Profile: The Man Ezeke: Popular in the MOBO world (Music Of Black Origin), The Man Ezeke, real name Ezekel Gray first made musical recordings in 1961. Amongst his works are the formation of the Aqua Vita Band, plus his name was also put to the first release from Root Boot Records, called 'The Beatroots meet The Man Ezeke'. In 1976 he released a single on the Virgin record label with Tony Grieg - a double 'A' side called 'We're The Greatest' backed with 'Enoch De Nook'. His recordings are in fact manifold.
The Man Ezeke's first outings into the radio world came when he worked for BBC Radio Bedfordshire (which later became BBC Three Counties Radio) where he presented specialist music programming for the black community. However, he rose to more prominent fame as the first black presenter to front the Radio 1 Sunday Top 40 in 1990. It was on 27th January 1993 that Alan Freeman signed off for the last time from his Sunday Pick of The Pops show on Radio 1, having presented the programme on the network for the past 32 years. Although Fluff continued with his Saturday night rock show, The Man Ezeke took over the Sunday slot, and this was where he gained the moniker of the first black DJ on the daytime schedules at the station. During his spell on Radio 1 he presented the 'Ones on One' No.1 show and a fun-summery, typically tropical style 'Sunshine Show'.
Along with Simon Bates (was offered but declined a new show), Nicky Campbell (retired to look after his ill wife but returned in 1994), Alan Freeman (retired due to effects of arthritis), Diane Oxberry, Adrian Juste, Gary Davies, Bob Harris, and Johnnie Walker, The Man Ezeke left the station in September of 1993 - a mass cull and the same sort of treatment that befell many big Radio 1 names, courtesy of Matthew Bannister. The new Radio 1 schedule came in from October 25th of that year.
Today, he is nicknamed 'The Man' or 'Rasta', born under the starsign of Scorpio, his favourite past-time is a round of golf, he likes nothing better than sitting down to watch his favourite movies, 'The Ten Commandments' or 'Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom', musically, he enjoys a spot of classical music, notably Chopin's Nocturne, first thing in the morning, amongst his favourite things to eat, are two Jamaican delicacies, Akee and Breadfruit. He's been known to take part in a bit of motorsport, particularly the renowned 'Cork Rallysprint', placing himself firmly in the co-driver's seat! Of all the gigs he's ever worked, he most fondly remembers three seasons working at the Sporting Club in Monaco between 1980 & 1984.
Whereabouts: Ezekel Gray can now be found over in Southern Ireland - he now works on Cork's 96 / 103FM (having joined them in 2000) presenting 'Jammin' Oldies' from 7pm 'til Midnight on a Saturday night where he is known simply as 'Ezeke'. The show is a request-driven show placing more emphasis on the 60's, 70's & 80's than the station's mainstream output. Ezeke is said to add a unique presentation style to an upbeat show.
He also works for Marlboro Entertainment & Event Management, based in Cork, Southern Ireland, on their Jamaican and Summer Barbecue themed events.
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