Hard to imagine that it has been twenty years since Irie Jam radio launched the very first, historic radio simulcast on New York radio. Back then the show was on air for only three hours each Saturday night (midnight to 3am) on WRTN now WVIP in New York and Irie FM in Jamaica.
CEO Bobby Clarke, who along with Ouida Crawford and Milford Edwards conceptualized the idea said, “Our goal then was to create a program that would connect Jamaicans at home with those who had migrated abroad. The program was also to facilitate growth in marketing, advertising and other innovative business ventures,” Clarke affirmed.
Today Irie Jam radio with a cast of 7 on air personalities broadcast 7 days per week and connect Jamaicans in the Tri-state area with their roots with a fresh dose of music, news, talk and entertainment features.
“Irie Jam radio’s greatest accomplishment is the bond we have formed with our listeners and the Jamaican/Caribbean community. We see ourselves as civil servants who do the will of the people we serve on a daily basis. I believe we have achieved our companys’ mission …to inform, entertain and educate our listening audience and have done so at a very high standard” Clarke noted.
“Our success is a result of many things. From the beginning we were blessed to have only the best to represent the brand that is now Irie Jam Radio…Pat Mckay, Milford Edwards, Big A, Shelly Thunder, Shinehead, Andrew D, Dj Face, Pablo Assab, Carlene the Dancehall Queen, Vinnette Pryce, Douglas Fiddler, Oliver Samuels, Captain Collin Hinds, David Radigon, Aubrey Campbell, Spreadlove Bobby, Irwine Clare, Killa Boo, Nikki Z, Cali B, Marcus Wanted, Jabba, Chris Dubb Master and Dj Roy have all lent their voices to the making of this New York landmark. The seed that was planted to make this big strong tree grow was placed by one of Jamaica’s true radio pioneers…Mr. Karl Young. Irie Jam Radio’s birth was due to his vision. He said yes to a radio simulcast between Jamaica and New York at a time when that was simply unheard of. As the founder of Irie FM, Mr. Young did not have to extend his brand to the Tri State area, but in doing so he has helped to create what is now one of the most listened to radio programs in the history of New York Caribbean radio.”
Congrats to Bobby Clarke, Louis Grant and the entire Irie Generation!