Nicky Dread & The Crooked Beat - Thursdays 7-9PM on CFRU-FM
2004 Features

On 2 December 2004 Nicky Dread celebrated the 28th anniversary of The Smile Jamaica Concert.  The concert, which took place in Kingston, Jamaica on 5 Dec 1976, featured Bob Marley & Peter Tosh.

Feeling out, feeling down,
This feeling wouldn't leave me alone,
Then up came a one that say
"Hey, Dread, fly Natty Dread and smile"  (Smile Jamaica, Bob Marley)

On 4 November Nicky Dread celebrated the 74th Anniversary of Tafari Makonnen’s Coronation, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On that date he was crowned Haile Selassie I, Power of the Holy Trinity, 225th Emperor of the Solomonic Dynasty, Elect of God, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

During the weeks of 21 & 28 October Nicky Dread raised $610 in support of CFRU-FM!  Raise Your Voice 2004!!  Nuff respect to those who showed their support.

More info:


On 7 Oct 2004  Jason Wilson visited the CFRU-FM studios to talk about the recent album "dREaD & BLUE: A Canadiana Suite" by Jason Wilson & Tabarruk, and about Jackie Mittoo, Messenjah and the early years of Reggae in Toronto, ON.


On 6 May 2004 Nicky Dread remembered veteran Studio One producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, who passed away in his Brentford Road studios, Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday, 4 May 2004 at the age of 72.



Nicky Dread spun some tunes in celebration of Bob Marley's Birthday at The Trasheteria, Guelph, ON on 7 Feb 2004.


On 24 Jan 2004 Nicky Dread celebrated 24 years of Reggae Revolutions on CFRU-FM with a 24 hour Radio Marathon, from midnight to midnight, one wintery night.

2001 Features

Nicky Dread interviewed singer Lenn Hammond on 29 Nov 2001, in advance of a show in Toronto, ON the following week.

On 24 Nov 2001 Nicky Dread hosted Royal City Reggae's 3rd night of Reggae and Dancehall, at The Jam Spot, Guelph, ON.

2000 Features

On 2 Dec 2000 Nicky Dread hosted Strictly Reggae, a night of Reggae and Dancehall, with Analog Sound Crew, at The Treehouse, on the 3rd Floor of Van Gogh's Ear, Guelph, ON.

On 9 November Nicky Dread spoke with Tony Greene, Dwight Pinkney, and Jay Douglas prior to their Toronto show.

Raise Your Voice 2000 was celebrated during 2 weeks over October & November. Respect to all who supported The Crooked Beat and CFRU-FM.

Nicky Dread's 20th Anniversary Show: Nicky Dread's 20 year-old show, The Crooked Beat, livicated to Reggae music on CFRU-FM was celebrated on 14 October. The celebration at Van Gogh's Ear, in Guelph, featured music from Nicky Dread, DJ Keem, Analog Soundcrew, and Marshall!

Nicky Dread was away for 2 recent shows, visiting family in Guyana. While there he visited RAW member Kross Kolor Records, and was interviewed on national radio, playing some Irie Canadian and RAW music. Well loved by the staff.

27 July 2000 marked a preview of Burning Spear's appearance at Hillside 2000, Guelph's annual music festival, held on an island (with a causeway) near the city. Also included was a look back at previous Reggae artists' appearances at Hillside.

Peter Tosh's "Live at the One Love Peace Concert" debuted on The Crooked Beat on 20 July 2000. Roger Steffens hosted a Record Release Party for the album on 19 July at The Bamboo, in Toronto, sharing rare music from Peter. The Dub Brothers band featured Peter Tosh & Bob Marley rhythms for the rest of the evening. The show was reviewed. Music from artists appearing at the 15th Annual Vermont Reggae Festival (29 July), including Freddie McGregor, Iley Dread & Sister Carol was featured.

13 July 2000 marked an interview with Terry of The Ark Band. The band recently released their stunning self-produced second album, "Love Is What We Need". The album previewed on The Crooked Beat via mp3, prior to the album's release. The Dread also interviewed Denham Jolly, President of Milestone Radio, who were recently awarded an FM licence in Toronto. Milestone will broadcast Urban Music (aka Black Music, but acceptable to the powers..) beginning in Spring 2001.

On 6 July Nicky Dread talked with Carlton Pride. Carlton's new CD "What You Need" was released in June 2000 and features a duo with Carlton's father, famed Country singer Charley Pride. We learned about the visions that drew Carlton to Reggae, and about his try out for the CFL's Ottawa Roughriders. Check out for more band info.

On 1 June Nicky Dread had the pleasure of announcing Burning Spear as the headline act for Hillside 2000. He spoke with Spear from New York City about his busy summer schedule and his Grammy award.

On 20 April The Crooked Beat painted the audio picture to accompany Chris Morrow's recent book "Stir It Up: Reggae Album Cover Art".

30 March marked Dwight Pinkney's birthday, and we celebrated in fine style with music from the 1960s 'til now. On 1 April Nicky Dread DJ'ed at Well Charged Music's CD "sold-out" release party.

On 2 March Nicky Dread innerviewed Zema, following the recent release of her album "Look At The Heart" (Melchizedek (US)).

We began the celebration of Black History Month with a special Bob Marley show on 6 Feb. We continued the celebration with an innerview with local artist Winston Cole and his band Well Charged Music on 10 Feb (New release debut).

Bob's Birthday Bash 2000 took place on 3 Feb 2000.

January 2000 was spent looking at 1999's best and favourites. 1999 was a good year for Reggae music, and 2000 heralds a bright future!


1999 Features

Legendary singer & songwriter Joe Higgs passed away on Saturday 18 December 1999, in Los Angeles, CA, USA after a battle with cancer. He was remembered on 23 December 1999.

Christmas was celebrated in fine style on 16 & 23 December - From Jacob to Bob to Eek! All the favourite Reggae, Rock Steady & Ska gems, plus some new Ismas tidings.

 I-Roy passes awayLegendary Deejay I-Roy was remembered on 2 December 1999, with a variety of his music from the early 1970s to the 1980s.

I-Roy passed away in Jamaica on 27 November 1999 following a long spell of ill health and poverty. It was also reported that one of his sons had died in jail a few weeks earlier.

On 28 October & 4 November we celebrated Raise Your Voice 1999, CFRU's Annual FunDrive. The Crooked Beat brought in about $300. On 4 November we also celebrated Selassie I's Coronation and remembered Don Taylor, who died on 1 November.

On 22 July The Crooked Beat celebrated Haile Selassie I's birthday, and took a look at Toronto-based dub poet, Michael St. George, who appeared at the 16th Hillside Festival, near Guelph, the following weekend.

Another Reggae Hero Lost! Now comes news of the shooting death of Mikey Wallace, Third World keyboardist, and formerly with Chalice. He was gunned down on Tuesday, 6 July in Kingston. He was remembered on 15 July 1999.

Dennis BrownThe "Crown Prince of Reggae", Dennis Brown, died in Jamaica on 1 July 1999 at the age of 42. Ill for the past few weeks, Brown was rushed to the University Hospital in Kingston late Wednesday night. He went into cardiac arrest and died early Thursday morning.

Dennis Brown's life's works as singer and producer were honoured on The Crooked Beat (8 July 1999). Music ranged from his debut in 1969 to his most recent releases. A prolific singer, Dennis had over 60 albums to his name. He worked with many top producers, including Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, Winston "Niney" Holness, Joe Gibbs, Tad Dawkins and Phil Pratt. He also produced a number of his own and others' works.

For more information on Dennis Brown, and to pay respect, visit this Tribute Site.

 Producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes was murdered on 13 June in England. He was remembered on 17 June with an hour-long Volcano Special.

Junior Braithwaite, early Wailers' member, was murdered on 2 June 1999. On 10 June The Crooked Beat paid tribute, featuring Junior's vocal talents. Music covered early Wailers times, from 1963-64, and the 1990s, from the Never Ending Wailers project.

Augustus Pablo passed away on 18 May and was remembered on 27 May. He was 46.

In celebration of Bob Marley's Birthday, February 4th's show honoured his memories! CFRU has celebrated this day for the past 5 years, including live events and all-day programming..

This was also the week of Raise Your Voice, CFRU's Funding Drive. Thanks to all who brought forward over $200 of support.

That week I DJed at two club events in honour of the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley, one at the Spiral Club, the other a 'members-only' ting.

Prince Lincoln Thompson passed away earlier this year, and was remembered on January 28th. More info.

On January 14 & 21, 1999 I aired 1998 In ReggaeView, my personal rundown of a great year in Reggae.

1998 Features

Christmas 1998 provided a great opportunity to play the many seasonal gems that have been recorded over the past 35+ years.

On November 26 1998 I paid tribute to Skatalites' saxophonist Roland Alphonso, who passed on November 20. The show featured his music from the early 60s to 1998. I also interviewed Skatalites' bassist Lloyd Brevett, who shared his experiences with Alphonso and The Skatalites. I also shared an interview I did with Alphonso in 1997.

On November 26 1998 I paid tribute to Skatalites' saxophonist Roland Alphonso, who passed on November 20. The show featured his music from the early 60s to 1998. I also interviewed Skatalites' bassist Lloyd Brevett, who shared his experiences with Alphonso and The Skatalites. I also shared an interview I did with Alphonso in 1997.

Tommy McCook, band leader of The Skatalites passed away on Monday 4 May 1998. He had been in ill health over the past few years. McCook came from a jazz background, and strongly influenced the creation of Jamaica's own music. He left Studio One to work for Duke Reid as Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. He also played for Lloyd "Matador" Daley; Lee Perry (69-74); The Aggrovators (70s). He backed Horace Andy on his 1977 album "In The Light". In the 80s, the revival of The Skatalites put him back in the limelight. He underwent heart bypass surgery in 1996/97. Tommy McCook's "Everlasting Sound" will be sorely missed.

February 26th marked a special day of programming for Black History Month. Starting at Noon on-air specials went through to 10pm. We all adjourned to the Spiral Club to listen to Kwabena Reuben & Selassie I Power roots rocking sound. King of Kings!

It was a Lover's Rock evening on Feb 12, 1998. An evening of music of dreams and heartache through the ages of Jamaican music.

Bob Marley Day was celebrated by CFRU-FM on Feb 5, 1998. This annual event has, in the past, included live bands, videos, and nuff hours of Bob's music and reasoning. Programming ran from 6pm until midnight.

February was a very fulfilling month for me - Black History Month, Bob Marley's birthday, and more! Some of you already know that I was nominated for Top Reggae Radio Deejay at this year's Canadian Reggae Music Awards. The great news is that, even though I didn't win that award, I was presented the Peter Tosh Memorial Award for my many years of dedication and service to the Reggae community in Canada. That, my friends, is a true and wonderful honour. I feel so high I could touch the sky!

The icing on the cake came in a front page article in the local daily titled "Reggae DJ honoured for being 'a bit of a rebel' in Royal City". [The name Guelph comes from a royal Italian house.] In the article I'm described as "part of a group of enthusiasts, music labels, media people and artists called Regae Ambassadors Worldwide".

One of the University of Guelph's campus newspapers ran a congratulatory article under the banner "Outstanding Beats: CFRU's Nicky Dread shines at the Canadian Reggae Music Awards". In it I say that Peter Tosh "taught me to see the real person and that you don't have to have locks to be a dread".

Much respect to all who have shared parts of this musical and cultural journey. Special thanks go to all the small, independent labels and aspiring artists who go to extra effort to service Canadian media who keep on promoting Reggae music.

The Best of 1997 was heard on Jan 15, 1998. The show looked at various popular releases, and recent trends in Reggae music (see Most Recent Playlists).

1997 Features

On 30 October I played music in support of 126,000 Teachers in Ontario taking Job Action against Provincial Government Injustice.

On 16 October The Crooked Beat celebrated Peter Tosh, his music and his message.

On 25 September I took a look at the Music of 1972, 25 years ago!

On 14 August I celebrated the 110th Anniversary of the birth of Marcus Mosiah Garvey (17 August 1887).

On 31 July 1997 we took part in the CARIBANA 30th Anniversary warmup (part of 17 hours of Caribbean programming on CFRU-FM), and interviewed saxophonist Tony Greene.

3 July's show included a special feature on The Vermont Reggae Festival.

On 26 June I interviewed Super Cat and featured his music.

January featured the Best of 1996.

1996 Features

To kick off CFRU-FM's Annual FUNding Drive we had a "Jumbie Jamboree" on Halloween. Lots of sounds about obeah, duppies, rolling calves, and more.

On Oct. 24 I spoke with Donald Manning about The Abyssinians past, present & future and his relationship with Peter Tosh. Debut of "19.95 + Tax".

On October 19th CFRU-FM celebrated the life and music of Peter Tosh: The TOUGHEST.

As a result of a number of excellent live appearances in Toronto August & September featured interviews with Shabba Ranks, Maxi Priest, Shaggy, Rayvon, RZ Jackson, and Jay Douglas. Toots & The Maytals played in Toronto on Aug 25. Toots 2.5 hour-long show, compounded with an appendix operation 3-weeks before wore him out, and prevented him from doing any interviews. A 1985 interview I did with him was excerpted during the show review.

On August 8 I interviewed Trevy of Boom Shaka, who are hitting big with their latest release "Freedom Now" (Stone Mountain (US)).

On July 4 Burning Spear did a live interview from New York, in advance of his July 7 show in Toronto.

On April 25 I focussed on Culture who appeared in Toronto on 23 April. Included were parts of an interview with Joseph Hill, and live sounds from the El Mocambo in Toronto.

1 March marked Burning Spear's birthday, and we took the opportunity to celebrate. Nuff respect to the Original One!

On 22 February I featured Michael Rose in readiness for his Toronto, ON appearance on 24 February. Tune in for an interview with Michael.

On 8 February we celebrated Bob Marley's 51st birthday. The Legend Continues.

Friday, 1 February marked Dennis Brown's birthday. I spent most of the show taking a look at his musical life and message.

On January 18, 1996 The Crooked Beat took a look at 1995 in ReggaeView. If you had any faves let me know. Mine was Luciano's "Where There Is Life".

 Made With MacintoshLast update: 18 Feb 2006.

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