TFRN issues first commemorative plaques
Richie Stephens (left) accepts a plaque from The Foundation Radio Network's Clifton Lindsay last Friday, recognising his song and album Reverse The Curse topping its New York charts.

Veteran singers Ed Robinson and Richie Stephens are the first recipients of commemorative plaques for their songs topping charts operated by The Foundation Radio Network (TFRN).

Robinson was presented with his plaque on May 8 in Fort Lauderdale.

His cover of Lionel Richie's All Night Long was #1 for several weeks on the South Florida Reggae Chart in early 2022.

Last Friday, TFRN's Clifton Lindsay made a similar presentation to Stephens at the artiste's St Andrew home. His Reverse The Curse song and album were #1 for multiple weeks on TFRN's New York Top 30 Music and Top 20 Album charts in late 2022.

Singer Ed Robinson receives a plaque from The Foundation Radio Network's Clifton Lindsay for his song All Night Long, which topped its South Florida Reggae Chart.

Lindsay, who has manned the charts since 1975, told the Jamaica Observer that the idea to recognise artistes who reach #1 on those tables came four years ago.

"The seed was planted in 2019 when Marcia Griffiths' Timeless album failed to earn a Grammy nomination, even though it performed well on various charts. Over the years, I've seen others getting plaques for certain achievements, especially Sean Contractor. This year he picked up another and I noticed how the artistes responded very proudly, and I figured this is something I could do for my compilations, knowing not everybody will make the Billboard chart," he explained. "I ended up calling Sean to get the details on how to deal with it, I told him what I had in mind and he gave me the name of the company and the person he deals with."

To be eligible for plaques, artistes must achieve a #1 song/album on The Foundation Radio Reggae Chart NY (single/album) or The South Florida Reggae Chart (single/album).

Major record companies in the United States have issued gold (albums and singles reaching 500,000 copies sold) and platinum (one million albums and singles sold) discs to artistes, musicians and industry executives for decades.

In recent years, streaming platforms like Spotify have followed suit by presenting plaques to performers whose albums and songs achieve a certain number of streams.

For Lindsay, who made his name on New York radio during the 1970s to the 1990s, the time is right to join the ranks.

"It means a lot to the longest-running reggae compilation in America, which started in October 1975 with Bob Marley and The Wailers' Lively Up Yourself as its first chart-topper. Over the years it has been through a few name and data-gathering changes and, of course, the criticisms, yet it is still the last one standing," he said.

— Howard Campbell

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