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The Beat Goes (Back) On!

We are very pleased and proud to announce a new feature at Afropop.org : reprints of selected articles from the late, lamented ma...

December 18, 2010

Archeological artifacts

Here's a bit of Beat history that was unearthed while I was moving. Somewhere around 1984 or 85, the nascent Reggae Beat newsletter decided to hold a benefit concert for itself to raise funds needed to help it grow and expand. I don't remember if we actually made any profit, and it was such a difficult undertaking that we never attempted it again, but I recall we had a good turnout, and nice performances by some of our local reggae outfits and of course the indispensable Ron Miller Hi Fi. This was at the good old Kingston 12 at its original location on Crenshaw Blvd. I wonder what happened to Barry, the club owner? The clubs, the bands, the sound systems and the Reggae Beat radio show all made the synergy and the energy that created the vibrant reggae scene in Los Angeles in the '80s. Ah yes.....
Here is the flyer, handmade like the Reggae Beat was at that time, and the Minister of Information MCing at the microphone stand. Ras Rojah Steffens is just visible behind her on stage, just as he has always been behind her since! (and I do believe that's Jill Taylor in the corner on the left-- another one of the crucial cornerstones of the newsletter at that time.)

December 13, 2010

Remmy Ongala passes away in Tanzania

 One of my favorites from East Africa. Gary Stewart and I drove all the way to Toronto to interview him and see him perform at WOMAD Harbourfront. He was a real original character, and gave us so much wonderful music. Great songwriter with a voice that came straight from his heart, and played guitar just like Franco. He had been in poor health for some time. Such a pity to lose another cornerstone. Pole sana!