suitcases and then some of Rock, Soul, Jazz, Punk artists doing (usually) one shot Reggae riffs.
Every once in a while someone pitches a bitch. Got a nasty email when playing UK angry rocker Graham Parker’s soul riff down rub a dub “More Questions than Answers”.
Another time I had a caller asking me when Smile Jamaica would be over because I played a Camper Van Beethoven ska tune!
But you gotta trust me. Reggae is universal. Not all of it is great, but some of it is right on.
With that in mind enjoy this week’s Ark-Ive and listen for: Last week it was jazbo Herbie Mann. Get set this week – Ella Fitzgerald, Eric Clapton, Bad Brains, Judy (Mowatt) does Jerry (Garcia). From Bad Brains to Bob Dylan.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-gust 5, 2017 Annotated Playlist; 90 sec.
Brigadier Jerry – Jah Jah Move; Jamaica Jamaica (RAS) ’85 DC vinyl
Desmond & Joe – Bristol Rock; Dubbing in the U.K. (Starlight) UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Peter Tosh – Coming in Hot; Honorary Citizen (Columbia/Legacy) ’82 Boulder, Collie-radio live
Bad Brains – Leaving Babylon; Babylon Central Soundtrack (ESL) ’83 DC punk-dubbers
Capital Letters – Rumours; Headline News (Greensleeves) ’79 UK youth group
<Headline News? Roots Reggae vs. The CIA News Network; 13 sec.>
Gracy & the Herbman Band – Forward Up; See Mi Yah (Funfundvierzig) ’91 Germ. Female herbtune
John Holt – Police In Helicopter; 12” (Holt) ’81 siren mix: 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
<Police Siren in your rearview? Johnny Law or Smile Jamaica? 32 sec.>
Bob Marley & the Wailers – So Much Things to Say; Exodus 40 (Tuff Gong) ’77 original + 2017 Ziggy rmx
First re-cap after the election. I have been voting since 1984 and I can’t imagine two worse choices for President than what we got this go round: A greedy, law flaunting incompetent who helped ruin the other states in the Middle East George W didn’t destroy versus a human Cheeto reality host. Ick.
The only good that came out of this election was this Nation dubbled the number of States that can re-assert mankind’s 8000 year connection to Jah’s wisdom weed. Three other states (including my homeland – Montana) approved Medical Marijuana.
Or read the story and look below for the Annotated Playlist
Aww, strolling down memory lane. 25 years every Saturday on Smile Jamaica. As the Ark-Ive grows, it just takes too long to cull from A to Z. All the Vinyl especially. I just reminisce too much on each album. Where I bought it, why I bought it. Are there herb tunes or Marley covers I forgot about? Halloween ditties or other oddities….and on and on and on.
So my methodology was to try my best to re-create a potential first episode. (I actually debuted first Saturday of KRCL’s Fall Radiothon). So I knew I would have to have a representative from at least a dozen or so of my original favorite artists….all on Black Wax. 50 Records where I get to juggle, consistently from show to show, between 32-35 selections over 3 hours.
I knew I had to feature these artists:
Lee Perry’s brooding Black Ark sound
Adrian Sherwood’s Mutant Dub ON U Sound label
The Clash – discovered Reggae via UK punkers before Marley, Tosh and Bunny
Plus songs that I absolutely loved in the 1986-1988 Era:
Culture – Calling Rastafari
UB40 female toaster V’s Version from the rare dubble disk UK version pared down to a single in the US – Baggariddim
Big Youth – Get On Up. Hardcore Reggae disco funk
Sister Frica – One in the Spirit: From Methodist Sunday School to Pablo’s “Far East” Jamaican sound
Arthur Louis – beautiful version with Eric Clapton of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Below is the Annotated Playlist: Reggae History Lessons, Soundbites, Playlist, photos and captions.
On this Playlist, I search deep in my LONG term memory to try and remember where I would have purchased these Black Wax Vinyls; 1986-1988. Most of these Record Stores are gone now, but back in the day it was a Vinyl Paradise. Lps were cheap to make way for these new gizmos called CDs.
Thanks for being a part of 25 years listening to Smile Jamaica. Forward ever, backwards never!
Playlist: Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Sept. 20, 2014
Set 1: 25 Year All Vinyl Is Vital Showcase
Black Uhuru – Party Next Door; Anthem (Mango) ’84 US (Smokey’s Records, SLC)
Bullwackies All Stars – Recording Connection; Black World (Wackies) ’79 Dub Album of the Week; NYC
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Jah Live; Countryman Soundtrack (Mango) ’82 US (Cosmic Aeroplane, SLC); single recorded 1976
<Reggae History Lesson: Bob Marley: You cyaan (can’t) kill God! 25 sec.>
Rita Marley – Beauty of God’s Plan; Rita Marley (Trident) ’81 UK (Streetlight Records, SF)
Culture – Calling Rastafari; Calling Rastafari (Nighthawk) ’82 Various Artist St. Louis, Jah-ssouri (Randy’s Records, SLC)
<Reggae History Lesson: US Record Labels slinging Reggae; 30 sec.>
Black Slate – Legalize Collie Herb + Legal Dub; Rasta Festival (Alligator) UK 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement; ’81 Jah-cago blues label (Rasputin Records, Berkeley)
Desmond Dekker – Big Headed; Compass Point (Stiff) ’81 UK (Streetlight Records, SF)
Junior Byles – Cally Weed; Rasta No Pickpocket (Nighthawk) ’86 herb tune; St. Louis, Jah-ssouri (label promo)
The Selecter – Bristol and Miami; Celebrate the Bullet (Chrysalis) ’81 2 Tone Brit Ska; about riots in UK and FL (Mad Platter Records, SLC)
Don Carlos – Living in Harmony; Prophecy (Blue Moon/Magnum) ’85 UK (RAS mail order, DC)
The Congos – Children Crying; Heart of the Congos (Congo Ashanty) ’77 JA; Lee Perry/Black Ark/Upsetters (RAS mail order)
Big Youth – Get On Up; Rock Holy (Negusa Negast) ’80 JA (RAS mail order)
Burning Spear – Jah a Guh Raid; Hail H.I.M. (Burning Spear) ’80 JA (Rutabaga Records, SLC)
Sister Frica – One in the Spirit; Rockers All Star Explosion (Alligator) ’83 A. Pablo prod’n; Sunday School Hymn (label promo)
Alpha Blondy & the Wailers – Jerusalem; Jerusalem (Stern’s) ’86 UK; Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa (RAS mail order)
Desi Roots – Weedfields; Doing it Right (Hawkeye) ’80 UK; herb tune (Esoteric Records, Sacramento)
Dillinger – Check Sister Jane; King Pharoah (Blue Moon/Magnum) ‘84 UK; Marley Waiting in Vain – Johnny Clarke (Greensleeves mail order, UK)
Arthur Louis – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door; This is Reggae Music vol. 2 (Island) ’75 US Bob Dylan cover (Smokey’s Records, SLC)
<Arthur Louis and Eric Clapton cover Dylan; 32 sec.>
<Reggae History Lesson: Reggae’s love of AM pop and black soul; 23 sec.>
Jimmy Cliff – Keep Your Eyes on the Sparrow; Best of Jimmy Cliff (Island) ’75 Jah-taly; folk ballad (Half Price Records, Berkeley)
UB40 & Sister V – V’s Version; Baggariddim (Virgin) ‘85 dubble disk. Update of Boy Friday rock steady classic (Randy’s Records, SLC)
Ruffy & Tuffy – Third World War; Climax (Black Star) ‘88 Finland (Tower Records, SF)
<World War III as predicted by Nelstradamus last Feb. during Ukraine Coup; 16 sec.>
<Cold War II, Electric Boogaloo: Obama v. Putin; 20 sec.>
Lone Ranger – Legalise the National Herb; Hi-Yo, Silver, Away! (Greensleeves) ’82 UK herb tune (Tower Records, Las Vegas)
Leroy Smart – Rock and Come On; On Top (Micron) ’82 Can. (RAS mail order)
Full Experience feat. Aura – Young, Gifted and Broke; Aura Meets Lee “Scratch” Perry at Black Ark Studios (Blue Moon) Fr. Nina Simone cover; Black Ark w female vox (RAS mail order)
Casselberry & DuPree – Coming in From the Cold; City Down (Icebergg); ’86 Jah-waukee Marley cover (label promo)
The Clash feat. Mikey Dread – Bankrobber/Robber dub; Black Market Clash (NuDisk) 10” US (Randy’s Records)
Johnny Clarke – Rebel Soldering; Don’t Trouble Trouble (Attack) ’88 UK; Bunny Lee comp (Smokey’s Records)
<Smile Jamaica Reggae Lexicon: Soldering or Welding; 10 sec.>
Flick Wilson – Slave Master; School Days (Jah Life) ’80 JA (The Beat, Sacramento, CA)