If it wasn't for a wonderfill woman named CC Smith, there simply would be no Beat Magazine. CC and I met at Sunsplash 81 in Montego Bay. She held a masters degree in Library Science, but was becoming disaffected from her law office job. Upon our return to L.A., she began to come the KCRW every Sunday afternoon to answer the phones during the four hour broadcast that Hank Holmes and I did called "The Reggae Beat." By the spring of 1982, reggae had begun to gain momentum with the southern California public, and so I suggested that we start a newsletter, or throwaway, or something to list the many upcoming reggae events so we could try to build a live audience for the music. I asked our listeners to drop a line if they were interested in receiving some kind of publication. Several hundred letters later CC came running in, her eyes wide and perplexed, and almost shouted, "What are we going to do?" "I don't know," I said dopily, "Why don't we start a magazine!" The first edition was given out free at our Second Annual Bob Marley Day in MacArthur Park on May 11. It was a two-sided fourteen inch sheet, and we called it "The Reggae Beat." By the second issue, we were folding the pages in half and were up to a dozen pages, then sixteen, then to an 8x10 black and white edition. By the end of our first year, CC had got us into a professionally printed version with a color cover. A year after, we added a glossy cover. Along the way the name changed to the Reggae and African Beat, and now (not without some controversy) simply The Beat. We cover all forms of world music and have had the great good fortune of contributions from some of the best informed and most famous music writers on earth. Each is at or near the top of his or her field, and some of their voices are extremely quirky. The Beat is now sold all over the planet. But our primary focus still remains reggae music and Jah culture, and each May I edit a Bob Marley Collectors Edition to help keep Bob's words and works alive. Read On!

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