Almost 25 years after their first sound clash in Brooklyn, New York, ‘Boggieman’ ‘Barry G’ Gordon, the one time top broadcaster at Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) radio in Kingston in the 70s and the former ruler of afternoon radio reunited last year with British broadcaster Sir David Rodigan at the annual Groovin’ In The Park concert at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY.
Beyond the friendly banter that typically happens when the two jocks clash, the two have a close relationship.
“David is my best friend in the radio business….we communicate very often and lament together what is happening in the music business” Gordon once disclosed.
On that cold winter night in Brooklyn in 1985 when they first clashed, Barry and Rodigan captivated music lovers with original dub plates from Jose Wales, Tiger, Eek A Mouse, Maxi Priest and two original tracks by Tenor Saw on the now famous Sleng Teng riddim that sent the crowd wild. In his more than 40 years on radio, Barry G is responsible for breaking numerous hit records by Yellowman, Barrington Levy and Sophia George. David Rodigan, who grew up in England in the mid 1960’s became enthralled by Jamaican music by singers Millie Small, Bob Marley, Toots & the Maytals, Jimmy Cliff and Marcia Griffiths.
“I heard this new, incredibly energized back-beat from Jamaica called Ska and found it to be irresistible, primarily as dance music but then when we went deeper we realized that it was a music that spoke for all of us, especially the under-privileged in society” Rodigan shared.
“Many of us identified with it and so the phenomena of Jamaican music grew beyond the shores of the island and soon reached the world stage” he said.
Radio listeners who grew up in England in the 80’s, still talk with glee about David Rodigan, who launched his career at Kiss FM in London.
“Rodigan has been a part of my life since I was a teenager, I would tape all of his shows and then buy the records he played,” Lady English, a New York based syndicated broadcaster, born in London to Jamaican parents told Billboard Magazine recently.
“Rodigan’s appeal was that he did his research and you could feel his genuine love for the music. UK sound systems came before him but they played reggae underground, Rodigan’s platforms took the music over ground and without him reggae never would have become so popular in England among so many different ethnicities” she shared.
The two jocks have been honoured as trailblazers in broadcasting and for their role in helping to spread reggae globally, Barry receiving the Order of Distinction (OD) from the Government of Jamaica in 2010 while David was presented with the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in England in 2012.