Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Red Gold & Green #26 - The Jolly Brothers
Needless to say, from my second show onwards, I made greater preparations and took my own tunes. That first week, however, I went through every last record in the studio in an effort to find an hour's worth of broadcastable music - the pickings were very slim indeed. On-air, I mumbled and waffled from nerves and also to cover the fact that I had scarcely anything decent to play. Bizarrely and inexplicably however, I found a 7" single of The Jolly Brothers 'Conscious Man' in amongst all the dross. I played it instantly. Then I played the dub version on the b-side. Then I rambled on a bit about reggae in general, Lee Perry in particular and the Black Ark studio where the track was recorded in 1977...I might have even played the a-side again!
What the patients on the wards upstairs made of my efforts that day, or in the slightly more organised weeks and months that followed, is thankfully lost in the mists of time, but whenever I hear the distinctive, squelchy, #couldonlyhavecomefromtheblackark intro to 'Conscious Man' I'm transported back to that studio and the musical wall of horror.
Jolly Brothers - Conscious Man (12" Mix)
The postscript to the story is that when I mentioned the Jolly Brothers 7" to the station controller, his reaction to it was much as mine was to the whole wall of horror! He told me to take the single home and keep it, on the grounds that it wasn't suitable for hospital radio and he had no idea where it came from. I couldn't do it though, even though I didn't then own a copy. I tucked it back into the middle of a pile of utterly naff singles in the hope that it would one day be re-discovered by a desperate DJ with similar tastes to my own. I wonder if it ever got another airing?
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