<Autobiography of Reggae & 33 Years of Smile Jamaica; 1 min. 56 sec.>
I ‘n’ I parents are Snowbirds. Winter and Spring in Arizona. Summer and Fall in Fort Benton, Montana. North Central Montana. Along the Highline.
Since they are retired, and Fort Benton has more cows than people, they don’t have a lot to do.
Fort Benton is the birthplace of Montana. Founded in 1846, it is the longest inhabited township in the state. Before the railroads it was the farthest spot where steamboats could haul freight on the Missouri River. About 1200 people live there.
As you might expect, Fort Benton has several good museums and statues. Moms worked as a guide for visitors coming out of their Covid spiderholes after two years of lockdown: Canada, Czech Republic, Japan. France, she told stories to them all.
One day a guy in his mid 50’s approached and introduced himself. Larry C was a classmate of mine. (1983, 36 students.) He was a skinny kid with blond hair who kept to himself. Didn’t really interact much and hadn’t thought of him in about 40 years.
Then he said something incredible: “Does Bob do a radio show in Salt Lake City?” My Mom nearly fell out of her chair. Yes! Larry does some sort of work that takes him to Utah and by some higher serendipity, found I ‘n’ I doing Smile Jamaica.
Mom and I figured it was because I ‘n’ I do mention, quite often, about being from the land of “where the men are men and the sheep are nervous.”*
*Please don’t cancel me!
Fort Benton MT – site of the original 70’s cattle mutilations. Second biggest wheat producing county in America. #3 target when Putin launches his nukes. (Home of America’s Minutemen missiles). Home of the original Shep dog story.
I tell this story about the legacy of 33 years of hosting Smile Jamaica, one of the longest running – if not THE longest running Reggae Show in America. A deejay in Florida had 30 plus years before he passed away. The killer Reggae show on KGNU – Boulder, Collierado, Reggae Bloodlines might be longer, but they have had multiple hosts.
Celebrating not a Milestone but a Smilestone! (14 sec.)
I was in The Pie Pizzeria by the U of U campus. They were playing KRCL. My roommate and I heard an ad for new volunteers on the community station that rules the nation! I ‘n’ I was trained and debuted end of June 1988: late Sunday/early Monday graveyard – 3 O’clock Roadblock. (Like Smile Jamaica a Bob Marley jam). Learned the ropes. Entertained the select few night owls, cab drivers, cat burglars, insomniacs and graveyard workers.
Oct. 89, my Reggae mentor, John “Rutabaga” Reese invited me to co-host Smile Jamaica. Then, Sat. 1-4pm. Of course! Rutabaga left Summer of ’90 and I guess I’ll just stay until I ‘n’ I joins Jah’s Heavenly Choir.
<How it all started: Smile Jamaica ’89; 77sec.>
So I’n’ I thought to celebrate 33 Years with the best recollection of albums and CDs I would have acquired those early years (1986 Black Uhuru Anthem LP to about ’90 prime time). I always knew on the vinyl which are the first, because I would write “Nelson” on round Avery labels and attach to the corner of the LP.
I quickly learned not to do that, because the adhesive on the stickers can leave a round stain on the vinyl, diminishing its value!
<Labeling records; 61 sec.>
Conclusion: Something like Smile Jamaica: Same time, same host for a third of a century? In this chaotic era of failing newspapers, $44 billion for Twitter, podcasts and streaming. It is pretty impressive to be something stable from the Dinosaur Media/Legacy Media era.
I always joke, me and The Simpsons, the only things that don’t change. Sunday Night FOX. Saturday Afternoons – Smile Jamaica
Smile Jamaica Ark-ives: Jah-tober 8, 2022 – 33 Years of Reggae Vinyl
- Black Uhuru – What Is Life; Anthem (Island) ’84 US/UK
- UB40 – Present Arms in Dub; Present Arms in Dub (DEP) ’81 UK dub album of the hour
- The Abyssinians – Forward on to Zion; Forward (Alligator) ‘82 Chicago blues label
- Judy Mowatt – Just a Stranger Here; Mellow Mood (Ashandan) ’75 JA
- Big Youth – Get On Up; Rock Holy (Nichola Delita) ’80 JA
- Jah Lion – Colombia Colly; Colombia Colly (Mango) ’76 UK/US 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
- Bingy Bunny – Coca-Cola Bad Boy; 12” (12 Star) ’80 JA
- Johnny Nash – Stir It Up; I Can See Clearly Now (CBS) ’72 US Bob Marley cover
- Culture – Iron Sharpen Iron; Africa Stand Alone (April) ’78 JA
- Dennis Brown – Spellbound; Spellbound (Joe Gibbs) ’80 FL
- Bam Bam – Stop the War; EP ’85 LA – Roots Dawta pic sleeve
- Third World – Now That We’ve Found Love; 12” (Island) ’85 UK pic sleeve
- Dambala – I Nation Time; Azania (Dada Music) ’83 UK
- Lee “Scratch” Perry – Roast Fish, Collie Weed & Cornbread; Roast Fish Collie Weed & Cornbread (Upsetter) ’78 JA
- Babatunde Tony Ellis – No Place to Run Sweden; No Place to Run (MNW) ’79 Sweden
- Sheila Hylton – Breakfast in Bed; 12” (Ballistic) ’79 UK Dusty Springfield cover
- Dr. Alimantado – In the Mix; In the Mix (Keyman) ’85 dub album of the hour
- Kwame – Hellhounds on My Trail; Follow I (Polydor) ’80 US
- Louise Bennett – Color Bar; Woman Talk (Heartbeat) ’86 Cambridge, MA; female dub poet collection
- Misty in Roots; Wandering Wanderer; 12” (People Unite) ’81 UK
- Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie; 12” EP (MCA) ’82 UK
<#2 after Peter Tosh, cassette – Spring 1983; 21 sec.>
- The Upsetters feat. The Heptones – Zions Blood; Super Ape (Mango) ’76 US/UK Lee “Scratch” Perry/Black Ark prod’n
- Hortense Ellis – Sweetheart; Dance. Hall Session (Studio One/RAS) ’87 DC
- Mighty Diamonds – Pass the Knowledge; 12” (Music Works) ’82 JA
Set 6: Wailers Family Tree
- Bob Marley & the Wailers – Buffalo Soldiers; Legend (Island) ’83 US/UK – E.T. Thorngren rmx: Wailers Family Tree
- Peter Tosh – No Sympathy; This Is Reggae Music vol. 3 (Island) ’72 comp. original mix
- Marcia Griffiths – Tell Me Now; Marcia At Studio One (Studio One) ’80 JA
- Bunny Wailer – Serious Thing; 12” (Solomonic) ’86 JA
- Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers – 666; Hey World! (EMI America) ’86 US
- Papa Kojie & Blue Riddim – Nancy Reagan Re-Election Remix; 12” EP (ORA International) ’85 UK pic sleeve
- John Holt – Police in Helicopter; Police in. Helicopter (Greensleeves) ’82 UK herbtune
- Sharon Black – Love Is Overdue; 12” (Clintones) early 80’s Gregory Isaacs cover
Set 8: Mutant Dub
- Dub Syndicate – The Show Is Coming; Tunes From the Missing Channel (ON U Sound) ’84 UK
- Singers & Players feat. Sister P – Holy Scripture; Vacuum Pumping (ON U Sound) ’81 UK
- The Clash feat. Mikey Dread – Crooked Beat; Sandinista! (Epic) ’80 UK
- Keith Levene – If 6 Was a 9; Keith Levene’s Violent Oppostion EP (Taang!) ’88 UK Jimi Hendrix cover
- Bim Sherman – Golden Locks; Across the Red Sea (ON U Sound) ’82 UK
- Benjamin Zephaniah – Big Boys Don’t Make Girls Cry; 12” (Upright) ’84 UK pic sleeve; dub poet
Words of Wisdom: