Storm Music MD #90 September 27-28th, 1981 KTIM sunblast coming | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Storm Music MD #90 September 27-28th, 1981 KTIM sunblast coming

This smokin’ show has 1st announcement of Sunblast, 1st Major US Reggae Fest & The Wailers 1st concert abroad since Bob died. Jaharmi singer Tony Moses debuts this Harold Butler gem & toasts 2 tracks live. Gil Scott-Heron storms in:


Time travel to the fall of 1981 for some of reggae’s greatest music ever. Gregory Isaac sings #1 with Roots Radics live at ’81 Sunsplash. Zion Hut in Fairfax gets their All Time Top 5 postcard played. Yow! The sky seemed the limit in those times. Yet The Wailers band’s initial foray playing outside Jamaica without their Skipper, Bob Marley, at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre for the Reggae Sunblast is booked with just Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths, no Rita. Gus Brown, a successful Jamaican living in the Bay Area who had hosted Bob, Peter & Joe Higgs when they first came through the place in 1973, spent the summer of 1981 in JA trying to book the show with my consult helping select an amazing line-up from Bob’s past including Joe Higgs and The Wailing Souls. Hugh Mundell & others also appeared. Gus could write a book about the behind the scenes squabbles in Kingston after Marley left no will, the band got locked out of the Tuff Gong rehearsal space and things went sour. Please! Don’t take away the music:


“From time to time the darkness comes along
to terrorize the weak and challenge the strong.
The storm is coming, it grows on the waves
from Johannesburg to Montego Bay.
What’s that music playin’ on the radio?
What’s that music playin’ everywhere I go?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen
another music that could make me feel
like that music playin’ in my heart.

Justice is coming on the wings of the storm.
We resist in the present for those yet unborn.
Freedom is spreading like the wings of a bird
and the message it carries has got to be heard…”

-Storm music by Gil Scott-Heron


At Sunblast I DJed and did some MCing while Tony Moses (Wright at the time) was the Master of Ceremonies. David Feldman from KALX was instrumental in mounting the show as was Cal Arts. Unbelievably but sadly and typically, $12 advance ticket sales were real slow leading to all sorts of panic and near cancellations. As with most attempts in those times to get lots of people out to see a fantastic reggae concert it fell pretty short of selling out, stifling progress. Even in the conscious San Francisco Bay Area crappy rock shows featuring burned out derivative music had no problem attracting huge crowds and selling out in hours. Reggae fans’ chronic skittishness to buy in advance was devastating to its growth. In late 1981 potentiality ran strong. Listen to Barbara Jones current JA chart topper, Wailing Souls’ amazing “Kingdom Rise…” and Culture’s terrific “Too Long In Slavery” No sleng teng here.




Last week’s Midnight Dread played heavy weights in a phat boom boom stylee. Truly. On the air since 1979 & online since 1996 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.

(flipside of another top flight Harold Butler production “Closer You Are Together”)


These shows will keep coming if interested folks keep helping to underwrite them by picking up exclusive premiums from the MD website store or from the crucial music, film, & art premiums available in the Midnight Dread eBay Store. Give thanks mates!

Storm Music is the Number One Hun-dread and Two Upload by Midnight Dread on Mixcloud. Connect & hit Play All to listen for Iver.

Zion Hut’s All Time Top 5 note, played in this show, Black Uhuru’s “Abortion” #5 on back:




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