December 2018

Joyville "Jay" Morris - Member

Connecticut

Jay-Morris

My Early Years in Jamaica

Born 1951 in the mountains of St James (the Western Cockpit Country) Joyville’Jay‘ Morris grew up in the hills of Hanover.

Working for six years with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) in the TV Engineering department Jay emigrated in late 1975 to the USA and attended University of Hartford 1975 – 1979  (Electrical/Electronics Engineering)

Listened to early Rock-and-Roll and Blues sounds directly from the Southern USA over AM-wave radios in the late 1950's he started buying/collecting 45-rpm records while in high school.The first LP record I purchased was a soul album, "First Landing" by the Dynamics in either 1968 or 1969 while still in high school. My second was by the 8th Day "100 Proof ” in about 1970 or 1971 -- another mainly soul/funky record.

The JBC years (early 1970 to late 1975) brought music and performers close to me, having worked in studio and on remote location to record or to broadcast live performances. In addition, soon I would learn to wire up amplifiers and sometimes would actually be the selector at house sessions (parties). Yes, I became more of a “soul bwoy”, but I never left out my local reggae music. In the end, when I emigrated I had more 'foreign' albums than local, and more reggae 45's than foreign ones.

My vinyl collection came with me to the USA and was added onto for decades until optical discs and electronic audio files eclipsed the medium.

 

Radio Hosting

The "Six O'clock Experience" on JBC-FM 1974 – 1975: Produced by Leonie Forbes, I was one of a regular turntable of four or five selectors who would provide the tunes and pre-record the one-hour slot. (I believe it was on Wednesday evenings.)

West Indian Rhythms on WWUH-91.3-FM (Hartford, Connecticut) 1979 – 1984: I took over hosting the long-standing show in 1979 and continued doing so until I left the state in 1984. The original slot was 9pm to 11pm, but due to its popularity, an hour was added in 1981 so it thereafter ended at midnight.

West Indian Rhythms on WWUH-91.3-FM (Hartford, Connecticut) 2014 – Present: I have now returned to the area and am hosting the program once again, alongside Philip E (Philip Mitchel) in the same slot. My specialty is the history and development of Jamaican (and other Caribbean) music, and as such, I mostly feature Ska, Rocksteady and early Reggae selections.