Barnabas Collins was America's favorite TV bloodsucker from 1966 until 1971, when Dark Shadows aired daily on ABC. Interestingly enough the soap opera began lacking in any supernatural content but when a ghost was written into an episode and proved to be popular the show's producer encouraged the writers to add more spookiness. As the story went, one of the characters was sent into the Collins' crypt in search of treasure and inadvertently unleashed the sleeping Barnabas into the modern world. Anyway, Barnabas discovers his reincarnated long lost love and spends the next four seasons lusting after her, professing his love, traveling back in time and all of the other usual crazy stuff that happens on a daily basis on daytime television.
Now I can't find any definitive written information about Dark Shadows in Jamaica but I "interviewed" my Jamaican friend Ingrid at work and she recalled that Dark Shadows used to air on the JBC late at night throughout the 70's. During this period JBC was the only television station on the island and a lot of their daily airtime was filled with older British and American programs and Ingrid remembered that before the station signed off on Saturday evenings they'd air two episodes of Dark Shadows. Thankfully that information helps explain why this "bizarre" American soap opera became public knowledge in Jamaica.
Anthony Waldron AKA Lone Ranger must have been a real TV fan... firstly because he took his stage name from the legendary Masked Man of black and white television fame and secondly because the song you're going to hear today pays hommage to ol' Barnabas. Regardless, this is probably one of my all-time favorite "rub-a-dub" tunes, bar none! This tune was recorded in 1979 by Alvin "GG" Ranglin and released in Jamaica on the GG label and internationally on Island records where it flew to the top of the reggae charts like a bloodthirsty vampire bat stuck in your hair. With a line like, "Barnie chew your neck like Wrigley's," I'd have been surprised if it hadn't?
Here is part 11 in our mix... complete with spoken word introduction courtesy of Jonathon Frid, who played Barnabas on the show, and borrowed from the track "I, Barnabas" on the Dark Shadow Soundtrack album which was released in 1969 and actually made it into the top 20 of the Billboard album chart. The usual creepy sounds and noises round the track out.
Now I'm leaving you with a real cliffhanger... tune in Monday to hear the exciting conclusion, when Yellowman kills Barnabas in cold blood right in front of your very ears! Now all I need to do is cue the cheesy soap opera organ!!