My friend and legendary Bay area reggae DJ Doug Wendt, AKA “Midnight Dread” will be sharing several select items from his vast reggae archives with the Midnight Raver blog. Obviously, I am very excited about this because Wendt is a giant in the history of reggae in America. I would recommend that everyone visit his website at www.midnightdread.com.
Shared here is his historic 1984 interview with Puma Jones of Black Uhuru. This rare interview with Jones runs for about 42 minutes. This classic radio show sampler was mastered onto CD and is just one of the latest Midnight Dread Radio Archive treasures now available in his ‘one-of-a-kind’ ONLINE STORE.
MIDNIGHT DREAD began as a reggae radio show with its first regular airing September 30th, 1979 on KTIM FM in San Rafael, California. It began broadcasting weekly on March 17th, 1980, just after Mikey Dread’s legendary appearance on Midnight Dread that gave birth to many of the program’s distinctive stingers. It ran continuously from 1979 to 1985 on KTIM and KQAK. It then continued on KUSF, KFOG & KPFA in the San Francisco area until the mid-90s. Midnight Dread returned to the Bay area airwaves with all new programs every day of the year at midnight (Pacific time) May 1, 2012 on WorldOne Radio (KECG) globally streaming via http://www.worldoneradio.org while broadcasting at 88.1 FM El Cerrito and 97.7 FM San Pablo, CA.
Jones certainly has an amazing story. Sandra “Puma” Jones graduated from Columbia University with a Masters Degree, prior becoming a social worker in New York City. She studied dance with the Chuck Davis troupe where she took particular interest in African dance.
In the mid-70s Puma decides to move to Jamaica in search of a definitive change in her life. While in Jamaica she sings with Mama Africa and Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus. In 1977 she learns that roots riddim collective Black Uhuru is seeking a replacement for the newly-departed Errol Nelson to help in the recording of the Showcase album. The rest is history. Puma Jones is one of the greatest and most beloved female vocalists in reggae music. Unfortunately, she becomes ill in the late-80s and is forced to step down while Uhuru are going international. She dies of cancer at the young age of 36 in 1990.
Puma Jones conducted very few interviews. What Midnight Dread has shared with us here is pure niceness…a treasure that you come across rarely in life.
Puma Jones in her own words…
Big up Midnight Dread for this amazing and insightful interview. You have preserved a crucial part of reggae history for all of us.
Please visit Midnight Dread’s website at www.midnightdread.com.
Also visit his ONLINE STORE to view rare archives for sale.