Read it in the news. Lee Perry’s brand new foot long forty five “Bafflin’ Smoke Signal” is the latest Midnight Dread on KTIM Reggae Rocker of the week 33 years ahead this twilight when all-time radio ‘Kay-Tea-I-Am’ fills the sky with MD reggae waves still rippling. Bob Marley’s UPRISING is one week away so The Sheriff of Trenchtown draws down The Deputy one more time to start the show. Carlos Malcolm giddy-ups “Bonanza Ska” as Duppy’s ghost town sound shows early inklings. Maytones elevate “Madness” to new levels of sanity so Madness must go one step beyond in Spanish. The Maytals celebrate that elating end of work-day feeling, Matumbi & I Roy easy squeeze out a lickle more loving, Sheena Spirit & The Third Eyes boisterously boost JA sounds, while Pulse, Spear, Dennis, Gladiators, Selecter & many others chime in. Just another Sunday night on San Francisco bay area radio when public service programming dominated the dial as Midnight Dread, one of the only musical offerings in that time slot, was actually delivering the service folks needed most. Marley may be the new Sheriff in town but Lee Scratch Perry dons his spectacles & hard-earned Popehat while brandishing his holy staff rodly correcting the powers-that-be right in front of a Swiss Bank as he declares The Vatican City of Inequity bankrupt & Reggae the New World Order:
This is the first time this has been available since the day of its broadcast in 1975 on last free-form commercial station KTIM airing from San Rafael, just north of San Francisco where a legendary debut west coast Big Youth concert had just happened days before with so much behind the scenes chicanery it hit the daily papers. It’s worth exploring deeper at a later time. In short the California Hall evening turned morning was well attended yet sabotaged in effect when a rival producer/promoter supposedly lured Youth away upon arrival at SFO airport & proceeded to ‘drive him to the show the quickest way’ by taking the route south away from the City, along the south bay, then up the other side through Oakland then near Napa or somewhere, and finally south again for half an hour into the City, or at least according to some reports that were foggily plied from the get go. Back on stage Big was surely as surely is, “soon come”.
So Youth got to see the Golden Gate Bridge ‘on the way’ from the San Francisco airport & soon hit classic California Hall, the Polk Street venue up the block from the Federal Building. Alas many at the “Big Youth Concert” started bailing out asking for refunds as M.C. & Disc Jockey Tony Moses & The Soul Syndicate valiantly tried & vamped to keep the restless crowd placated for hours. Eventually the naw-give-uppers whooped in joy as Youth stormed the stage, and he was beyond fantastic, at his height in his prime, as you can hear expressed radio wise in this 28 minute interview/dub section from The Reggae Explosion program, big & broad from yard, live from 3:30pm-4pm on a Saturday afternoon, where Manley Buchanan double-tracks along with some serious selections, and speaks with passion, reverence, vision, a bit about ‘the concert controversy’, U Roy, & and well “you know the thing is” as Big Youth say “people just work their soul away day after day.” Another very late night & “right on” afternoon story in reggaeology:
From 1974-1977 “The Reggae Explosion”, a groundbreaking USA commercial radio reggae program aired on KTIM AM/FM in San Rafael, California. It was hosted by KTIM DJ Cody Ryan & Doug Wendt. Pioneering USA reggae radio DJ Tony (Moses) Wright, then from KPOO, KDIA, & KPFA often joined them. When ‘Dread Eye’ Cody became Program Director at KTIM in 1979 he offered Doug his own two hour reggae intensified presentation which first aired Sundays live at 12am. So that’s why Cody named it “Midnight Dread“
It’s Sunday Midnight & time to become dreader than dread with a crucial overview of The Dub Organizer Horace Swaby aka Augustus Pablo. Joining Doug Wendt this week is Lance Linares, Pablo devotee & reggae radio pioneer who hosted his Friday night very popular prime time “Roots Rock Reggae” Pataphysical Broadcasting program on KUSP in Santa Cruz, California from the 1970s to the 2000s, the earliest longest continually running regular reggae radio show heard anywhere in the United States. Linares pulls gem after gem from his extensive Augustus vinyl collection to flood the airwaves with pulsing Prince of Dub masterworks while passing along vital background info on one of the deepest Sound Generals ever to come from Jamaica. Listen to the mystic & be transfixed via music unto Jah Jah. Burning Spear & Mikey Dread debut new material while Hugh Mundell, Tetrack & Israel Vibration join the Pablo posse just beyond this side of east of the river Nile where melodica & other keyboard devices open the doors of perception. X-Ray Music never sounded so good, so massive, and so wonderful. All aboard this version excursion!
This detail just in straight from Lance’s head: “I started in 1974 on KUSP but first iteration was Satta High which morphed into Roots Rock Reggae at some point in ’76 or ’77. Last show was Aug 29, 2008 I think. So 34 years or so….” Quite a run. Well you can’t run away from yourself seen. Would be nice to see Lance back on the beam soon, the master of the non-style style announcement school. In those early days of KUSP the Santa Crucial boss public radio station was right on the beach so the live sound of the surf could be heard whenever one opened the mic. His bitchin’ vintage tapes, reggae library, & comprehensive Augustus Pablo archive must be heard. Word.
The first DAT compendium from the Doug Wendt archive to be posted anywhere arrives exclusively through Midnight Raver. Curated, mastered, and sequenced onto Digital Audio Tape in the mid-1990s from original long playing & fairly clean album vinyl sources. Rise and meet Jah. So Jah Jah say. I and I know. The DJs say Amen. Walk with Jah Love. Love Jah with all my heart. Jah me right. Live-icated to Jah.
Included here is a very rare and interesting recording, as it contains demo versions of several popular tracks from the Natty Dread album. The quality of the audio is nearly flawless. You won’t be hearing this anywhere else.
1. Rebel Music #1 (6,45) 2. Rebel Music #2 (7,47) 3. So Jah Seh Dub (4,30) 4. Bend Down Low Dub (6,39) 5. Talking Blues Instrumental (4,05) 6. Revolution #1 (4,35) 7. Revolution #2 (4,43) 8. Revolution #3 (4,15)