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Vy Higginsen

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Information about Vy Higginsen

Profile image of Vy Higginsen

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Producer
Radio Personality

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Summer Colors
Favorite Food:
Chicken (Curried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Esteban, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
You lose some of the time what you go after. But you lose all the time what you don’t go after.

Birthplace

Born:
11/17/1945
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Stage Producer
Radio Personality

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Summer Colors
Favorite Food:
Chicken (Curried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Esteban, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
You lose some of the time what you go after. But you lose all the time what you don’t go after.

Birthplace

Born:
11/17/1945
Birth Location:
New York
See how Vy Higginsen is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Producer, author, playwright and radio personality, Vy Higginsen has been instrumental in making a place for minorities and women in the media and the arts. Higginsen was born in Harlem on November 16th, to a minister father and devout Christian mother. Even though her father died when she was an infant, the family continued their involvement in the church where a young Higginsen was profoundly influenced by its sights, sounds and vocal traditions.

Higginsen attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, believing that she wanted a career as a buyer. Not long after, she decided that the fashion industry was not for her and was hired by Ebony Magazine, becoming its first female sales representative. During her tenure there, Higginsen became increasingly interested in radio and enrolled at a school for broadcasting. The well-known radio personality Frankie Crocker recruited Higginsen to WBLS. She became the first woman on prime time radio. During this time, Higginsen also launched a lifestyle magazine, Unique NY.

It was while vacationing in the Caribbean that Higginsen and husband Ken Wydro developed the idea of writing a musical partially based on the life of Higginsen's sister, well-known African American singer Doris Troy. Debuting in 1983, Mama I Want To Sing, became the longest running black off-Broadway musical. Higginsen also co-wrote and produced Sing! Mama 2 and Born to Sing! Mama 3. As an author, Higginsen's published works include: Mama I Want to Sing, This is My Song, and The Positive Zone and Harlem Is.

Higginsen is presently studying for the ministry and serves as the CEO of the Mama Foundation for the Arts, an organization dedicated to the preservation of gospel music and black history.

See how Vy Higginsen is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vy Higginsen interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vy Higginsen states her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vy Higginsen talks about her father's family and the origins of her surname
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vy Higginsen explains the changes she made with her surname
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vy Higginsen talks about her mother's family origins
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vy Higginsen talks briefly about her mother's upbringing as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vy Higginsen names her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vy Higginsen remembers her childhood in the Bronx, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vy Higginsen recalls her childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vy Higginsen lists the schools she attended throughout her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vy Higginsen details the building development occurring in her neighborhood in Harlem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vy Higginsen talks about her experiences in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vy Higginsen recalls her religious upbringing and her spirituality today
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vy Higginsen discusses her sister, Doris Troy, and what influenced her during her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vy Higginsen details how she changed her career aspirations from fashion to radio broadcasting
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vy Higginsen describes how she ended up in radio broadcasting, Part 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vy Higginsen describes how she ended up in radio broadcasting, Part 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vy Higginsen details the effects of black radio in New York in the 1970s, Part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vy Higginsen details the impact of black radio in New York in the 1970s, Part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vy Higginsen recalls her first day broadcasting on WBLS-FM radio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vy Higginsen describes her first taste of celebrity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vy Higginsen talks about radio broadcasting and her foray into magazine publishing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vy Higginsen details her transition from radio to television broadcasting
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vy Higginsen recalls her first encounter with her future husband
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vy Higginsen recalls the creative process of her musical, 'Mama I Want to Sing'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vy Higginsen talks briefly about the growing interest in Harlem
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vy Higginsen remembers the difficulty she encountered trying to stage, 'Mama I Want to Sing', Part 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vy Higginsen remembers obstacles encountered in staging, 'Mama I Want to Sing', Part 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vy Higginsen details how her family joined her in the theater business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vy Higginsen comments on her musical's imitators and her formula for success
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vy Higginsen talks about public response to 'Mama I Want to Sing', and establishing the Mama Foundation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vy Higginsen comments on gospel music and the belief in prayer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vy Higginsen discusses the next phase of the Mama Foundation for the Arts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vy Higginsen posits on her mother's response to 'Mama I Want to Sing'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vy Higginsen expresses her fears the negative influences on black youth
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vy Higginsen reflects on her achievements and hopes for black America