Iyah Music 40th Anniversary
This year the Iyah Music show celebrates it’s 40th anniversary on KUNM at the University of New Mexico. In 1982, a year after the passing of Bob Marley, there was a listener demand for a reggae show here at the station, and the station responded. After an audition, Ijah was selected as the first DJ for the show, which he named Iyah Music, taken from the Rastafarian/reggae “I” words meaning brother or sister, or the people’s music. The popularity of the show grew from an 1 ½ hr. slot to a 3 hr. slot on Friday afternoons, to its present slot on Thursday evenings.
Many thanks to the station for providing a forum where not only Iyah Music, but several other programs have been on the air for 30, 40 and even 50 years, and Iyah Music is very grateful and excited to be a part of that club. KUNM has been a place where many volunteers and staff have had the opportunity to learn and hone their radio skills. Special thanks to Eeyo (now retired) and Kelvin for their significant contributions and longevity on this show. One of my fondest memories of doing this show was having Peter Tosh here at the station for an interview and taking a picture with him in front of the station.
During these 40 years, we’ve seen the station move from analog to a digital platform, from using reel-to-reel and having to cut and splice tape for our promotional carts, having albums on vinyl, using turntables exclusively to put the music out, and having to use cassettes to record some of our shows.
Throughout the years we’ve celebrated our success with a t-shirt every 10 years or so and many listeners have taken pride in collecting those t-shirts. One year we gave Lee Scratch Perry one of our Iyah Music t-shirts and he honored us by wearing it onstage. KUNM is commemorating this 40-year milestone by producing and offering a t-shirt designed by Sachiko Umi. The t-shirt is being offered for a one-time $40 contribution, representing one dollar for each year this show has been on the air. The design will be posted on the KUNM website for your viewing and purchase starting the first week in October.
As one of the longest running reggae shows in the nation, we on the Iyah Music show are excited to be a part of the music, education and diversity of this wonderful radio station. Thanks to all the djs, staff, and listeners, past and present for appreciating and supporting this show. We are honored and very proud to be a part of KUNM!
Iyah Music 40th Anniversary T-Shirt