Island Beat started first as I-Land Rebels on 1440 AM on Friday nights from 10pm – midnight back in 1999. At that time the people that were instrumental in maintaining that program were Mr. John Joseph, Mr. Shallom Peets, Mr. Christopher Charles, Mr. Bentley Henry and Mr. Mike Johnson. When we started, we notified management of the station that when time became available on Saturday that I-Land Rebels would be interested in obtaining it. Five years later Saturday December 4, 2004 Island Beat Radio was born on 1220 AM. As with all local Caribbean radio programs here in Orlando we must pay for our time on the air.
In order to build quality programming, we started to solicit DJ’s to become a part of the station such as NMS, DJ Renny, Smallie & Kemis, The Bald Head Dread, Brother Bantu and DJ Blaze, Neville Vibes, DJ MX, The Love Doctor and DJ Tobago. The next step was to approach some local Caribbean businesses to help as sponsors. I extend special thanks to two of these businesses that came on board without hesitation. They are Fairdeal Shipping & Trading, and Marshall Mortgage Service. They both reiterated that they were not only advertising for more business, but to help keep that Caribbean spirit that brings our community together by our music and to do their part to keep Caribbean radio on the air.
As time went on more of the responsibility fell on me and I have been able to overcome all of the challenges that has come my way. By the grace of God, we are now celebrating 10 years of Island Beat Radio. During this time along the way I realized that this radio station was bigger than John Joseph (DJ Tobago). This station has become an intricate part of our community and I will continue to dedicate my time and efforts to maintain it for all our people.
Once again special thanks to all the people and businesses that have helped us as we continue to make what was once a dream now a reality with your donations and advertising dollars. As we go forward, I want to say to my community “Never look down on a man unless you are picking him, because you never know when you are going to be down and need somebody to pick you up and always remember to pray, it still works”.
John "Tobago John" Joseph, President & CEO