For more than four decades George Barrett has fed the palates of Vancouver’s music lovers with the sweet infectious sounds from his homeland Jamaica. Forty-five years ago, he introduced ‘The Reggae Show’ on CFRO- FM Vancouver and today he continues to host the longest-running reggae show in Canada.
George Barrett hails from the parish of St Thomas, Jamaica and migrated to Canada in the early seventies. He arrived in Vancouver with his gear, his music collection and music in his bloodline. He is related to world-renown bassist Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett and drummer Carlton Barrett, music legends known for their work with Bob Marley and the Wailers and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s band, The Upsetters.
After operating a record store and having is own sound system ‘Wadada Sound’ in Jamaica, his main goal upon arrival in Vancouver was to share Ska, Reggae and other music from his homeland with Canadians. One of his first stop was at a posting in Inuvik. “I took my sound system up there, playing parties at the soldier base, local bars and even the RCMP annual ball, and they all loved it,” George said in an interview with the Vancouver Sun. “But it was too cold, man.”
He luckily returned to Vancouver at the time when the Vancouver Co-Operative Radio was about to be launched and landed a spot on the new station. Forty-five years later he is still sweetening that airwaves with Reggae music.
George Barrett is more than just a voice on the radio, he is very active in Vancouver’s Jamaican community, volunteering and working as a DJ, MC & live show promoter. Over the years, his work has not gone unnoticed. He has been awarded multiple Canadian Reggae Music Awards (CRMA) and West Coast Reggae-Caribbean Music Awards for his tireless work.
George Barrett can be heard on ‘The Reggae Show’ on CFRO CO-OP Radio, 100.5 FM; coopradio.org-Saturdays 6-8:30 pm and on ‘The Rockers Show’ on CITR-FM 101.9 FM; Sundays 12-3 pm.
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