Berkeley Sunblast Wrap MD #94 Pt 1 Oct 25-26 1981 KTIM 1st Major US Reggae Fest pix premiere & radio recreation! | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Berkeley Sunblast Wrap MD #94 Pt 1 Oct 25-26 1981 KTIM 1st Major US Reggae Fest pix premiere & radio recreation!

The day after North America’s 1st reggae festival Midnight Dread celebrates its success by highlighting the show’s amazing line-up: The Wailers with Judy Mowatt & Marcia Griffiths + The Light Of Love, Joe Higgs & Unity, Wailing Souls, Hugh Mundell, & Raskidus Roots Connection. Benjamin Ailes‘ historic photos debut now:

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Wailing Souls' US debut at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, October 24, 1981

Wailing Souls’ US debut at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, October 24, 1981

Those who arrived just after the gates opened about 11am Oct 24 ’81 were treated to The Wailers finishing up their sound check with Fam’s brand new release “Well Pleased” followed by Bob’s “Exodus”, one of the last songs Bob played at the same venue a couple years earlier. About noon Raskidus hit the stage, after greetings, praises, & intro from Tony Wright Moses & DJ music by Midnight Dread, followed by Hugh Mundell, in a rare large venue performance, then Trenchtown Rock Father Joe Higgs captivated the massive with a stunning set followed by top energy 4 part harmony of The Wailing Souls, who nearly stole the show in their North American debut performance, and then finally, The Wailers showcase with the I-Twos and The Light of Love.

Hugh Mundell at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Saturday October 24, 1981

Hugh Mundell at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Oct 24, 1981

The Wailing Souls US debut at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Saturday October 24, 1981

The Wailing Souls US debut at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Oct 24, 1981

Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, The Light of Love backed by The Wailers at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Saturday October 24, 1981

Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, The Light of Love backed by The Wailers at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Oct 24, 1981

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Note how the ticket stub above reads “1st Annual” as that was always The Plan. All the hard work making the first show happen was banked for continuing the tradition but alas local living large promoter Bill Graham soon made an exclusive deal for the venue, in effect blocking any repeat or foot in the door in the market, while a few hundred miles north enterprising growers & music followers saw a unique idea to help rebuild a burned out community center & within 3 years Reggae On The River began, a direct descendent of Reggae Sunblast as many principals from the Berkeley affair lent advice & credence to the new version deeply dread in the Redwoods. Tears flowed, Bob was praised, evoked, and longed for. It was A Wake beyond Zion. A new day. The Berkeley Reggae Sun Blast. The backbeat goes on.

Carlton Barrett of The Wailers at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Saturday October 24, 1981

Carlton Barrett of The Wailers at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, Oct 24, 1981

Thanks to Benjamin Ailes photography

Audience slice at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, October 24, 1981

Audience slice at Reggae Sunblast, UC Berkeley Greek Theater, October 24, 1981

The rest of this crucial radio program kicks in at the Midnight Hour with several choice selections including ticket giveaways for Toots & The Maytals upcoming Halloween night show on Market Street in San Francisco with Raskidus Roots Connection (Den Greeney provided the picture here of the ticket he won on this very MD show) along with 2 great Toots tracks. Then it’s Sly & Robbie’s totally wicked foot long remix of Black Uhuru’s “Sponji Reggae” which almost causes an earthquake until The Jaytees get everyone settled with “the very very best inna the west” at “Bucktown Corner”, near San Rafael, where reggae radio dwell.

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Last week Midnight Dread previewed the amazing Berkeley Reggae Sunblast with music galore. On air since ’79 & online since ’96 dreader 21st Century Midnight Dread programs air daily at 12am including replays often heard in his Best of All Worlds high noon slot and where one can also become conscious at 6am with the indigenous sounds of Native Son Rising, all curated by Doug everyday, all times Pacific. Many more Midnight Dread sights & sounds here and on this blog’s Midnight Dread page.

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Time travelin’ programs keep coming when appreciators pick up exclusive premiums from the MD website store or from the great music, film, & art premiums available in the Midnight Dread eBay Store to insure there’s time for making more. Give thanks to all.

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Sunblast Wrap Up is the Number One Hun-dread and Sixth Upload by Midnight Dread on Mixcloud. Connect & hit Play All to listen for Iver.

Thanks to Xochitl Selena Martinez whose experience seeing Bob Marley & The Wailers legendary concert at the UC Berkeley Greek Theater, July 21, 1978 inspired this graphic recreation:

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