Jammin Reggae Archives

Papa Pilgrim

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A relative newcomer to the genre, Papa Pilgrim's journey to Reggae music has been circuitous and adventuresome. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his voyage has included extensive travels throughout the Far East courtesy of a 20 year association with the American military establishment and an even longer affiliation with the State of Utah as a clinical social worker. Pilgrim's interest in Reggae began shortly after he moved into the neighborhood of "a long-haired hippie." Attracted by the heartbeat of "that weird music," he soon found himself singing along to the sounds of 10CC's "Dreadlock Holiday." Shortly thereafter, he purchased his first album, Peter Tosh's Legalize It. Thus began a heartfelt linkage to and a love for the musical art form which he now knows to be divinely inspired. (Pilgrim passed away in 2003)


Pilgrim's Reggae writing began even more serendipitously. A chance remark to The Beat's publisher that he was on the way to Jamaica to attend Sunsplash '89 was met with a request that he "cover" 'Splash' for that magazine. Since then his writings have been published extensively in Reggae Report, The Beat and CD Review, and to a lesser extent in the Reggae Festival Guide, Jamaica Times, and Reggae World (of Malta). His column, Pilgrim's Perspective, featuring the Words, Sounds and Power of independent artists, appeared regularly in Dub Missive Magazine. Pilgrim is quick to let folks know that he is not in the "Business of Reggae." He neither promotes concerts nor produces nor manages artists, and with very few exceptions, has received no remuneration for his writing and the expenses thus incurred.

For 15 years he hosted Nite Roots, a weekly Reggae radio show on Salt Lake City's KRCL (90.9FM) heard every Wednesday beginning at 8 PM. Nite Roots featured independent artists and labels or, in his own words, "Every week I'm heard to say that, no matter how large one's Reggae collection might be nor how long one has been listening to Reggae music, I guarantee that you will hear at least one song you've never heard before, more than likely by an artist of whom you've never heard."

A man of faith and culture, Pilgrim knows that Reggae music plays an instrumental part teaching us to to save our planet and truly live together peacefully as one. That knowledge provided the impetus and motivation to organize Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide (RAW).

Pilgrim "retired" from active leadership of Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide in 1999 and from Reggae radio in 2000. He has limited Reggae writing to an "as requested" basis.

Papa Pilgrim passed away on Sunday, October 5th 2003, in Aberdeen, Scotland, while traveling with his life partner, Wendi Watson. He suffered a massive stroke due to a blood clot in the brain on October 2, and passed away in the hospital in Aberdeen.

o American Reggae: Nah Give Up!
o Sierra Nevada World Music Fest
o As I Hear It: A focus on independent Reggae projects
o Pilgrim's Perspective
o Sunsplash '89
o Jamaica: No Problem
o Sunsplash Inna Hopiland
o Sunsplash '90

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