For a generation of London roots reggae lovers, Nick 'Manasseh' Raphael's radio shows on the now tragically sold-out and commercialised Kiss FM were pivotal. The show went out between 3am-6am on Saturday night/Sunday morning, but despite the late slot still had a big impact on its loyal following - for those not up for an all-nighter, alarm clocks and tapes had to be at the ready!
Nick's deep selection and minimal presentation style made for possibly the best roots and culture show Ive yet to hear on radio. For those unfamiliar, Manasseh's own productions are up there with the best UK dub acts - be sure to check out his material. Great producer.
I live in hope that a decent roots and culture show will return to London's airwaves...radio continues to neglect real roots music, and even the pirates don't play dub cuts, as far as I can hear. The early nineties really were a mini-golden era with Norman Jay's brother Joey Jay, Manasseh and Rodigan all pushing the sounds on Kiss. Joey Jay's 'Word, Sound and Power' was a mighty show, but was filling a shorter, prime time slot, and so didn't get to go as deep as Nick's I would say. I really owe them all a debt of gratitude for really turning me on to the wealth of great music connected to Jamaican culture.
I've managed to find a few old tapes of Nick's and Joey's shows (sadly most tapes lost along the way...), and they still sound great - these are they:
Click on the titles to download
Manasseh - Classic Selection
Manasseh - Upsetter Selection
Manasseh - Dont want to be a General
Manasseh - Heavily Protected
Manasseh - Blues
A tape featuring a vintage selection from Edie Joseph, Riz Records co-founder:
Eddie Joseph on the Manasseh Show Side A
Eddie Joseph on the Manasseh Show Side B
Joey Jay Blues Dance Word Sound Power Kiss
Joey Jay Devon Russell Tribute 1997 Kiss Side A
Joey Jay Devon Russell Tribute 1997 Kiss Side B
...and for good measure here's one of the great deejays on London community radio and from the circuit, Cabbage Man, recorded on Power Jam. Cabbage Man is pure personality, his laugh is hilarious, and his love for music is infectious - be sure to give this one a check:
Cabbage Man - When Dance Used to Nice - Power Jam
So that's it from me - however, Ringo over at Cry Tough has been collating lots more Manasseh recordings, so be sure to check out his collection HERE . Big up Ringo. Ringo also plays a fortnightly roots show on Purple Radio, and there's a big old archive of his previous shows HERE.