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Dyana Williams

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Information about Dyana Williams

Profile image of Dyana Williams

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
EntertainmentMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Talent Management Chief Executive
Radio Personality
Music Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Plantains
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Anything That The Mind Can Conceive And Believe, If You Truly Believe It, You Can Achieve It.

Birthplace

Born:
11/9/1953
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
EntertainmentMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Talent Management Chief Executive
Radio Personality
Music Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Plantains
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Anything That The Mind Can Conceive And Believe, If You Truly Believe It, You Can Achieve It.

Birthplace

Born:
11/9/1953
Birth Location:
New York
See how Dyana Williams is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Dyana Williams, producer, artist development coach, former DJ, and founder of the International Association of African American Music (IAAAM), grew up in New York City. Williams’s mother, Nancy Williams Newman, was Puerto Rican, and her father, George G. Williams, was from Virginia. Williams attended P.S. 78 in the Bronx until she was 10 years old; she then moved to Puerto Rico where she attended Santa Rita Elementary School in Bayamon. Returning to the United States, Williams attended junior high school at Eleanor Roosevelt Intermediate School #143 in Harlem. An outstanding flute player at Washington Irving High School, Williams performed with Jimmy Heath and Hubert Laws. After graduating in 1971, Williams enrolled in the City College of New York where she became a DJ for the college radio station, WCCR.

By 1973, Williams had joined the staff of Howard University radio WHUR-FM. There, under the guidance of Bob “Nighthawk” Terry and John Paul Simpkins, Williams’s Ebony Moonbeams show attracted a strong following. In 1975, legendary DJ Frankie Crocker brought Williams to New York City’s WBLS radio; in 1976, she returned to Washington, D.C., where she became the first African American woman rock DJ at WRQX-FM. Williams worked as program director at WMMJ radio and as the host of television’s P.M. Magazine. After moving to Philadelphia in 1982, Williams established a show called Love on the Menu for WDAS radio. Williams also reported for Black Entertainment Television (BET), and worked as music consultant for The Soul of VH1. Closely associated with The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) and Philadelphia jazz and soul artists such as Patti LaBelle, Art Tatum, and Teddy Pendergrass, Williams produced the PBS special, The Philadelphia Music Makers in 1990. As a writer, Williams contributed to The Philadelphia Tribune, Billboard Magazine, and The Philadelphia New Observer.

In 1990, Williams and Sheila Eldridge launched the Association of African American Music (IAAAM) to promote and preserve black music. Williams co-wrote the House Concurrent Bill 509, which recognized African American accomplishments in music and helped establish Black Music Month. In 1997 Williams earned her B.A. degree in television, radio, and film from Temple University. Williams formed Creative Consultants for Soul Solidarity in partnership with Eldridge. In 2006 Williams received the Achievement in Radio Award for Best Weekend Show in Philadelphia. Williams was formerly married to music producer and activist Kenny Gamble; their union produced three children.

Dyana Willams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2005.

See how Dyana Williams is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dyana Williams' interview, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Dyana Williams' interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams describes her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams describes her mother, Nancy Neuman
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes her mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams describes her paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about her father, George Williams
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams describes being an only child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams talks about being independent and imaginative as an only child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams talks about attending church as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about living in New York City and Puerto Rico as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams talks about her parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about her African American and Puerto Rican heritage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about skin tone bias around the world
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about Arthur Schomburg and HistoryMaker Charles Blockson
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dyana Williams talks about the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dyana Williams describes her school activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dyana Williams talks about her cultural exposure while growing up in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dyana Williams talks about attending Washington Irving High School in Manhattan, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dyana Williams talks about HistoryMaker Vy Higginsen
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about dating jazz flutist Hubert Laws
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about renowned flute players
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams describes being involved with the radio station at City College of New York in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams talks about her radio and television work while attending City College of New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about being hired at WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes the programming of WHUR-FM
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about the people she met while working at WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about Miles Davis
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about meeting HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about meeting HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about her documentary called "Sound of Philadelphia"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams describes working at and leaving WBLS in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams describes leaving WBLS in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about raising her children and her radio work in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes the HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble's connection to the black community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about working at WDAS in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about hosting "PM Magazine" on television
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about working at Magic 102.3 in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dyana Williams talks about divorcing HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dyana Williams talks about managing musician Gary Taylor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dyana Williams describes founding the International Association of African American Music (IAAAM)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Dyana Williams talks about Black Music Month and the demise of the Black Music Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about co-writing House Concurrent Bill 509
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about being an ambassador for black music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams describes writing for magazines and newspapers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams talks about being a VH1 reporter
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about producing the PBS special, "Philadelphia Music Makers"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes her decision to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about producing the IAAAM Diamond Awards
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams describes graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about her professors at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dyana Williams talks about her work in artist development and media coaching
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Dyana Williams talks about HistoryMaker Maxine Powell
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Dyana Williams describes her work at Influence Entertainment
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about serving on an NEA review board
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about her love of art and serving on the board of the Paul Jones Collection at the University of Delaware
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams talks about receiving three Liberty Bell Awards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about HistoryMaker Gordon Parks
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about her future plans and the multiple homes she owns
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams narrates her photographs