Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winston Grennan "Island Vibration"

I just passed my 11th anniversary with mvyradio, and I have had lots of thoughts about the early days at this new job.

Even though, in 2000, I'd been a DJ for 6 years already, and had been in TV for 3 years before that, I arrived at mvy with enough humility to know that there was a lot I didn't know.

I can't say that I am perfect at always admitting to my limits, but after close to 20 years in broadcasting, I've seen more than a few people arrive in their jobs, so eager to prove that they are smarter than you think, that they wind up proving the opposite.

While Barbara Dacey, who had hired me, stood by on my first couple of airshifts, to make sure I was comfortable with the equipment, I began flying solo pretty quickly. And within a week, I was on a shift where I was the only person in the building.

Early Saturday morning. The phone rang. No one else was going to answer it, so I did.

The woman on the other end told me that her husband, Winston Grennan, had passed away. She was understandably upset. She didn't offer any details. She just said that she knew we would want to know.

I knew enough to know that she wasn't speaking to me, or even to a person. She was speaking to "MVY." To her, (to many) "MVY" is an entity unto itself. When the stations speaks, they don't hear the individual DJ, they hear what they assume is the full representation of the company thinks. When they call, the aren't talking to the person that picked up the phone, they are talking to the entire staff. And if they tell that one person, the whole hive should soon know and understand.

And I understood this.

I didn't know who Winston Grennan was. I wasn't familiar with his career or legacy. She hadn't even referenced that he was a musician. She just said we would want to know.

So, while I wasn't really sure what information I had, I knew it was information, something that needed to be spread.

I called Barbara. She knew what to do. She pulled together a news story to let people know that a reggae/drumming legend had passed away.

And I read it on the air, at the time not knowing the full significance, but knowing enough to know that there was more to know.

Click the song title to hear "Island Vibration."

And if you don't know who Winston Grennan was . . . well he was a drummer who played sessions and/or toured with Toots And The Maytals, Bob Marley, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff and Desmond Dekker, and also Marvin Gaye, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie and Peter Paul and Mary, just to name a few. Oh, and he was in the movies "The Harder They Come" AND "9 1/2 Weeks."

You can check out a profile on Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post- nice, astute piece. That woman who called you was me, just over thirteen years ago. I appreciate the love and respect that came from your quarters. Winston's legalcy lives on- his kindness and love, and his and his compeers' wonderful musical contributions to our world. One Love, Ellie Hiteshew Grennan