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.
Winter in our rear view. Time to plant your garden! First pleasant Saturday in March I will lead off a Smile Jamaica with Monty Montgomery and his song Seeds. 13 sec.
For I ‘n’ I, Winter has been a harvest. I have spent my weekends in my Ark-ive sorting out several thousand 7″ 45’s . Pulling titles out for my theme sets: herb, Halloween, Roots Dawtas, Wailers Family Tree, Reggae covers, etc.
I collected baseball cards as a kid. Flipping 45’s took my back to my youth. I am up to letter O for Johnny Osbourne
I give you a serving of 7″‘s in this Ark-Ive edition: Reggae covers of Soul & Rock; 27 sec.
I also feature the second addition to the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives of tens of thousands of pieces: vinyl – LPs, 7″, 10″, 12″; cassettes and CDs.
Peter Tosh – Wanted Dread & Alive (Christmas ’81) – thanks Mom!
Musical Youth – Youths of Today (Spring ’83).
As a youth growing up in North Central Montana. I had to drive from my hometown, Fort Benton (1500 people) to Great Falls. 40 miles away.
I would shop at the local record hut (Eli’s or Budget Tapes & Records). Usually I would buy a piece or two of vinyl: Led Zeppelin, Ramones, Police, Rolling Stones. But I usually also bought a cassette for the hour drive home.
That was how I acquired the smash novelty hit of 1983. A group of ex-pat Jamaican kids living in the UK who turned the Mighty Diamonds herb tune, Pass the Kutchie into a song about going hungry: Pass the Dutchie.
<Musical Youth, #2 in the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives. Before I knew about Smile Jamaica; 84 sec.>
Among all the synth rock and New Wave of the early 80’s, a cute Reggae toasting jam ruled the airwaves.
Alas, in Great Falls now if you want to buy a CD or record your only hope is Wal-Mart or Target.
Ahh, the forlorn memories of a cratedigger who’s world of record shopping is fading away.
Forward ever, backwards never
Smile Jamaica Annotated Playlist: March 24, 2018; 82 sec.
Monty Montgomery – Seeds; Seeds (Fusion) Atlanta vinyl
Dub Specialist – Luanda Dub; African Rub a Dub (Studio One) ’80 JA vinyl dub album of the hour
Freedom Singers – Train Is Coming; Denzil Dennis – Me Nah Worry (Trojan)
Junior Byles – Fever; Curly Locks (Heartbeat) ’72 cover of Little Willie John/Peggy Lee
Lorna Asher – Leave Them; Straight to Your Heart (Twinkle) ’99
Black Uhuru – Satan Army Band; Love Crisis (Greensleeves) ’77
Barrington Levy – Under Me Sensi (Ganjaman Mix); 10″ (MCA) ’93 green vinyl 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Happy New Year! 2018. Just got off the road. Two weeks with my family. First week in Albuquerque at my Sister’s place. Cratedigging in 50+ degree weather.
Caught up on some Reggae Revives and picked up reissues from favorite soul/funk labels Now and Then, VamiSoul and Soul Jazz.
Best score were two 60 CD Suitcases. That fetch $80+ on Amazon (when even listed.) Bought mine for $10 each
Then drove with my parents due West to Phoenix at their new retirement pad. Beautiful drive from Flagstaff south. 75 degrees all week.
My Dad has neuropathy and is still in pain from recent carpal tunnel surgery. While picking up our dog from the Doggy Hotel and that was right next to the Sun Valley Certification Clinic.
Set up an appointment to fill out a six page questionnaire of his pain history. Wait 2 weeks for his card, so I couldn’t go with him “shopping” for Seven Leaf products. Next year I’m taking my vape pen.
Got in some more cratedigging. Didn’t find much vinyl but picked up some delights at Zia Records.
Watched Green Bay sleep walk through a Detroit Lions loss. New Year’s Eve for my Mom’s 75th birthday and flew out at the butt crack of down on New Year’s Day to get back to Utah. Took my first Uber. Cheaper and quicker than a cab ride.
First priority: New roots for Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive listeners. 3 hours of my favorites Roots Reggae delights. Let us enjoy Nuff Roots as our collective New Year’s Resolution
Smile Jamaica Digital Dubplate – Roots Reggae New Year 2018 Tracklist
African Head Charge – Gospel Train; Songs of Praise (ON U Sound) ‘90
Yabby You – Judgment Time; One Love, One Heart; (Shanachie) ‘77
Althea & Donna – Make a Truce; Uptown Top Ranking (Virgin Front Line) ‘78
UB40 – Earth Dies Screaming; More UB40 Music (DEP) ‘80
Aswad – Back to Africa; BBC Sessions (Strange Fruit) UK live in the studio
Pioneers – Pusher Man; Give and Take – Best of (Trojan) ‘78
Akabu – Africans United; Warrior Queen (ON U Sound) ’95 UK female group
Jolly Brothers – Dread Dreader; Conscious Man (Seven Leaves) ’77 Lee Perry/Black Ark prod’n
Barrington Levy – Jah a Creator; Time Capsule (RAS) ‘83
The Congos – At the Feast; Heart of the Congos (Blood & Fire) ’77 Lee Perry/Black Ark prod’n