KRCL celebrated 40 years on air with a party in downtown SLC. My tenure of that for Smile Jamaicais 30 years. (31 and 1/2 total).
I attended the birthday bash and it was great to see a lot of volunteers I hadn’t talked to since KRCL’s format change in 2008.
Plus there was a great love of what I ‘n’ I do with Roots Reggae and Dub with many listeners who were happy to meet me and pass on their thanks. Great to collect stories from people and how they discovered and continue to enjoy my sets on Smile Jamaica.
People love my commitment to vinyl!
The common thread is what Smile Jamaica means to their Saturday afternoon routines. For decades. Fathers and sons. Mom’s and dawtas. If I ‘n’ I had accepted every drink offer, I would have been a drunken mess! (However, it would have been downright rude to decline surreptitious hits of green vapor. Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies…)
It really was a validation of my joy of community radio that is still driven by independent music selection. Where you might hear a Scorpions Reggae jam followed by some UFO dubwize.
You ain’t gwan hear that on your Spotify playlist.
When my great friend and now KRCL station manager, Tristin Tabish asked me to spin a 15 minute set between bands, I ‘n’ I agreed.
This is essentially I ‘n’ I speech from the stage.
“KRCL celebrates 40 years of all killer no filler radio. It has been my pleasure to be a part of that ride for 30 plus years.
“And KRCL has always championed Reggae music from day 1. Dreadlock Holiday to Smile Jamaica. My bredrin Rutabaga Reese taught me about quality Roots Reggae. Much love to Papa Pilgrm on Nite Roots.”
“For my set, I ‘n’ I was asked to put together 15 minutes of Smile Jamaica. How do you distill 10,000 albums. 10,000 cds and 10,000 singles into 3 songs?”
“A little bit of Marley. A little bit of 420. A little bit of dubwise.”
And Selah! Did the crowd roar when that opening lick of Bob Marley’s Smile Jamaica blast forth on the club’s hi-fi!
Thank you KRCL. And thank you KRCL listeners for the kind words for this deejay on your station that rules the nation! Forward ever, backwards never.
Smile Jamaica: KRCL 40th Anniversary Set live and on-air; Dec. 4, 2019 at the Union; Salt Lake City, Utah (60 sec.)
Bob Marley – Smile Jamaica (Marley)
Rita Marley – One Draw (420)
Yellowman – Strong Mi Strong (Dub – Bill Laswell mix)
They called it”spoilage”. That is what you lose when your cargo goes bad. Or you are a trucker and you are overweight for the Interstate. I remember asking my Dad once in California. “Why did that trucker dump a bunch of oranges by the side of the road?” Pops: “The truck is too heavy and he had to lighten his load.”
Now picture that same dynamic on a slave voyage from 1526 til the Mid 1800s. Spoilage was the loss of life on the journey from West Africa to the New World. Either dead slaves, or if the ship was overloaded, several excess slaves would be simply chucked over the side to drown.
<Spoilage in the Slave Trade; 65 sec.>
Reggae music came about in Jamaica because of slavery. The Brits lived in the upscale plantation house. Irish and Scottish immigrants worked as overseers in the fields. Black slaves worked the sugar plantations.
Eventually, The Irish and Scottish wiled away their time by playing fiddle and piano. As time went on, blacks picked up those instruments and learned to play. Usually on Sunday – Church services. When you absorb African drumming onto Western melodies and instruments — that is how you get Reggae music.
The incident took place on October 11th 1492, 10pm. At the time of the incident it is said that Santa Maria (the ship) was sailing through what is now known as the Bermuda Triangle. The crew first noticed a disc shaped object emerging from the sea. The description given in the ship’s log is that of a wax candle light moving up and down in the night sky.
Prior to this incident the ship’s logs in the month of September (17th and 20th) provide accounts of what are described as stars making noticeable movements in the night sky.
Columbus’s crew reached what is now the Bahamas in 1492. He thought he had landed in India. The Taino and Arawak natives, (soon to be wrongly called Indians), greeted the explorers with friendly intent. Unfortunately for them, they arrived in gold finery.
The Euros returned the generosity with massacres, cholera, syphilis and rape. Whoever survived the onslaught was enslaved and forced to mine gold. After a generation the Indigenous tribes fought back with the only real weapon they had: mass suicide. They would simply jump off cliffs into the sea. Or eat a meal of poisonous roots.
<Taino and Arawak devastation by Columbus; 1 min. 55 sec.>
As the Conquistadors prepared to burn Hatuey alive, a “helpful” Catholic Priest offered salvation to him. If he accepted Christ he would immediately go to Heaven and not burn for Eternity in Hell as a Heathen.
Hatuey politely declined. “I have seen what the Christians are like on Earth. Why would I want to meet anymore of them in the Sky?”
In 1526 the Portugese kicked off the Atlantic Slave Trade. Soon to follow were the Spanish, English and Dutch. Thus began what Peter Tosh sang: “400 Years and it’s the same philosophy)
<Wailers and Peter Tosh – 400 Years; 1 min. 15 sec.>
Thus began 3 centuries of the Middle Passage
Europeans would load ships full of commercial goods: textiles, rifles, flint locks
They would dock on the Gold Coast of West Africa. They would trade their goods for slaves. (Most slaves were captives in tribal wars.)
The slaves would be packed on the ships “like sardines in a tin” and shipped to the New World: America, Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and especially Brazil.
<The Dungeon in the Merchant Ship; 36 sec.>
4. The slaves, in Jamaica, would be forced to harvest sugar cane.
5. The ships return to Europe with sugar products: granular sweetener, rum, molasses.
6. European factory workers, driven by their sugar rush, in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution , could make the consumer goods….to return to Africa
The “Middle Passage” was the leg between Europe to the New World. As many as as 12.5 million “human cargo” made the excruciating journey over 3 centuries. As many as 2.5 million of those unfortunate wretches perished during the journey.
That’s a spoilage rate of 20%. And yes, those losses were expected and factored into the price.
<The horrors of the Middle Passage; 90 sec.>
The major themes of Reggae music explore this psychic disruption. Songs about loss, the repatriation to Zion away from Babylon. Rastas worshiping a Black Christ – His Imperial Majesty in Ethiopia.
Those were the stories that made me a Reggae fanatic. Epitomized by Eek a Mouse’s “Do You Remember”. Song 2 of this podcast
Do you, do you remember those days of slavery? It wasn’t black man alone, who died through bravery ‘Though some a dem threw dem self over board Because dis ya slaveship overload
Before KRCL moved their Radiothon fund drives to October, I would do an Anti-Columbus show. I would always lead off with Burning Spear‘s takedown of the Italian mass murderer, Columbus
This year the beg-a-thon took place a week earlier. Felt good to harvest 40 songs for Indigenous People’s Day. Not Columbus. Or Comb-buss’ (bust) us as Peter Tosh called him.
My Dad has been laid up in Sun City West, AZ. He has something called NPH: Excess spinal fluid builds up on the part of the brain that controls walking, bowel/bladder control and short term dementia.
I, my brother and sister have been tag teaming with my Mom in his treatment. July was my turn.
Long story short, in the week I had been here, his recovery has improved enough for me to do a little cratedigging.
I am mainly on the hunt for collector Reggae vinyl. The temp in Phoenix is 115 degrees.
Here is how you cratedig in triple digits without your vinyl stash melting.
From the retirement community my parents live in, Sun City West, to Tempe is about 45 minutes. Run the AC at 60 degrees. By the time I got out of the car, I was frozen. I literally wished I had worn socks.
But, getting out of the car into that heat felt good. My joints thawed out from the drive. Enter the shop ad cratedig.
Going back to the car was like walking into a furnace blower.
My mom had set up one of those cooling bags and we added a zip loc bag full of ice. Even then I placed a thick blanket. Must avoid sunlight and high temps.
Placed the records in the bag and rinse and repeat.
The uniqueness of cratedigging. At Xmas time, I didn’t find any vinyl in Phoenix. Hellish summer I found good collectors vinyl if three shops. Getting them home is part of the story.
Enjoy this musical mash up podcast for when I was off air.
Smile Jamaica Digital Dubplate July 2019 Playlist:
UB40 – Many Rivers to Cross – Version Girl (Virgin) ’85 Jimmy Cliff cover
<Happy Birthday to the World’s First Hippie – Haile Selassie I> 68 sec.
Ras Tafari Makonnen: The Head Creator
Haile Selassie I: Power of the Trinity
<Power of Jah Trinity; 27 sec.>
Negusa Negast: King of Kings; 30 sec.
Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Elect of God, Ever Living God, Earth’s Rightful Ruler
<Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah; 13 sec.>
Without this little short man (Selassie was 5 foot 2) Reggae consists of love songs, novelty records and pop and soul covers. This is the heart of Smile Jamaica.
Rastafari gospel love songs to His Imperial Majesty from the Rastas. In Jamaican, when Nationalist hero Marcus Garvey was recruiting blacks to return to Africa, he prophesized: “Look to the east where a black king will be crowned. That will be the signal to load up the Black Star Liner (as opposed to the Titanic passenger liner White Star Line) to go back to Africa
<Garvey’s prophecy; 63 sec.>
From that moment the movement grew from the impoverished in Jamaica who wanted a black Jesus not a colonial white Jesus. Selassie was the reincarnation of Jahova (Jah).
He ruled in Ethiopia until the communists in the hinterlands took advantage of corrupt Selassie courtiers who refused to acknowledge famine in the provinces. Selassie was deposed and most likely murdered in the basement of his Imperial Palace in 1974.
<Selassie’s downfall; 30 sec.>
I call myself a Rasta enthusiast or empathizer and even a Sumerian Fundamentalist like myself, is powerfully moved by such beautiful musical devotion that we will hear on this Ark-Ive Podcast.
Haile Selassie – July 23, 1892.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: July 21, 2018: Happy Birthday His Imperial Majesty; 95 sec.
Naturalites – Picture on the Wall; Rub a Dubble vol. 1 (CSA) ’86 UK – 3 hours for Haile Selassie – July 23, 1892
Roots Radics/Bunny Wailer – Roots Raddics; Dub D’sco vol. 1 (Solomonic) ’77 JA vinyl Dub Album of the Hour
Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus – Ethiopian National Anthem; Movements (Dynamic) ’78 JA vinyl; nyahbinghi style drumming
<National Anthem of Ethiopia; 23 sec.>
Black Uhuru – I Love King Selassie; Tear It Up” Live (Mango) ’83
Chalawa – Jah Collie Weed; Capture Land (Green Weenie) ’78 Can. vinyl 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
African Princess – Jah Children Cry; 12″ (Jah Shaka) ’85 UK vinyl comp
Keith Hudson – I Broke the Comb; Rasta Communication (Greensleeves) ’78
<The Old Testament Nazirite Vow and Dreadlocks; 84 sec.>
Sister Carol – Jah Is Mine; Black Cinderella (Jah Life) ’84 on McCartney/Jackson Girl is Mine
Peter “Roots” Lewis – Jah Is My Salvation; Wicked Roots (Reggae Retro) 2000
Hugh Mundell – That Little Short Man; 12″ (Rockers International) ’78; Selassie was 5 foot 2
Jacob Miller – False Rasta; Don’t Give Up Your Culture (Moll-Selekta) ’77
<Beware the Follow Fashion Dread; 47 sec.>
Judy Mowatt – Many Are Called; Black Woman (Shanachie) ’76
Aswad – He Gave the Sun to Shine; New Chapter (CBS) ’81 UK
Ranking Trevor – Give Thanks and Praise Unto Jah; 12″ (Greensleeves) ’78 UK to Heart & Soul
Augustus Pablo – Chant to Selassie I; East of the River Nile (Shanachie) ’78 Dub Album of the Hour
Cedric Myton & the Congos – Where He Leads; Face the Music (VP) ’81
Burning Spear – Jah Is My Driver; Farover (Heartbeat) ’83
Daweh Congo – Jah Is My Shepherd; Human Rights & Justice (Roots & Culture) 2000
Hortense Ellis – Jah Mysterious Works; Women in Reggae (Shanachie) ’75 extended
Set 5: Vinyl Is Vital
Leroy Smart – Jah Jah Forgive Them; Live Up Roots Children (Striker Lee) ’85 UK
Clint Eastwood – Whip Them Jah Jah; Step It in a Zion (Third World) ’78 UK
Michigan & Smily – Jah Ruled Over I; Step By Step (Hitbound) ’82 Brooklyn
Jah Malla – Jah Love; Jah Malla (Modern) ’81 US – children of Reggae players in JA
<Jah Malla: songs of Reggae players: Val Douglas, Roland Alphanso, Ernest Ranglin, Sylvan Morris; 30 sec.>
Zema – Selassie; Zema (Melchizedek) ’86 So Cal female singer
Set 6: Wailers Family Tree
Peter Tosh – Iziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised); Legalize It (Columbia) ’76
Bunny Wailer – Rasta Dread (Natty Dread); Hall of Fame (RAS) ’95 50 tunes for Bob’s 50th Birthday
Rita Marley – Good Morning Jah; Who Feels It Knows It (Shanachie) ’80
<Rita encounters Haile Selassie; 81 sec.>
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Conquering Lion; One Love Peace Concert: Kingston, JA 4/22/78
Dub Specialist – Fire Coal Version; Version Dread (Studio One/Heartbeat) ’75 17 Dub Shots From Studio One
Cymande – Rastafarian Folk Song; Cymande (Sequel) ’74 UK – World’s first hippie
Aisha – One God, One Aim, One Destiny; True Roots (Ariwa) ’95
Winston Jarrett – Selassie Is the Chapel; By the Rivers of Babylo (Shanachie) ’95 comp: cover of the Orioles Crying in the Chapel
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Selassie Is the Chapel; Rebel Box Set (JAD) ’66
Alpha & Omega – Who Is the Ruler; Watch and Pray (A & O) ’89 UK vinyl trance dub
Doctor Alimantado – Chant to Jah; Born For a Purpose (Greensleeves) ’75
Johnny Osbourne – Jah Promise; Truths & Rights (Studio One/Heartbeat) ’80
Misty in Roots – How Long Jah; Live at the Euro Countervision (Kaz) ’79
Bim Sherman – Lamb of Judah; Bim Sherman Meets U Black and Horace Andy in a Rub a Dub Style (Original) ’79
Wailing Souls – Jah Gives Us Life; Very Best of (Greensleeves) ’78
<Jah Jah clean out the bad weeds. Separate them from the good. 20 sec.>
I always assume Summer is over when I have to switch from AC to the furnace. Alas, that happened this week.
Time to celebrate that with some Harvest Time roots ‘n’ dubbers. Fall also means an anniversary for I ‘n’ I. October 1989 I co-hosted Smile Jamaica with my bredrin Rutabaga Reese. He moved on Summer of ’90 and I have been juggling wax every Saturday, (not cratedigging of course), since.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives Jah-tember 23, 2017: Annotated Playlist: 34 sec.
Jah Lloyd – Reggae Feeling; Black Moses (Virgin Front Line) ’79 UK vinyl dj to Mike Brooks Feeling of Reggae
Scientist – Surveilance (sic); Encounters Pac Man (Greensleeves) ’82 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Don Carlos & Gold – Harvest Time; Raving Tonight (RAS) ‘83
Lions Den – Zion Dub; Foundation in Roots vol. 1 (Roots) ’95 UK dubbers
Steel Pulse – Sound System; Reggae Sunsplash ’81 – Tribute to Bob Marley (Elektra) ’81 Jarrett Park; Montego, Bay JA
Loi – One Draw; 12” (Abraham) female cover of Rita Marley’s 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
The Melodians – Irie Feeling; Irie Feeling (RAS) ’83 herbtune
<Adventures in Cratedigging – The Melodians big seller; 22 sec.>
Peter Tosh – Not Gonna Give It Up; Honorary Citizen (Columbia/Legacy) ’82 Boulder, Collie-rado
Hooverphonic – This Strange Effect/ Abductions and Reconstructions (ESL) ’99 DC rmx w/ female vox
Mighty Diamonds – Fools Rush In; Stand Up to Your Judgement (Channel One) ‘78
Devon Irons & Dr. Alimantado – Vampire; 12” (Black Art) ’76 Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 27 Years
Black Uhuru – Mondays; Chill Out (Mango) ’82
<Mondays: Theme to my first show: 3 O’Clock Roadblock; 13 sec.>
Black Roots – Mighty Lion; All Day All Night (Nubian) ’87 UK
Burning Spear – People of the World; People of the World (Blue Moon) ‘86
Love Joys – Long Lost Lover; Lovers Rock Showcase (Wackies) ’83 female duo on Black Cinderella riddim
Augustus Pablo – Chant to Selassie I; East of the River Nile (Shsnachie) ’78 Dub Album of the Hour
Judy Mowatt – Joseph; Black Woman (Shanachie) ’76 Bob Marley = Joseph Biblical Prophet
<Bob as Biblical Prophet Joseph; 28 sec.>
Eric Donaldson – Black Magic Love; Oh What a Feeling (Rhino UK) ‘89
Horace Andy & Jah Mike – Praise Him + Babylon Happening; 12” (Joe Gibbs) ‘81
Set 5: Vinyl Is Vital
Bad Brains – Rally Round Jah Throne; Rock For Light (PVC) ’83 DC punkdub
<HR throat of Bad Brains on Smile Jamaica in the studio; 59 sec.>
<Say it with me: Bad Brains; never THE Bad Brains; 6 sec.>
Bobby Culture w/ Brimstone & Fire – Dreadlocks Man; Tidal Wave (Unicorn) ’83 Santa Monica, CA
Sister Carol – Dedicated to Bob Marley; Black Cinderella (Jah Life) ‘84
Icarus – State of Mind; State of Mind (Russian Roulette) ’82 UK
I Roy – Quarter Pound of Ishens; The General (Virgin Front Line) ’79 UK
<Qtr. pound of herb costs $1.10 and you still can’t pay your rent?! 17 sec.>
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Waiting in Vain; Exodus 40 (Tuff Gong) ’77 original + 2017 Ziggy rmx
<Bob’s ’77 Exodus. Ziggy’s 2017 rmx; 45 sec.>
<Waiting in Vain mix ‘n’ match – ’77 to 2017; 23 sec.>
Bunny Wailer – Love Fire; In I Father’s House (Solomonic) ’80 JA vinyl: riddim shower (1): original
Simply Red – Love Fire; 12” (Elektra) (2): Lee Perry/Adrian Sherwood rmx
<Bunny Wailer & Simply Red Meet Lee “Scratch” Perry & Adrian Sherwood of ON U Sound; 38 sec>
Earl Moodie – Untouchable Dub; Moodie in Dub vol. 2 (Moodie Music) ’74 Dub Album of the Hour
Fabiane – Prophecy; 12 the Hard Way (Tribesman) ’77 original female vox
Aisha – Prophecy; High Priestess (Ariwa) ’88 cover