Review of CPR Panel Discussion by Sheron Hamilton-Pearson
Boys and Girls High School in
The panelists bringing their particular expertise and commentary were long-standing radio DJ – Bob Frederick, formerly of WLIB whose dulcet tones can now be heard on WVIP the brokered radio station operating out of
Dexter Blake was not reticent in admitting that radio DJs have much to answer for in relation to the state of the reggae industry and the unspoken rule of payola. The listening public who bemoan the lack of quality music now understand that the industry has been overrun by those with deep pockets who pay to play. Of course the quality of the music being produced suffers tremendously as quality music is replaced by hype with no regard to the tenets of upliftment, enlightenment or education on which reggae music was founded.
The second commentary was provided by Carter Van Pelt, veteran musicologist WKCR 89.9 FM, Eastern Standard Time host and long-time CPR supporter and previous panelist, shared his dream for community radio stations owned and operated by a discerning listenership with a heartfelt plea for the death knell of brokered radio and its concomitant corruptive practice of payola.
The discussion was lively, heartfelt and earnest in its attempts to seek solutions and set an agenda for a change in the way reggae music is represented to the listening public. The forum also touched on ways in which some relief can be provided to local and international artists who are not given an opportunity to put their music in the arena without having to pay to play. The gathering also went some way to provide networking opportunities to those local artists who attended by allowing them unfettered access to the music industry insiders and djs at the event. Lady Ann was not bashful in accusing radio stations of not playing her music as evidenced by her light-hearted banter with Dexter Blake of Linkage Radio. The public also came up with some cogent points on what they thought could be remedies to the malady facing the radio industry. The hosts were quick to point out that all comments, suggestions and questions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in a formal document addressing the matter.
The CPR forums are building in momentum, let’s hope that those movers and shakers in the industry who were notably absent will see and feel the winds of change and not be left crying in the cold when the sands of time shift and ushers in a new day.
* CPR is a charitable organization working to raise the bar in the creation, development, promotion and presentation of reggae music. CPR conducts educational forums and presents music events to raise funds to research, codify, curate and disseminate literature regarding the music.