Gary Byrd


The Gary Byrd Experience is my course
When you take my class you will feel the force
'Cause I know the roots that the rap is from
When I speak to you I am not dumb

Gary Byrd, 'The Crown'

Gary Byrd has been a controversial figure as a radio talk-show host in the ’80s and ’90s, appearing weekdays on radio station WLIB in New York City, one of several outlets owned by African-American businessman Percy Sutton’s Inner City Broadcasting corporation. Byrd’s musical roots extend to the ’60s, when he met Stevie Wonder and wrote the lyrics for his songs “Black Man” and “Village Ghetto Land.” He and Wonder teamed again in 1983, when Byrd co-wrote the historical/inspirational tune “The Crown,” which was issued as a 12-inch on Wonder’s Wondirection label. It ran for 10 minutes 35 seconds, making it one of the longest tracks ever to chart in the UK.