After one year off the airwaves, veteran broadcaster Gil Bailey is back on New York radio. Since June, he has hosted the two-hour Gil Bailey Show on Saturdays on WNSR 620 AM, starting at 7 am.
Bailey is a pioneer of Caribbean radio in the Big Apple, having started at WHB1 in 1970. He also co-host The Gil and Pat Bailey Show with his wife on WNWK and WPAT.
Known in New York City music circles as the “Godfather”, Bailey said he feels good returning to familiar turf.
“If mi neva go back on radio, mi nuh know how mi woulda manage,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
“Wi always mix di music, give everybody a chance. Some nice lovers' rock, dancehall, gospel, soca, calypso, some American oldies…there's something for everyone,” he said.
Along with Karl Anthony and Ken Williams, Bailey helped put Caribbean radio on the map in the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut during the 1970s when mainstream radio ignored Caribbean music and culture.
His shows consistently showcased the music of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, and Dennis Brown, as well as calypso stars like The Mighty Sparrow.
Born in St Thomas, Bailey emigrated to the United States in 1966 and made his radio debut four years later as an inexperienced announcer. He and his wife Pat were a formidable team on Caribbean radio and promoted a number of shows for over 30 years.
Gil Bailey returns to show promotion on October 14 with Gospel Extravaganza at Church of God of Prophecy in Queens, New York.
It features Sister Dell, Vantroy Tulloch, Maxine Duncan, Michael Reid, La Fleur Durrant, and Sister Donica.