BRIEF HISTORY OF THE REGGAE LUNCH
I joined the faculty of the University of Vermont in 1982. I loved Burlington and the beauty of Vermont instantly. I had been interested in reggae music since I was a college student [Brown '72] and had been introduced to it through the Jimmy Cliff movie "The Harder They Come" at the urging of my debate coach. Since that time I had searched out and listened to reggae on a regular basis, although the five years I spent in the Midwest had been difficult ones.
One day in 1983 I was leaving my office in Pomeroy Hall wearing a pin that said "Try Jah Love" and I was stopped by Elise Brown, who informed me that she was involved in reggae promotion in the area and that I should get involved with the radio station, located behind my building. I thanked her and did check it out. I met Jay Strausser, host of the long-running show "Trenchtown Rock" and began to sit in and watch him work. I began attending reggae concerts he and Elise were promoting and buying more reggae at our local record shop where Jay worked. I began doing graveyard shifts in the Summer of 1984, and soon was given a slot which opened on Friday between Noon and 3 PM. I was there all of one week when I was asked to move to Wednesday between Noon and 3 PM, which I was glad to do, since Friday was bad for my school-year schedule.
Thus began my tenure at noontime on Wednesdays. That Fall I became faculty advisory to WRUV-FM, because they didn't have one. I have tried to stay as "advisory" as possible in this role and let the students run things. Through the years they have done a wonderful job, growing the station into one of the top rated stations in the area. It's programming emphasizes "alternative" music and once you hear it on a commercial station you stop hearing it on WRUV. Check out WRUV's website and listen in live if you want by clicking the WRUV-FM button above.
The reggae lunch regularly featured new, old, classic, and live reggae music, exploring all of its many genres. An attempt was made to be comprehensive but remain focused on the roots. Theme shows were often aired, such as the annual Ganja Harvest Festival show. The show has been used to provide a comprehensive music library for the 300+ people in the class The Rhetoric of Reggae Music through 15 90-minute broadcasts. Requests were taken when they are in good taste.
Learn more about reggae by reading essays in the Dread Library which I maintain.
I stopped doing the Reggae Lunch in 2001 after an 18 year string of programs. I am now trying to bring many of these programs to you through the internet.