… on Clifton Brown’s first television interview during the 7:00 p.m. news on Television Jamaica (TVJ) on June 10, 2011, he declares “Nobody Canna Cross It!”
And the rest is history! Specifically this particularly DJ Powa YouTube video that has taken the internet by storm, not to mention the additional PR Clifton Brown is now riding:
Man, yuh haffi love technology! From a local television news item to finally reaching the international stage in less than a week… our forefathers could never have imagined such a feat in their days!
First Commercial Radio Broadcast
So back to Jamaica’s first commercial radio broadcast. This occurred on Sunday, July 9, 1950, when the Governor of Jamaica at the time, Sir John Huggins, “said “farewell to the old and welcome to the new” as Station ZQI gave place to Radio Jamaica in the inauguration of commercial broadcasting in the island.” (The Daily Gleaner, Monday, July 10, 1950, pg. 1)
Station ZQI was actually a privately-owned and managed radio station that had its beginnings in 1939 when it made its first broadcast via a shortwave “ham” operated unit owned by John Grinan from his Seaview Avenue home. Its call sign was VP5PZ and it offered wartime news and information for a half-hour once a week.
In 1940, John Grinan negotiated with the Colonial Government to set up the ZQI radio station. While the frequency and variety of the station’s broadcasts increased, the listenership never grew above 100,000 due to the relatively high cost of radio sets at the time.
Since then, however, radio has become an indispensable part of Jamaican history and culture, with at least 12 national radio stations and two community-based radio stations islandwide.
“Turn on di TV For me Please”
Television is another one of those everyday technologies that is an indispensable part of Jamaican life. Yes, we are inundated with quite a bit of North American (US) based programming but without television we wouldn’t have known about Oliver Samuels and his shenanigans on Oliver At Large! And not to mention Titus in Town or Lime Tree Lane, two other very well produced, well-received and popular local television productions during their time on local television.
Jamaican television had its beginnings on Sunday, August 4, 1963, when the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) began broadcasting.
Starting with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), now Television Jamaica (TVJ), Jamaica is now home to at least three national television stations, including CVM TV, and three local cable news stations. And with cable television everywhere provided by such cable operators as Flow Jamaica, Logic One and Telstar Cable Ltd., Jamaicans have choices.
Put Dis Pon YouTube!
Aah, YouTube.com, the epitome of what the internet has brought to us all: an endless supply of information from various sources on any subject matter we are most curious to learn more about or just for our entertainment pleasure, especially the endless supply of cat-related videos, my favourite being the praying cat.
But I digress…
Although Mr. Clifton Brown’s very animated – and yes, very comical! – interview appeared during the 7 o’ clock news hour many of us first learnt of his interview and the now infamous “Noboddy canna cross it” phrase from the internet, specifically YouTube.com. Within minutes the news clip and the video by DJ Powa became a viral hit with Clifton Brown, aka Clif-Twang, becoming an overnight sensation with a seemingly long list of radio and television interviews being lined up. He even has a manager!
Folks, we are looking at history in the making. We have witnessed one man becoming intricately entwined in the national history of Jamaica just because of his own special brand of speaking/twanging. This is exactly what Jamaican Echoes keep’s repeating: history echoing all around us.
There we have it folks, three forms of media that have defined the lived experiences of successive generations of Jamaican’s and how we view the world around us. How do you plan to use these elements to make an impact on history, whether it be personal, community, parish, region or national? There’s always YouTube.
Until next time…
The Daily Gleaner, Monday, July 10, 1950
The Daily Gleaner, Tuesday, August 6, 1963
Tortello, Rebecca, For Your Listening Pleasure. [Online]. Available from: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/pages/history/story005.html. [Accessed on 27 June 2011].