When gospel minister and recording artiste Donnie McClurkin takes to the Jamaican airwaves on ZIP 103 FM today for the launch of his weekly gospel show the Donnie McClurkin Show, it will be the continuation of a love affair with the island which began many years ago.
“Being based in New York I was around Jamaican music and the culture for many years. It was hard not to know some of the songs at the time. West Indian culture stood out for me during those early years,” Minister McClurkin said in an interview.
McClurkin’s radio show will air Sundays from 6:00 am to 8:00 am. According to McClurkin, the radio station was receptive to the idea of the show and based on the station’s wide range of listeners, it was a no brainer. “ZIP was quite receptive to the format of the show, and due to the fact that they cover a large range of listeners, it was an easy fit,” McClurkin explained.
The hour long show will feature interviews with gospel artistes, both locally and internationally. There will also be interaction with listeners and an eclectic mix of music to entertain.
Said Minister McClurkin ‘I am praying that this show will last on ZIP until the day Jesus comes. You can expect to hear interviews with Jamaican gospel artistes, international gospel artistes, musicians, and a lot of interaction. The show will be recorded but we plan on doing some of the shows live further on. We plan to make the show indigenous to Jamaicans’.
McClurkin has been to Jamaican on numerous occasions. “I have ministered there several times. We did a show with Ce Ce Winans and Yolanda Adams. We even did some work at Church on the Rock with Kirk Franklin. We’ve done concerts in Montego Bay. The last time I was in Jamaica was about two years ago,” he added.
The minister paid tribute to Jamaican music on his 2000 live album Donnie McClurkin Live and More in London. The 14-track set contained a Caribbean Medley which saw the minister tackling popular Jamaican and West Indian gospel songs including Born Again, Under the Rock, and Mind Made Up, where he deejayed in Jamaican patois.
“The songs on the Live album were those I learnt growing up in the church. The album became a huge success for me,” McClurkin confided.
McClurkin says he and his team plan to visit Jamaica quarterly to do a series of live shows. He also hinted that he plans to create the infrastructure to stage a series of gospel showcases with Jamaican and international gospel artistes.
A winner of three Grammy Awards, ten Stellar Awards, two BET Awards, two Soul Train, one NAACP Image award and one Dove Award, the 52 year old McClurkin says he is working on an album at present.
“I am working on my new CD which will consist of new songs and some of my best songs. I also started up my own record label two years ago which is called CAMDON Records and its doing well,” said McClurkin.
CAMDON Records was started with the intention to produce and promote global gospel artistes. “We are targeting those gospel artistes who do not have any inroads to the industry. So far its working out,” he said.