A connoisseur of most musical genres and an avid music collector, Phyllis Francis aka Empress Skortcher recreates that essence of radio for listeners on the Classic Experience on Global Linkz Radio. The Classic Experience which airs 8 AM – Noon, features a variety of music genres from Orchestra, Classical, Film Score, Opera, Jazz, Popular, Swing music and more from 18th to 20th century. You never know what will be in this mix bag on any given Sunday. While most of the music are in their original forms (by the original performers), a few were re-created to allow for cleaner radio air play on.
Growing up in Jamaica during the 70′s and 80′s exposed Empress Skortcher was exposed to a wide choice of radio programs from live broadcasts to pre-recorded shows. Sure there were Church Music, Ska, Rocksteady, Calypso/Mento, Reggae, Dancehall, Bluegrass/Country, Rhythm And Blues talk shows and “outside” broadcasts. However, one of her fondest memory of radio as a young curious child was listening to the Sunday Serenade on Radio Jamaica. Vivid imaginations took her on trips to places she has never ventured, others, she would later visit and live. The voices uncommon in Jamaican society but more so, the dramatic, and slow, melodious, entrances, middles or exists of the various musical instruments in each piece of music captivated her young mind. As she was mostly a loner, listening to the radio (whenever possible) or playing the records of her uncle created for her, new ways of thinking about life. As years went by, she would read about the cultures, lives and times of as many of the musicians heard in over the Jamaican radio air-waves during the wee hours of the night or on Sundays.
While attending university in the United States, taking electives courses were a welcomed chance for Phyllis. She full joyed studying the elements of musical notation, and European/Western music theory from the Greek and Roman, Classical, Romantic, Baroque, Renaissance, Harlem Renaissance, Modern eras and became familiar with the works of early composers, writers, and performers. To name some of most impactful, the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Stucky, Schumann, Webern, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Sierr, Chopin, Wagner, Verdi, Liszt, Brahms, Mahler, Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, Ives, Messiaen, Bernstein, Perotin, Dufay, Edvard Grieg Monteverdi, Hayden, Johann Sebastian Bach, Handel, Harold Arlen, Bernard Herrmann, Miles Davis, Isaac Hayes, William Grant Still, Chick Webb, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Bille Holiday (Lady Day), Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, Nat Kin Cole, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Sissieretta Jones, Grace Bumbry, and many more created music with lasting memories and paved the foundation for many later contemporary musical composers and performers past and present.