Wed | Aug 5, 2020

Too much hype on Jamaican radio – Captain Kirk - Florida-based jock gives spin on local DJ’s

Published:Monday | September 30, 2019 | 12:16 AMAnthony Turner/Gleaner Writer
Captain Kirk in studio.
Captain Kirk in studio.


After being off the airwaves for almost eight months, Kirk Nelson, aka ‘Captain Kirk,’ the renowned ‘bad boy’ of radio, has taken up residence at Supa Jamz radio in Palm Beach, South Florida, hosting the Captain Kirk Show. ‘The lunchtime programme airs from 11a.m. to 3p.m.

“The Captain Kirk Show is the hottest four hours of Caribbean radio in South Florida, bar none,” a very pumped-up Kirk told The Gleaner.

Now that he is back on radio, his next move is for his weekday show to be simulcast in Jamaica.

“I have spoken to some folks in Jamaica, but I don’t have any timeline for when it will happen as yet. I would love to work on radio there to share some of my knowledge and expertise. The truth is the radio landscape has lost its lustre and vibrancy. I could help to restore that,” he told The Gleaner.

He offered the opinion that there was a time when radio in Jamaica had “lots of talent.”

“I am talking about big name personalities like Don Topping, Marie Garth, Barry G, Winston Williams, Allan Magnus, Richie B and Errol Thompson. Every time I travel to Jamaica now and flip through the dial, besides Barry G and a few others, I don’t hear anyone who really excites me enough to want to listen. There are also too many stations on the island now. I wonder who is listening? They may be playing for themselves. Some of the stations actually need to be put on CPR, to bring them back to life,” he stated.

Kirk shared that fresh talent, who can think outside of the box, would bring a new level of excitement to the airwaves.

“Many of the on-air jocks are more into hype rather than playing quality music and providing information, and this is destroying the industry. Some play and juggle music like they are at a dance. They need to be schooled about the intricacies of broadcasting. Others just keep recycling the same music from the same artistes, without a desire to break new talent. Programme directors and station owners need to challenge broadcasters to be better. They must get back to the drawing board and wheel and come again. I would venture to say that the best Jamaican radio jocks have retired or now live in the diaspora. Name any of the top local jocks in Jamaica that you want. I don’t have to start calling names, but I am prepared to challenge them, that they can’t walk a day in my shoes,” he boldly proclaimed.

Radio Bug

The veteran broadcaster, got smitten by the radio bug in 1993 when he hosted his first programme in New York. He has since carved out a niche as one of the most loved Caribbean radio personalities on the airwaves. He combines years of broadcasting experience and an extraordinary knowledge of music to help him set the agenda for a new global musical conversation.

Born in Kingston, Nelson grew up with his grandmother in the town of Bethany in Manchester. After migrating to New York in 1982, he got lucky when he met broadcaster and musicologist Ken Williams, who encouraged him to obtain formal training in broadcasting. He subsequently did stints in NY at WNWK and WVIP. Prior to working at Supa Jamz, he held positions at WAVS, WPBR and WPBR in South Florida. He has also hosted programmes at HOT 102 FM (Jamaica - simulcast); 1430 AM (Atlanta) and 1010 AM WGUN (Atlanta), where he launched the very first brokered Caribbean radio station in the city.