Music

Diversity rules South Florida chart

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Friday, January 18, 2019

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OF the countless reggae charts in North America and Europe, Clinton Lindsay's Foundation Radio Network Top 30 Music Chart is arguably the most credible and watched. For over 40 years, it has been a gauge of how well artistes do in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).

Last year, Lindsay expanded his playlist at Foundation Radio to include artistes from outside traditional reggae markets, including Africa and the Caribbean. Listenership, not sales, now determines a song's place on the weekly table.

“The chart is no longer based on sales. Listener requests and airplay are the two main sources used to compile the chart. Songs that are popular with our listeners will eventually make their way onto the chart,” Lindsay told the Jamaica Observer Splash.

Though Wayne Marshall's massive Glory to God was the most-listened last year, several of the songs in Foundation Radio's Top 20 songs were not popular on Jamaican radio. They include Go Freddie Go (Freddie McGregor); Tears on My Pillow (Eric Bubbles); and Queen of Paradise done by Marcia Griffiths.

Religious songs figured prominently throughout last year's chart, with four of them — Glory to God, Love Light, I Must Tell Jesus and You Are God (by George Nooks) — finishing in the Top 20.

Another interesting aspect to note, said Lindsay, was that “More female artistes entered the chart in 2018, and many second generation artistes also entered.”

Griffiths, Koffee ( Burning), Naomi Cowan ( Paradise Plum), July Rain ( Believe, from The Philippines), Etana ( Burned) and Leba ( Natty Dread) all had songs in the Top 20.

Lindsay was born in Spanish Town but migrated to Canada in 1973. He moved to New York City that year and launched his Top 30 chart in 1975. Bob Marley's Lively Up Yourself was the first number one in October of that year.

Though his list is consistently recognised within dancehall/reggae circles, Lindsay is aware of the scepticism that surrounds music charts. He defends the integrity of Foundation Radio's data.

“I started compiling charts in October 1975. Back then only WLIB Radio with Ken Williams had a chart,” he said. “I got sales reports from the leading record stores in New York; Super Power, Moodies, VP (Records), Witty's, etc, so it compiled without prejudice. The NY record-buying public relied on it because of its accuracy and transparency.”

Lindsay, 62, made his broadcasting debut on WHBI (later WNWK 105.9 FM) in October 1982. Now based in South Florida, he hosts hosts The Foundation Mondays to Fridays, from noon to 3:00 pm, on Foundation Radio Network.


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