'Podchats' with Dermot HusseyTuesday, May 18, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
In 1973 when Dermot Hussey began recording his personal interviews, the tape recorder was still cutting-edge. The Internet was getting into gear 27 years later when he conducted the last of 43 interviews he plans to share with listeners of his Riffin Podcast.
The weekly series debuted on January 29. To date, the veteran broadcaster has aired his conversations with Toots Hibbert, Bunny Wailer, Alpha Blondy, Sade, Roberta Flack, Eddy Grant and Harry Belafonte.
“The response has been good based on downloads and subscriptions, with 16 episodes posted on the platforms: Spotify, Apple Google, Amazon, Stitcher and iHeart,” Hussey, 83, told the Jamaica Observer.
He stressed that adapting to evolving formats introduces him and his archives to different demographics and markets.
“It’s always stimulating to work in different platforms, as they help to energise you with what they offer,” said Hussey.
The interviews not only cover the respected musicologist’s sit-downs with famous artistes, but his drive to introduce variety to Jamaican radio during the 1970s to 1990s, through programmes like the Inner Ear which aired on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.
Hussey’s most famous interview was done in 1975 with Bob Marley in Kingston. At the time, the singer/songwriter was promoting his Natty Dread album for Island Records.
He plans to re-broadcast interviews on Riffin Radio Podcast with firebrand poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and roots singer Garnet Silk who died in 1994.
The Kingston-born Hussey was one of the original hosts at SiriusXM satellite radio station when it debuted in 2001. He is a co-host host for The Joint from Mondays to Fridays; on Sunday, Hussey presents the station’s Real Jazz show.
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