It was July 2, 1988. Late Sunday Night/early Monday Morning. I jumped in my car and drove from my apartment by the University of Utah campus downtown to community radio station KRCL 90.9FM.
Unloaded a suitcase full of CDs and a crate full of LPs. At 3 am on a hot summer night, I cued up Black Uhuru’s “What Is Life” from the album that made me a Reggae fanatic – Anthem.
Drop the needle pon the record and that began a 30 year legacy of Reggae Radio.
<Sunday Night/Monday Morning, July 2, 1988; 3-6AM, debut of 3 o’Clock Roadblock on KRCL; 30 sec.>
I had returned that Sunday afternoon from a massive cratedig in the Bay Area. Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Berkely, Mill Valley, El Cerrito, Oakland, Santa Cruz.
I was glad my car didn’t break down. It would be bad juju to be late for my debut radio show. Not to mention how would I keep two crates full of vinyl from melting on the side of the road somewhere.
Ronald. Wilson. Reggae. 666 as the Rastas might say. Not I ‘n’ I. I didn’t see eye to eye with Ronnie politically, but I am forever grateful to him as the benefactor of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives, even if it was a misuse of funds.
The 80’s were a time you could get more student grants than student loans. Tuition was a fraction of what it is today. That left me about $2k left over to front load music for a Radio show. LPs and these recent creations called CDs. I was format agnostic. Good Reggae for the masses.
And I have Ronald Wilson Reagan to thank!
<Ronald Wilson Reagan – benefactor of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives; 2 min.>
So from July 2, 1988 to July 14, 2018 – 3 o’Clock Roadblock (July 1988-August 1989) to Smile Jamaica (Oct. ’89), let’s celebrate with the Sequel to my 30th Anniversary showcase (cd versions) from 2 weeks ago.
To my beloved mother, Jeannette and my sister, Stacey. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s, Mom’s, Mommies & Mamas.
Harvested tracks out of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive celebrating motherhood.
By tradition, I will always begin each show with this beautiful country ballad about a youth who does chores, babysits and gets good grades. Youthman tallies up his bill and presents it to mom for reimbursement.
Mom, takes a look and this is what she says:
No Charge by Tammy Wynette, Reggae version by Sonya Spence
Now our little boy came up to his mom In the kitchen this evenin’ while she was fixin’ supper And he handed her a piece of paper he’d been writin’ on And after wipin’ her hands on her apronn
She read it, and this is what it said. For mowin’ the lawn, five dollars For makin’ my own bed this week, one dollar And for goin’ to the store, fifty cents An’ playin’ with little brother while you went shoppin’, twenty-five cents. Takin’ out the trash, one dollar Gettin’ a good report card, five dollars And for rakin’ the yard, two dollars Total owed, fourteen seventy-five. Well, as mom looked at him standin’ there expectantly And I could see the mem’ries flashing through her mind And so she picked up the pen, and turnin’ the paper over This is what she wrote. For the nine months I carried you growin’ inside me, no charge For the nights I’ve sat up with you Doctored you, and prayed for you, no charge For the time and the tears That you’ve cost through the years, there’s no charge And when you add it all up The full cost of my love is no charge. For the nights filled with dread And all the worries ahead, no charge For advice and the knowledge And the cost of your college, no charge For the toys, food and clothes and even for wipin’ your nose There’s no charge, son And when you add it all up The full cost of my love is, no charge. Well, when he finished readin’ He had great big old tears in his eyes And he looked up at her standing there and said Mama, I sure do love you Then he took the pen, And in great big letters He wrote paid in full. Lord knows when you add it all up The cost of real love is, no charge…
Smile Jamaica Annotated Playlist: May 12, 2018 – 3 Hours Mother’s Day; 38 sec.
Paul Simon – Mother and Child Reunion; Paul Simon (Warner Bros.) ’72
<Paul Simon at Dynamic Studios: Kingston JA; 23 sec.>
Mother Earth – The Quiet Storm; A Breath of Fresh Air (Ariwa) ’84 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Sonya Spence – No Charge; In the Dark (Skynote) ’78 Tammy Wynette mother’s day
Mighty Diamonds – Hey Mommy; Speak the Truth (RAS) ’94
Burning Spear – Mother; Man in the Hills (mango) ’76 US vinyl
Daweh Congo – Mother Arose; Human Rights & Justice (Roots & Culture) 2004
Desmond Dekker – Honor Your Father & Mother; Israelites: Best of (Trojan) ’63
Jimmy Cliff – Dear Mother; Follow My Mind (MCA) ’75
Peter Roots – Poor Mama; 7″ (Belleville International) 2002 Fr.
Black Roots – Childless Mother; All Day, All Night (Nubian) ’87 UK
Papa Levi – Baby Mother; 12″ (Jah Records)) ’86 UK picture sleeve
Nicky Thomas – Mama’s Song; Love of the Common People (Trojan) ’70
Heptones – Mama Say; Night Food (Mango) ’76 US vinyl
Jah Messengers – Mama Mama; Reggae Time (Heartbeat) ’93
Lloyd Charmers & the Hippy Boys – Mama Look Deh; Psychedelic Reggae (Trybute) ’69
Reggay Boys – Mama Look Deh; 7″ (Amalgamated) ’68
Chosen Brothers – Mother I Love You; 12″ (City Line) ’77 Bronx
Ja Man All Stars – Dub Zone; In the Dub Zone (Blood and Fire) ’77 Dub Album of the Hour
Set 4: Jamaican Jukebox 7″ 45’s
Benjamin Zephaniah – I Love Me Mudder; Dub Ranting 7″ EP (Radical Wallpaper) ’82 UK picture sleeve: 7″ Jamaican Jukebox set
Barry Brown – Thank You Mama; 7″ (Observer) ’83
Dennis Brown – Song My Mother Used to Sing; 7″ (Aquarius)
Doctor Alimantado – Mama (I Thank You); 7″ (Vital Food) ’77
Chantells – Baby Mother; 7″ (Communicating) ’74
Set 5: Vinyl is Vital
Peter Tosh – Mama Africa; Mama Africa (EMI America) ’83 US
Yellowman – Honor Your Mother; Jack Sprat (Hit) ’82 JA
Simple Simon – Obey Your Mother and Father; Reggae Move (Vista Sounds) ’83 UK
Little John – I Love My Mommy; Give the Youth a Try (Live & Learn) ’83 DC
The Meditations – Mother Love; No More Friend (Greensleeves) ’83 UK
Cedella Marley Booker – Mother Don’t Cry; Awake Zion (Rykodisc) ’84 on Bob’s deathbead: 5/11/81
<Bob going to a better place, “Mother don’t cry”>
Jimmy Riley – Black Mother Prays; 20 Classic Hits (Sonic) ’83
Mighty Maytones – Father and Mother; Madness (Burning Sounds) ’76 UK
Horace Andy – Mother and Child Reunion; Mr. Bassie (Heartbeat/Studio One) Paul Simon
Jah Shaka Meets Aswad – Addis Ababa; In Addis Ababa Studio (Jah Shaka) ’84 Dub Album of the Hour
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals – Mama’s Trippin’; Voodoo Child (bootleg) Bonn, Germany Apr. 1998
Judy Mowatt – Hush Baby Mother; Working Wonders (Shanachie) ’86
Hugh Griffiths – Mother Africa; Mother Africa (My-o-lanta) ’86 UK vinyl
Anthony Johnson – Mother, Mother; Reggae Feelings (Vista Sounds) ’83 UK vinyl
Had to sneak away for a work conference last weekend during Smile Jamaica.Because I like to have fresh roots every Friday, enjoy this Digital Dubplate of Roots Reggae from disks waiting to be rinsed out in my office.
A whole heap of memories in these 3 hours. Spinning roots for almost 30 years!
All killer, no filler!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Digital Dubplate (Feb. 2018)
Dennis Brown – Together + Brothers (dub); Junior Delgado – Brothers (DEB Music)
Doctor Alimantado – Return of Muhammad Ali; Born For a Purpose (Greensleeves) ’74 boxing
Clint Eastwood & General Saint – Stop That Train; Stop That Train (Greensleeves) ’83 UK dj duo
Candy McKenzie – Breakfast in Bed; Lee “Scratch” Perry Presents (Upsetter) ’77 Dusty Springfield cover
Aswad – I a Rebel Soul; Aswad (Mango) ’76 UK
Dillinger – Check Sister Jane; Top Ranking (Rhino) ’84 dj to Johnny Clarke’s Bob tune – Waiting in Vain
30 – 60 min.
Benjamin Zephaniah & the Wailers – Stop de War; Rasta (Workers Playtime) ’83 UK dub poet
15 16 17 – Girls Imagination; Magic Touch (DEB Music) ’78 two sisters & a cousin cover Smokey Robinson – Just My Imagination
2017 was a topsy turvy year for the Smile Jamaica Ark-ives. Massive home remodel was supposed to start Nov. 2016. Alas, weather, Questar natural gas company and Salt Lake City zoning couldn’t agree on when to move my gas line. WHICH WAS UNDER MY HOUSE!
Stones Throw’ record label brags about “my vinyl weighs a ton!”Mine actually did. I had so many records packed into my Record Room that it sunk the floor below the baseboards.
So the depressing and frustrating delays didn’t even start until March 2017. Seven months of building out an actual physical archive. No more storing boxes of CDs in the bathroom, bedroom, garage and hallway!
Like any home remodel it was a daily grind of aggravation and interruption to my routine. (If you see me ask me about the bong and the Koran story.)
But once it was done, $25k in over-runs regardless, it has been awesome! New roof, new garage, new AC/furnace/gasline, siding.
I’m no longer that house on the block that looks like a shack with strange smells and jungle drums booming to the street!
From my usual cratedig excusion during Thanksgiving Week to Las Vegas 2016 through Fall 2017, I had done a moratorium on cratedigging. Didn’t see the point in just stacking up new titles til my Archive was finished.
During any major remodel, you can’t really leave the city in case the workmen need a decision. My house was built in 1901. A half ass renovation conducted in the early 90’s and I bought it in 1995.
So there were a lot of problems that needed construction troubleshooting.
Once I paid my final tab to my contractor: $5,059. Ouch! I was stoked to make up for lost time and hit Vegas with a vengeance.
And as I said on Smile Jamaica last week. Glad to be only a cliche’ and not a criminal in the land of 8 down!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Dec. 2, 2017 Annotated Playlist: 69 sec.
Set 1: 4:20 Set
Cornell Campbell – Stalowatt; Stalowatt (Third World) ’76 UK
<Stalowatt = stalwart; 10 sec.>
Scientist – 11 Guava Road Dub; King of Dub (Kingdom) ’81 Dub Album of the Hour
Mungo’s Hi-Fi & Soom T – I Need Weed; 10” EP (Scotch Bonnet) 2013 UK picture sleeve; female weedstepper
I have told this story on air many times. I did political interviews on KRCL between 2003 (Iraq War) and 2012 when a new station GM – hired from Clear Channel radio – told me if I wanted to continue doing Progressive Political interviews I had to do two things
Quit expressing opinions
Must be objective.
I said no thanks and quit. I wasn’t going to dumb down my content like the CIA News Network or Washington Compost: being a stenographer of the news.
I would put a huge amount of time into that one hour, weekly interview. Post “retirement” I was left with a significant gap in free time.
That’s when I discovered a new time suck: Ancient Aliens on the History Channel.
As an Assyrian-American, a huge part of the show is about the Sumerians who wrote about contact from Astronauts (we humans mistook for Sky Gods.)
I binged watched everything to catch up on all that history/cosmology.
So it wasn’t long before I started combing through the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives “probing” (pun intended) for UFO themed Reggae tunes.
Believe it or not, I could fill a 60 CD suitcase and a record bag full of examples on sets I call UFO-ria (euphoria, get it?).
Now every July 2 (Roswell UFO crash anniversary) I do 3 hours of Alien fascination that rules the nation!
just like my traditions of Jah-loween, 4:20 and Bob Marley Tribute shows.
I’ve really gotten into it to the point where someone said, “Do you believe in this for real or is it entertainment?”
I said: I guess I do believe in it. Ancient Astronaut Theory makes the most ‘sensi’. to me.”
Ancient Astronauts, mistaken by humans as Sky Gods, created mankind to mine gold to take back to their planet Nibiru: the 12th Planet or Planet X.
Guess what? They had wrecked their home world through environmental degradation (just like Earth) and needed gold to re-generate their atmosphere on Nibiru.
If you are on my Twitter at SmileJ_KRCL. I post 3 topics:
Reggae and Radio
Alt-Left, anti corporate Democratic Party snark
Now I tell my friends, forced to endure my proselytizing, that I put the “man” in Manichaean and the “fun” in Sumerian Fundamentalism.
So I did a radio show last week with a UFO set. Just finished up Season 10 DVD of Ancient Aliens.
Guess what? My beef with archaeologists is that their calculations on when these massive structures from antiquity were built was thousand of years off.
Listen to my clip about the Great Pyramid of Giza that proves my point: Not 2500 BC, 10500 BC.
It’s not Khufu/Cheops’ tomb. It’s a power station for the Anunnaki’s Spaceships when they left and landed at the Sinai Spaceport.
Praise Anu! Bobbylon
<Giza pyramid and archaeo-imperialism; 1 min. 50>
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-vember 4, 2017 Annotated Playlist; 49 sec.
I Roy – Jah Is the Best; Best of I Roy (GG’s) ’77 JA vinyl
Impact All-Stars – Java; Java Java Dub (Impact!) ’74 UK – Vinyl Dub Album of the Hour