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A long time ago in a place far, far away a radio show called Ska Beat began. Well, okay, actually it was 1997 and in Huntington, WV to be precise. A little over two years after leaving the U.S. Army I found myself helping out at WMUL, Marshall University’s radio station as a community volunteer. After suggesting non-stop that WMUL needed a ska show due to the genres increasing popularity I was informed on a Friday that I was to be doing the show on the following Sunday at noon and I needced to get my butt in the studio. With an hour or so of training I did indeed make my debut one week before my birthday. I didn't think to record that show but I did on my birthday, November 16th, 1997. The show ran for almost three years mostly in the Sunday noon to 2PM timeslot before shifting to a Thursday evening 8-10PM shift.
I have chosen to include all of the Public Service Announcements, weather updates, mistakes and whatever else was recorded along with the music. Yeah, I’m that lazy. Be warned, the shows were taped on cassettes and as such may suffer from sitting around for the last seventeen years or so. WMUL had an ongoing issue of a loud hum that would periodically present itself when I was talking but normally it went away while the music was playing. Often I forgot to hit record or to turn the tape over at the midpoint of the show so there will be gaps in those songs as well as some being omitted entirely. I’ve tried to annotate when that happened and if the songs didn’t make it on the tape I leave them off of the playlist.
What you end up with is a snapshot of where I was and what bands I was going to see in the latter part of the 90s. It was a great time to see live music as many ska bands came through the Huntington area on their way to somewhere else. Unfortunately I’ve lost my playlists from so long ago and my memory isn’t what it used to be so there may be a few “unknown artist and song” listings. I’m not going to let that hold me back on posting these shows. Feel free to leave a comment and square me away on anything I’ve messed up or forgotten. Additionally I used to fill in at various times to keep WMUL on the air and I have about five tapes of those shows to go with the twenty odd tapes from Ska Beat. It’s been a blast listening to these tapes and remembering a time in my life that is completely different from where I am now. Hope you enjoy the show because I definitely enjoyed doing it.
Laurel Aitken - Sally Brown (in progress)
Jump With Joey - Jack Lord Ska
The Specials - A Message To You Rudy
Madness - One Step Beyond
The English Beat - Ranking Full Stop
The Toasters - Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down (stops about a minute in, wrong song played), I'm Running Right Through The World
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Let's Face It
Fishbone - Ugly
Hepcat - Dance Wid Me
Regatta 69 - The Fiasco
The Skoidats - Rootsawalkin'
Reel Big Fish - Sellout
Let's Go Bowling - Grover's Harem
THe Aquabats - The Theme Song
Skankin' Pickle - Rotten Banana Legs
Skavoovie & The Epitones - Bli-Blip
Los Hooligans - Swing Right Rudy (cuts off as tape ends and is switched)
Mento Buru - Try And Try
Isaac Green & The Skalars - Don't Count
Supertones - Supertones Strike Back
The Scofflaws - Ska Groovie
Voodoo Glow Skulls - Los Hombres No Lloran
Shoulderhopper - 67 Beetle
The Pietasters - Factory Concerto
Save Ferris - World Is New
Five Iron Frenzy - Third World Think Tank
Bim Skala Bim - Pete Needs A Friend
Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Don Quixote
Spring Filled Jack - Running Man Looking Through The Mirror)
The Allstonians - Brighton Memories
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - The Impression That I Get (tape cuts off)
Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.