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Roddy is definitely “smaddy” in the dancehall.
He is also white, middle-class and British.
Short and balding, he is the most unlikely-looking
selector. But don’t be taken in by his looks
or the English accent (Oxford, no less). Rival
sound systems have make the mistake, and
barely survived the sound clash to tell the tale
of the Gentleman Rude Bwoy who slaughtered
them with big tunes.
In 2005 he was inducted into the Sony Radio Academy Hall Of Fame and has also won three highly coveted Sony Radio Academy Gold Awards; The Music Broadcaster Of The Year. (Kiss 100 – 2004), The Specialist Music Broadcaster Of The Year (Kiss 100 – 2009), The Specialist Music Broadcaster Of The Year (BBC Radio 2 – 2012), and in 2012 he was awarded the MBE for “services to broadcasting” at Buckingham Palace.

At Easter in 2012 he won the highest honour in reggae sound system culture by winning the World Clash Re-Set contest in New York against opponents, Bass Odyssey, Black Kat, Tony Matterhorn, Fire Links, Earth Ruler and Poison Dart.

He plays his unique collection of customised dub plates and classic recordings extensively across Europe, especially in Italy and Germany, and in North America and the West Indies, to loyal reggae fans worldwide.

Few can match David Rodigan's exhaustive knowledge of reggae and its history: the dance-hall culture and its riddims, sound systems and colorful personalities. His infectious enthusiasm for, and unapologetic embrace of, the music of the masses have earned him the love and devotion of reggae lovers worldwide. I am sure that there was once a time when he was seen as a novelty and people treated him with condescending humor. Those days are long gone. The man has assumed his rightful place as a giant in the arena. He is to be feared and respected. Rah!


Some years ago I was spending New Years in NY with family and decided to take  the Metro North into Grand Central, and a cab from there into Queens.
The driver was blasting a tape of a clash between two sound systems and I was enjoying the selections. The voice of one of the selectors came on and from the back seat, I said, "Rodigan at the control!"
The driver looked over with a startled expression on his face. "Yuh know him?"
"I know of him," I replied.
"I am his personal driver, you know. When he comes to New York, I always pick him up and get him to wherever he needs to go. I just picked him up yesterday."
"Really?" I said politely.
"Yes. You want to talk to him? He would love to talk to you."
"He would?"
"Whaaat? Trust me. Let me call him."
With that he whipped out his cell phone and made the call.
"I have someone who wants to talk to you," he said to the party who answered.
Uh? So now I am the one who wants to talk to him? You aren't slick, mister. I saw what you did there.
"What's your name?" he mouthed. I told him and he promptly relayed that bit of information to the man himself.
He handed me the phone. "Hello," I said. There was no mistaking the voice that answered.
"Hi there, 'M'. I just met a girl named..." he started to sing. I could listen to that English accent all day...and all night. ;)
We were on the phone for some 10 to 12 minutes and I cannot recall a thing we spoke about. I do know that the conversation ended with him exacting a promise that I'd be at the New Year's function to be held the following evening. When I promised, I had every intention of going. I cannot now recall just why I didn't go, but I will see him perform yet. It's on my bucket list.

In his element:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:01:51 PM PST

  •  This is very cool. (5+ / 0-)


  •  So excellent!!! Thanks, JM. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, Brecht

    I MISS CACTUSGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by rubyr on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:32:28 PM PST

  •  Who'd have thunk it of a white man? Respect. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Enjoyed those youtubes, thanks, JoanMar.

    I've got about 80 reggae LPs (which I haven't heard in years - no working turntable. Yeah, I know). But I really can't pretend to any deep knowledge of the field, like David Rodigan has. So I'll just throw out a few of my favorite classics:

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:49:34 PM PST

    •  Those are some righteous selections, Brecht. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My favorite from Black Uhuru is Solidarity, with Guess Who's Coming to Dinner a close second.
      I have too many Toots favorite to count.
      I don't know whether I have the patience to listen vinyls anymore. I need to rewind as I will listen to the same song like twenty times before I am tired of it. I'll drive you crazy with the same tune over and over again. While at the same time, I can't sit through a song I am not feeling.

      I have found that reggae lovers (as with almost every genre of music) come in every color. I have family members who are not too fond of reggae even as I have quite a few white friends who are diehard reggae fans. I love all types of music.

      Another of my passions is antique and collectibles. It may be that I'll come a cross a workable turntable one of these days. I'll be on the lookout.
      Hope to hear some more of your favorites, Brecht.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 11:15:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I find Black Uhuru excellent and trailblazing, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        at least until a couple of albums after Solidarity (when they began to fracture). Toots with such soul, funk, rock: such a diverse musical palette.

        I have a workable turntable - I just need a new phono cartridge. But I have 700 CD worth of players hooked up to my amplifier, which makes a nifty jukebox. What I really need - and will get around to one day - is a turntable for converting album tracks to digital files. And then to connect up my iMac and my stereo.

        Much more urgently, I need to sit down and write the 'Birth of Rock'n'Roll' diary which will kick off my Rock Diary series. It's what I'm supposed to be doing right now, actually.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:58:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll leave you to concentrate on that diary, then. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Looking forward to that series. :)

          Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

          by JoanMar on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 08:31:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm mad late but had to bless up disyah one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (wherein roddy tells ricky trooper of jaro sound to make sure he buys Kalonji a carrot juice for the ONE forward he got in his round lmao)

    great diary.  you know I know.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 12:35:15 PM PST

    •  Sorry, Ricky Trooper, you got slaughtered in this (0+ / 0-)

      one. Is this the clash where he resorted to some bs and Super Cat had school him? Roddy def outplayed him.

      I know you know, my yout'. :)

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:38:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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