Curriculum reggae vitae

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I have grown up with operetta and wind band music, which my father used to play.
± 1957 I developed my own musical taste when I was 10 years old. My first idol was “Dorus” (Tom Manders), a Dutch comedian and singer. I knew all his songs by heart. I listened to Radio Luxembourg (Dutch transmissions) every Sunday, where they played the "Muziek Parade" Top 5. Popular artists in Holland in those days were Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Conny Francis, Peter & his Rockets (Holl.), The Blue Diamonds (Holl.), Conny Froboess (Germ.), Peter Kraus (Germ.) and Rex Gildo (Germ.). I was an Elvis fan. Now I even appreciate the early Elvis more than in those days. One of my first 45's was Oky-Dokey / Firulin by Conny Froboess & Rex Gildo. Music for the youth was called “Teenager Music”.

I used to buy "Muziek Parade" and "Tuney Tunes", two music magazines, and I made scrapbooks of these.

± 1963 It was the beat era and my favourite group was The Rolling Stones.

I made notebooks in which I wrote the hitparades of several countries and of various radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Later I added titles which I liked myself very much. From 1970 till 1972 I only noted down those records which I liked. In May 1972 I stopped compelling these notebooks.

as fr. 1965 In the years hereafter I got more and more interested in records that did not reach or hardly reached the charts. I mainly preferred “strange” music with a strong rhythm and I also liked music from the American Hot 100. I used to check out shop sales to find my musical taste. I listened to the radio day and night, mainly to Radio Caroline and Radio London, British pirate radio stations.
±Mar 31,‘67 Radio Caroline all of a sudden started playing a very strange kind of music: Blue Beat, SKA and Rock Steady, every half hour one record. There were even Blue Beat commercials. After a while Radio Luxembourg (English broadcasts) followed. I was immediately struck by the music. I never had heard such strange, rhythmic music before. I thought it was a kind of Brazilian Jazz. I wrote to Radio Caroline for information. They replied: "We don't know anything about Blue Beat".
Oct. 20, ‘67 After searching for half a year in Dutch record shops I found my very first Blue Beat single: "Al Capone / One step beyond" by Prince Buster's All Stars.
as fr. 1967 For several years I had contacts with the "Saarländische Rundfunk" in Germany. By sending in requests I tried to have them pay attention to Blue Beat, although they hadn't nearly any records of this kind of music. But I also lended them records of my own.


mid ‘69 In 2 years time I had only found 20 singles and 2 LPs in the Blue Beat genre. By placing ads in music papers I found someone who imported Reggae, as he called it. It was the very first time that I heard the name “Reggae”. I started ordering records from him. His name was Bart Trenning from Bergen op Zoom.

On one of the singles I found the address of Island Records. I wrote to Island. I received a catalogue (a book) with thousands of Reggae and Ska titles. I was astonished.

Now I started importing myself through shipping and record companies.

When in the Army, I took my Reggae records and record player with me to the barracks and played the tunes for the comrads. They sang along.

1969 I took a subscription to the British pop magazine Melody Maker. They printed the Blue Beat Top 10 from Pama Records. But at first MM published little information on Reggae.

I wanted to know more about Reggae. In Melody Maker I found the addresses of Caribbean discotheques in London. I wrote to them asking if there was any Reggae magazine. One discotheque sent me a copy of The Jamaican Weekly Gleaner, a weekly newspaper.

Aug. 19, ‘70 Subscription to "The Jamaican Weekly Gleaner". It included the Trojan . -1991 Reggae Top 50, but it had little information on Reggae. Later on it had.

I wrote to embassies and ministries hoping to get information on a possible Reggae magazine. The Jamaican embassy in Germany gave me the address of "Swing".

mid ‘72 Subscription to "Swing", a Jamaican Reggae magazine. It contained a lot of info and an original Jamaican Top 20.

I became a member of The Trojan Appreciation Society, a Trojan Records fanclub. They sent a lot of information by means of their Trojan Reggae Top 50, release lists and information on the artists.

Oct ‘72 I had the Swing charts published in the Veronica magazine. Veronica was a pirate radio station and is now an official Dutch broadcasting company on radio and TV.
Nov ‘72 Swing paid attention to "Veronica" and printed the particular page from the Veronica magazine. They were lyrical about it.
From now on I "attacked" the national broadcasting companies. I sent letters, records and tapes to the DJs and to request programmes. I could not understand that thousands of Jamaican records had been released, that every week there were about 40 new releases, and that the Dutch radio and the European radio stations in general hardly paid any attention to Reggae or Ska.


My promoting resulted in getting two DJs interested in Reggae: at first Joost den Draayer (Willem van Kooten) and then also the late Krijn Torringa.

I also found some other people in Holland being interested in Reggae and we traded tapes. These were a.o. Henk Brugge (I call him Henk Bruggae), Berry Scheper and the late Ton Brunier. There was also a guy in Belgium, Michael Maas.

Jun 26, ‘73 FIRST NATIONAL REGGAE PROGRAMME IN HOLLAND in AVRO's Dream Top 10. I presented the programme together with radio DJ Cees van Zijtveld.
Aug 11, ‘73 I was a guest for the first time in the show of Holland's Top DJ Willem van Kooten. Many visits followed.
Sep 27, ‘73 I presented the first Reggae show on Holland's No 1 pirate station "Veronica" in “Welkom op 538”.
Mar/Apr ‘74 Production of a series of two programmes on the national radio (NOS) for DJ Vincent van Engelen. His show was called: VSOP (Vincent Speelt Oude Platen, Vincent Plays Vintage Records).
mid ‘74 Nominated for a Swing Magazine Award in Jamaica for my merits in the Reggae field.

In those days I used to visit a club in Tilburg. Sometimes I took some Reggae tunes to the club and although it often took me quite some time to convince the DJ, he selected a few to play. I’m still friends with him (Frans van Lieshout).

Sep 5, ‘74 I produced and presented another Reggae special on the national radio (TROS), together with DJ Tom Mulder.
Dec 21, ‘74 Guest in a programme for Surinamese migrants on the national radio (NOS): “Het Zwarte Schaap”(The Black Sheep”).
Sep 6, ‘75 I produced and presented a Reggae show on the national radio again, now with the late Krijn Torringa for AVRO radio. The show was called: “Kontinu de Nacht Door” (“Continuously through the night”).
Oct/Nov ‘75 Visit to Jamaica. Interviewed by Neville Willoughby of RJR radio. I produced a Reggae programme with him. I stayed with Mr. Ted Powder (Theo Kruijt), Dutch Reggae producer in Jamaica.
Mar 31, ‘76 "Reggae from Jamaica": 4 hours "live" from Jamaica on the national radio with Theo Stokkink and Vincent van Engelen (KRO radio). It was a 1st of April joke. We were not in Jamaica, but the show was taped in Holland. I supplied texts and records and I gave interviews.


Apr 28, ‘76 I Supplied texts for a Bob Marley special on KRO radio as part of the series: “The Continuing Story”. DJ: Theo Stokkink.
end of 76 Took part in a radio discussion on Reggae with pop journalists, led by the late Dave van Dijk (VPRO radio).
Mar 23, ‘77 I did a Reggae show with top DJ Willem van Kooten on NOS radio.
Mar 77 Supplied texts for a series of 3 programmes on the history of Reggae for the Belgian national radio (BRT).
Aug 5, ‘77 Supplied records and information for a Prince Buster special in the “Amigos de Musica” series by Dave van Dijk on VPRO radio (national).
Jun 78 Visit to Suriname (where my wife was born). Produced and presented a Reggae special on a national radio station with Henk van Vliet (Radio Apintie).
Dec 10, ‘79 KRO radio (national) gave me the opportunity to tell about myself, how I came across Reggae and Ska and what I did so far in this field. It was in the “Walhalla” series. Supervision of the show: Theo Stokkink
Then I took a "rest" for 5 years.

84/85 "Theo's Reggae Café" on LOG local radio (15 minutes per week). It was not a Reggae Show, but a kind of cabaret.

85/86 "History of Reggae Music" or: "Theo's Reggae Experience". 45 programmes of 20 minutes on LOG radio.
85/86 Contributions to the "Pinacolada Show" (half an hour per week) by supplying information and Reggae charts, on TROS (national) radio. DJ: Ferry Maat.
aug ‘86 - Reggae block on Radio Tilburg (local radio), 15 minutes per week. It was part

sep ‘88 of a news and music broadcast.

March ‘87 I won the first price in a Reggae quiz on BRT radio (Belgium). I attended the British Reggae Awards in London, presented by Tony Williams of BBC Radio London.
Apr 14, ‘87 "Theo van Bynen's Blue Beat SKA Skank Hot Shot Rock Steady Reggae . - June ‘89 Show", 75 minutes per week on LOG radio, with live on the phone from London Tony Williams. There were 77 shows.
Oct. ‘88 - "Theo van Bynen's Blue Beat Reggae Show" on Radio Tilburg, 1 hour per . May ‘91 week. 118 broadcasts
May 7, ‘91 10th anniversary of Bob Marley's death. Special on VARA Dutch national radio, presented by Jan Douwe Kroeske. I contributed by supplying information.
Mar 31, ‘92 My own 25th Reggae anniversary. It was also the 25th anniversary of Ska, Blue Beat, Rock Steady and Reggae being played on European radio stations.
Apr 3, ‘92 Interviewed in “De Avondspits” by Frits Spits (NOS radio) about my "jubilee". I organised a big Reggae party in Tilburg, where I am living.
Jan ‘93 - "Theo van Bynen's Blue Beat Reggae Show" on mArt Radio, local radio in
May ‘93 Amsterdam, 1 hour per week.

Mar 31, ‘92 "Theo van Bynen's Blue Beat Reggae Show" on Radio Paloma in Poppel,

-Jan 31, ‘06 Belgium, (regional radio), 1 hour per week. I made 605 shows in nearly 14 years.
Jun 1, ‘95 Blue Beat Reggae Show sent in as part of a day for foreign Reggae radio shows to be broadcast in Jamaica. I have never heard if my show was on air.
Dec 12, ‘95 My 1000th radio programme (± 400 Reggae Shows en ± 600 other local programmes)
Aug 3, ‘96 Interviewed by Marlon Hoogdorp on Radio Apintie, Suriname. We did a Reggae show together.
Aug 9, ‘96 Interviewed by Willy Alberga on Radio Apintie, Suriname. We did another Reggae Show together.
Nov 17, ‘98 My 500th Reggae Show (of 4 stations)
May 10, ‘00 My wife and I appeared on TV (Net5) in a documentary, which also featured a piece of the Blue Beat Reggae Show on Radio Paloma (Net5 is a Dutch national TV).
Sep 1, ‘00 On Radio Apintie in Surinam once again, in Willy Alberga's show. We played Reggae for more than one hour.
Mar 10, ‘01 A national radio and TV guide (VARA Gids) had a series called "Single Club", in which people could tell about memories of their first 45. This time it was about my first Jamaican single: Al Capone by Prince Buster's All Stars (Ska). It was also the first Single Club article which VARA published on their Internet website.


May 11, ‘01 I contributed to a Bob Marley day on Dutch national radio station Colorful Radio. I wrote a Bob Marley story in 10 parts and did live interviews and quizzes. I also chose several records for the story. They still owe me €450 for my work (plus interest).
Oct 25, ‘05 I was in Suriname once again with my wife and I did again a Reggae show on Radio Apintie, in co-operation with Winston Echteld.
As from “The Blue Beat Reggae Show" on Radio Diemen (near Amsterdam), 2 hours

Feb. 14, 06 per week. I stopped in October 2008 in Diemen, but they keep repeating old

shows of mine, till now.
Aug. 4, 06 Another time on Radio Apintie in Suriname. I was a guest in Willy Alberga’s show: “Niet Zomaar Een Gesprek” (“Not Just A Talk”). And we played Reggae of course.
Apr. 21, 07 The Skatalites performed in Paradiso in Amsterdam and I was surprised on stage with flowers and congratulations as it was my 40th Reggae anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of my Blue Beat Reggae Show.
As from “The Blue Beat Reggae Show” on Salto Radio, Stads FM, Amsterdam

Oct. 19, 09

In 2011 or 2012 I will appear in Willem van Kooten’s autobiography.


Characters that performed in my Reggae Shows up to now:

- Johnny Reggae: wanted to play a unique Reggae record from his collection every week, but every week he had a Dutch tear-jerker, which could not be played, except in his last contribution.

- The Reggae Troubadour. He tried to sing every week, but failed every week (except for his last performance).

(I did both characters with different voices.)

Other facts
In the seventies I published several articles on Reggae in regional and national papers and magazines.

Reggae collection: more than 13,000 different titles, numerous tapes including important Reggae concerts and specials from the early years.

Organisation of Reggae parties.

I have and had good contacts with people in the Reggae World, e.g. The Skatalites and Laurel Aitken, also with Ska specialist Brian Keyo and with Dutch DJ Dr. Ska (Kink FM). I also mention Rude Rich & The High Notes, that play Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae in the 60s style.

I did more than 1,000 Reggae radio shows up to now.


Interviews with:
G.T. Moore and The Reggae Guitars (Engl.) Cebert Bernard (Kingstonians)

Sophia George Yellowman (2x)

Sly (2x) & Robbie Cake (Holland)

Ini Kamoze Revelation Time (Holland) (4x)

Willem van Kooten (former national DJ and Lee "Scratch" Perry ("The Upsetter")

record producer) The Wailers (4x)

Dennis Brown (2x) Black Uhuru (2x)

Eek-A-Mouse Gregory Isaacs (2x)

Bacchanal (Dutch Latin group) New Boney M (Pop)

Mighty Diamonds (2x) U Roy (2x)

Kotch (2x) The Itals

Vital Band Andrew Tosh (Peter Tosh’ son)

Rhythm Express (Surinam Kaseko group) Lt. Stitchie

Freddie McGregor Marcia Griffiths (from Bob & Marcia &

Nardo Ranks The I Threes

Roots Syndicate (Holland) (2x) Toots Hibbert (Maytals)

Pinchers Carlton Jackson

Phyllis Barnes Jimmy Cliff

Dave (Barker) and Ansel Collins Aswad

Laurel Aitken (7x) Rita Marley

The SKAtalites (4x) Inner Circle (2x)

(Roland Alphonso 2x, Tommy McCook Pietro Devilloni (Runnetherlands Records)

2x, Lester Sterling 2x, Doreen Shafer, Panache Culture (Belgium/Morocco)

Ken Stewart 1x, Will SKAbone Clarke Mad Professor (producer of Ariwa Records)

1x, Greg Grossman 1x) Let’s Quit (Dutch SKA Band)

Desmond Dekker Third World

Ras Fire (Aart Timmermans) (Holland) Frankie Paul

Dr. Alimentado, who owned Captain Natty Remo

a Reggae record shop in Tilburg Prezident Brown

Mikey Spice Barry O'Hare (Producer of X-Rated Rec.)

Rude Rich & High Notes (Holland) (live) C-Sharp (live on the phone from Jamaica)

The Soundabout (Holland) Jacqsteven & Tha Originals (Holland) (live)

(live performance in my Reggae show) (Jack Steven & Lea Abdulhak)

Cyriel Clement (Reggae fan and former

DJ of Effenaar venue in Eindhoven


June , 2011

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