I was born in a small north central Montana town called Fort Benton. Along the Missouri river, it was the furthest the steamboats could go before you had to pack wagon trains of goods to Oregon and Canada.
Brutally cold in the winter. Gorgeous in the summer, although the mosquitos are the size of kittens. A town of 1500 didn’t have much in the way of shopping, so you had to drive 35 miles to Great Falls.
Movies, clothes shopping, better restaurants. When the drinking age in Montana was 19, we would buy beer where no one knew us. They had a good record store there called Hastings. It was across the street from the mall, so I would always try and swing by there before I left for home.
Usually, I would buy vinyl. But, it was about 45 minutes to drive home, at 55 max MPH speed limit. So I would tend to buy a cassette to listen to for the drive home.
I was getting ready to graduate May of 1983. I remember the album I bought: Ramones – Subterranean Jungle. The cassette was the big novelty hit of ’83. MTV crossover: Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie.
Youth group from UK singing and toasting over a sanitized version of the Mighty Diamonds’ Pass the Kutchie.
Kutchie = cannabis utensil. Can’t have kiddies singing about the Seven Leaf, so they switched up the lyrics to the cooking pot, dutch pot = dutchie.
I bought it for the song, not because it was Reggae. That was #2 Reggae addition to the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive. Over the years, I picked it up on LP and various 12″ promo singles. Then, cratedigging in Minneapolis a few years ago, I got their 2 albums on 1 CD for $5 in the discount rack. Nice price!
I was cleaning out my garage and came across a shoebox full of cassettes and found it there. (First Reggae album you are wondering? Peter Tosh – Wanted Dread & Alive; Xmas ’81. Thanks Mom!
<Musical Youth – second addition to the Smile Jamaica Ark-ive>
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: June 1, 2019 annotated playlist
Michael Prophet – Jah Jah Is My Master; Yabby You & King Tubby’s All Stars (Yabby You) early 80’s JA vinyl
Augustus Pablo – The Big Rip-Off; Ital Dub (Trojan) ’74 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Cymande – Zion I; Renegades of Funk (Newhouse) ’72 UK soul/rock/reggae
Sugar Minott – Devil Is At Large; Tempo Explosion (Black Victory) ’85
Natural Vibes – Life Hard a Yard; King Jammy a Man and His music Volume 1 (RAS) ’82
Tristan Palma – Sensimilla; Return of the Rub-a-Dub Style (Echodelic) 2011 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Lucy Clark – Just One Look; 12″ (Bullet) US Doris Troy cover
Sister Carol – Natty Live Up; Lyrically Potent (Heartbeat) ’96
Nerious Joseph – Guidance; Fashion in Fine Style vol. 1 (Fashion) ’92
The Royals – Pick Up the Pieces: Full Up: Best of Studio One vol. 2 (Heartbeat/Studio One)
Wingless Angels feat. Justin Hinds & Keith Richards – Come Down Wicked Man; Wingless Angels II (Mindless) ’96 nyahbinghi
Junior Delahaye – Working Hard For the Rent Man; 12″ (Wackies) ’83 Bronx
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 29+ Years
Dennis Brown – Westbound Train; Some Like It Hot (Heartbeat) ’75:
Aisha Morrison – Ethiopias; Stay Red (Esoldun) 77? Black Ark prod’n
Freddie McGregor – Rastaman Camp; Bobby Bobylon (Heartbeat/Studio One) ’79
Musical Youth – Rub ‘N Dub; Youth of Today (MCA) ’82 UK youth group
Aswad – Dub Fire; New Chapter of Dub (Mango) ’82 Dub Album of the Hour
Thievery Corporation feat. Puma – Babylon Falling; Temple of I & I (ESL) 2017
It was October 2003. My bredrin Grizzlite and I headed up to Park City to catch one of my favorites from the 90’s: Lucky Dube. Terrific South African roots singer in the era of apartheid.
A huge favorite with the Pacific Islander community, the club was packed. Everyone singing along on a cool fall night in the mountains.
Grizz and I got a beer and angled ourselves and positioned ourselves on the patio with a view of the stage. Everyone bumping along to Lucky’s melodic Peter Tosh-esque vocals.
All of a sudden the packed dance floor scattered and the music screeched to a halt. A youth had been shot. Later I found out it was a gang assassination. Tribal war in the Polynesian community. Assassins were dispatched from California. They knew their target would be out in the open and vulnerable at a must see event: Lucky Dube is on a par with Bob Marley among the Island community.
Before we knew it, the paramedics had wheeled the victim pass Grizz and I on a gurney. One of the EMT’s was straddling his chest doing CPR. Right next to me, a massive Island dready stepped up and punched the dying man in the face, caving in his nose.
<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
About a month ago I was at breakfast with my best friend Nardo-jan. After six cups of coffee I was ready to head back to Mission Control for more work in my new Ark-ive. Saturday routine before Smile Jamaica.
Turned over the car battery on my Soob. Whrr, whrr, whrr. Click, click, click. Finally started but I figured my battery was a goner.
My buddy took me to his mechanic and they jumped the queue to get my battery installed.
I asked the girl working the counter if I could have my car back by 3pm. That is my drop dead time for Sugarhouse to KRCL by the SLC airport. I told her I was on the radio and needed to make sure I had time.
She asked me what station I was on. KRCL I said. I do Smile Jamaica. “Oh, that’s you? We listen in the shop and will have it on latter today.”
There was a youth also waiting to pay for his car. He chimed in. “My Uncle makes me listen to that show.” Not a big fan I take it? “Nah. I like country and classic rock.” He gave me the baleful look of someone who was not impressed.
So, I guess not everyone thinks Smile Jamaica is “all killer, no filler.” Torture!
So I livicated a song to this youth “forced” to listen to Smile Jamaica: Toots Hibbert’s Beautiful Woman. Country & Western.
<Toots country; 95 sec.>
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Annotated Playlist for Jah-gust 26, 2017;90 sec.
Sinead O’Connor – Glory of Jah; Theology (2 CD) (That’s Why There’s Chocolate & Vanilla) – live acoustic at the Sugar Club, DUBlin, Ir(ie)land; Nov. 2006
It was Chinese leader Mao Zedong who said Women Hold Up Half the Sky. I was inspired by what I saw during the International Women’s Day celebrations and remembrances.
As many specialty shows I have done over the Years (Mutant Dub, Jah-loween, 4:20, Marley Tributes), I had never done a full on Women’s Reggae Special
I have been doing radio for almost 30 years. No one has really critiqued or analyzed how i program Smile Jamaica in decades. So I can get into ruts like anyone else.
Reggae music is a largely male, Rasta music form. I don’t play much romantic Reggae, which is where quite a bit of female Reggae fixates.
It was probably around Iraq War 2.0, if I remember correctly, I was slinging Roots and got a phone call from a listener. Woman said to me, “I love Smile Jamaica but you don’t play very much women’s Reggae.”
I took that criticism to heart and ever since I try to juggle at least 1 female tune in my four song sets. And it certainly isn’t tokenism. It’s just methodically harvesting all my Dawtas out of my massive archives of CDs, LPs, 10″ and 12″ and 7″ 45s. Now I can rotate in the best Roots with Quality female artists.
What I call Roots Dawtas or Mutant Dubstresses.
Livicated to all the wives, mothers, dawtas, grandmothers, sisters, nieces, girlfriends and friends.
Annotated Playlist for Smile Jamaica: March 11, 2017 – Roots Dawta Showcase; 1min 10 sec.
Natural Beauty – Nice Up Dancee; Nice Up Dancee (RAS) ’86
Thievery Corporation feat. Racquel Jones – Road Block; Temple of I & I