The Irie FM connection

Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

Friday, October 05, 2012    

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ONE of the main outlets for music from the Jamaican underground in the 1990s, was Irie FM. The all-reggae station was officially launched in 1990 and coincided with the rise of the dancehall genre.

Disc jockey George 'GT' Taylor, who joined the station in 1991, was one of the personalities responsible for 'breaking' artistes and songs back then.

Reflecting on the station's early years, Taylor, in a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer, commented on some of the era's key moments.

"I remember when Luciano's Lord Give Me Strength was released, it was all the rave. It seemed like that song had to be on the turntable every day," he said.

Other songs that became anthems through powerplay on Irie were Beres Hammond's Can You Play Some More and Bounty Killer's Book Book Book.

Among the top artistes who got Taylor's on-air attention were Buju Banton, Garnet Silk and Dennis Brown.

Taylor is still at Irie, hosting the In the Dancehall and The Record Marketplace on Thursdays and Fridays respectively, and promotes the annual GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza.

He retains a passion for "authentic, positive reggae" but admits the days of that sound in Jamaica seems to be dying rapidly.





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