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Bobby Bennett

Radio DJ Bobby Bennett was born on July 20, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From a young age, Bennett knew that he wanted to be a radio DJ. Following high school, he enrolled in a broadcasting school in Pittsburgh.

In 1967, Bennett worked as a news reporter for Pittsburgh's WAMO-AM and WZUM radio stations. One year later, in 1968, he moved to WOL-AM in Washington, D.C., where he became known to radio fans as “The Mighty Burner” and hosted a show until 1980. Bennett then hosted a sports talk show on WTOP in the early 1980s, and served as program director for WHUR-FM from 1987 to 1992. After his time at WHUR, Bennett was hired as a morning talk show host at WXTR; and, in 1997, he became the host of an R&B radio show on WPFW-FM. In 2000, Bennett created the “Soul Street” channel for XM Satellite Radio, and served as its program director until 2010. During his career, he also was employed as a record executive and as a voice over narrator.

Bennett was the co-author of The Ultimate Soul Music Trivia Book: 501 Questions and Answers About Motown, Rhythym & Blues, and More, which was published in 1997. In 1988, Bennett was presented with several awards from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania. In 1972, he was named Billboard magazine’s R&B Disc Jockey of the Year, and, in 1973, was recognized as Disc Jockey of the Year by the Gavin Report.

Bennett passed away on September 8, 2015 at age 72.

Accession Number

A2014.188

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/10/2014

Last Name

Bennett

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Dilworth Elementary School

Westinghouse Academy

Gladstone High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Bobby

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

BEN07

Favorite Season

May

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cancun, Mexico

Favorite Quote

Man Don’t Pay No Overtime And I Don’t Do None.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

7/20/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Punta Gorda

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rib Eye Steak

Death Date

9/8/2015

Short Description

Radio dj Bobby Bennett (1943 - 2015 ) worked at several radio stations in Washington, D.C. from the 1960s to the 1990s. He also created the 'Soul Street' channel for XM Satellite Radio, and served as its program director for seven years.

Employment

WAMO-AM

WZUM

WOL-AM

WTOP

WHUR-FM

WXTR

WPFW-FM

Sirius XM Radio, Inc.

Capitol Records, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bobby Bennett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett recalls his relationship with his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett recalls his mother's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett describes his father's personality and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bobby Bennett talks about his father's military service

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett recalls his father's duty in the Korean War

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett recalls his family's reaction to his aspirations of becoming a disc jockey

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett describes his brothers, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett describes his brothers, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett recalls living in a housing project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett remembers his early encounters with segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett remembers his favorite high school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bobby Bennett recalls the fashionable clothing of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bobby Bennett describes his maternal great uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Bobby Bennett recalls his early interest in baseball, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett remembers being scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett recalls the high schools he attended in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett remembers playing basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett recalls his early interest in becoming a disc jockey

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett talks about the music scene in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett talks about the influence of the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett remembers his challenges at Gladstone High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett recalls his high school activities

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett describes WAMO Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bobby Bennett remembers his early work in the radio industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett remembers working at WZUM Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett talks about the movie 'Get on Up'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett talks about movies about the African American music industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett remembers transitioning to WOL Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett recalls Al Germany's guidance and advice

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett remembers receiving a draft deferment

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett talks about Petey Greene

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett recalls his disc jockey contemporaries

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett remembers being given the nickname The Mighty Burner

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett talks about his time as an afternoon radio host

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett recalls singers that he enjoyed working with, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett recalls singers that he enjoyed working with, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett remembers the decline of Sly Stone, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett remembers the decline of Sly Stone, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett talks about maintaining his integrity in the radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett describes WOL Radio's place in the changing radio industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett recalls his coworkers at WHUR Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett remembers his friendship with Chuck Brown

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett describes his work experiences after leaving WOL Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett recalls working at Capitol Records in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett remembers joining WXTR Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett describes his experiences at WXTR Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett remembers hosting cruise concerts

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bobby Bennett talks about go-go music

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bobby Bennett remembers working at XM Satellite Radio, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bobby Bennett talks about the future of radio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bobby Bennett recalls moving from Washington, D.C. to Punta Gorda, Florida

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bobby Bennett reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bobby Bennett describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bobby Bennett talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bobby Bennett reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bobby Bennett describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
Bobby Bennett remembers transitioning to WOL Radio in Washington, D.C.
Bobby Bennett remembers working at XM Satellite Radio, Inc.
Transcript
Tell me how you got to WOL [WOL Radio, Washington, D.C.]. What, what happened, now you're at ZUM [WZUM Radio, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], you're twenty years old. What happens?$$Well they had a program director by the name of Bill Sherard, and Bill Sherard, his mother and father lived somewhere in Pennsylvania. And I'm not sure, it was northern Pennsylvania. But he heard me, he was on his way home 4th of July for the 4th of July holiday and he heard me on the air on a Saturday afternoon. So soon as he got back to D.C. [Washington, D.C.] that Tuesday, 'cause I think the holiday was Monday. He got back on Tuesday, he called me up and I had heard, I had been to Dc and I had heard WOL and I said oh may I would love to work there, them guys are smoking. Well at, WZUM we had people that were really good, I mean we had two guys that left there and went to New York [New York], but, and I had an opportunity to go New York. But I'm saying well if Al's going to New York, this guy that started me in radio, Al Gee he went to New York and Jeff Troy who's another one and Frankie Crocker. Frankie went to New York also. So I said well I'm going to D.C., so anyway make, get back to the original. He heard me on the air, he called me said would I be interested in coming to D.C., "Are you kidding," (laughter), "yeah definitely." Said, "Well I might have an opening in a couple of months to do the a- the overnight show." Now overnight was midnight 'til five in the morning, I didn't wanna do overnights, but I'm a kid. I'm just starting in this business and I'll do whatever you want. So I go on the air and I said okay, and I didn't expect to hear from again, him again, I thought it was you know possibly a joke or what. He called me two weeks later, said, "All right, I'm ready, come on down." So me and my brother, Gary [Gary Payne], Gary was about ten years old I think, twelve years old, we get in the car and go down to D.C. And, and he told me what they were gonna pay me and I almost died, I almost, I fainted.$$How much more was it than?$$Well it was I was making seventy dollars a week, and I went from seventy-five to 250 [dollars], so you do the math, that's about 175 difference.$$Just for playing records (laughter)?$$Just for playing records (laughter).$$That's what your father [Marshall Payne, Jr.] said.$$And my show was sponsored by Ben's Chili Bowl [Washington, D.C.].$$The famous Ben's Chili Bowl?$$The famous Jim- well wasn't fam- it wasn't that famous then.$$Okay.$$They were sponsored, they sponsored the first two hours, so they would, every night they would call me and see what I'm, how many hot dogs or half smokes I wanted. And they would bring them up to the station, and I was so full, I mean that was my diet for about six months I guess. And I got the job, and in D.C. and I was doing overnights and it was, it was a great experience. So then I got drafted, Vietnam [Vietnam War] was smoking by then.$$So how, how long were you there before you were drafted?$$What six months, eight months.$Okay so I thought I'd ask you about it before we moved on to XM radio. This is, so XM's in 2001, right, you go to XM is that?$$No we went in 2000.$$Two thousand [2000]?$$Yeah we didn't go on the air 'til 2001.$$Okay all right, all right.$$Yeah.$$So well XM now this is satellite ra- radio?$$Right.$$And well, well tell us about how, how you got the opportunity and what you were trying to do.$$Well I was doing the show on, on PFW [WPFW Radio, Washington, D.C.], and Hugh Panero who became the general manager of XM Satellite Radio [XM Satellite Radio, Inc.; Sirius XM Radio, Inc.], Hugh used to listen to us every Saturday he would listen. 'Cause he'd be off and, he would le- he loved hearing the old R and B music and so forth. And I got a call one day, I'd just put a book out what was it, 501 Ways the R- to Listen to R and B Radio [sic. 'The Ultimate Soul Music Trivia Book: 501 Questions and Answers About Motown, Rhythm and Blues and More,' Bobby Bennett and Sarah Smith]. I'd just put, but he bought the book (laughter) and then he read, he went through the book and he cal- I had, they had me down for an interview. So I came in, at that point they had hired like three people, and I spoke to Lee Abrams, Lee was the guy that in charge of programming period, all 100 stations. And I convinced him that I knew more about R and B radio and R and B records than anybody else. So they, they said okay and you know this is what we want, this, "Now you're gonna have to be with this radio station until it, it," you know, "you're going have to build it from scratch," which is what I did. I, at that time I hired two other, two other jocks and what we would do would record, we do one show live, and then we would record another show. Say like you would be on twenty-four hours well twelve of them would be live, and twelve would be recorded. So that's what we did, did that for ten years, had a ball. It was, it was tough because this came along in two- in the year 2000 and all of the new technology was just coming about at this point. And I mean you're talking about me, I was a fifty year old jock, you know at that time, and you're trying to teach me new ti- all this new technology. And I'm like oh wow, so I remember one day riding down New Hampshire Avenue which I had to come on, do New Hampshire Avenue to get to work. And I'm like I'm quitting today 'cause I can't do this, I just can't do this, this is crazy. Something happened that day, I don't know what happened, and I still don't know what happened. All of a sudden all of this information that we had been de- being taught for the last four months, all of a sudden it all came together. And (laughter) all of a sudden I became the guy doing all this new technology, it was really, really wild. But after I got it, you know, I finally had it by now, and after I got it and build my station and the whole nine yards, then I really had a good time. Until the end at the end, they started hiring people that were really not ra- radio people, they were people, they were money people. And it, it didn't make no difference how you sounded as long as your station was making money. And as long, mean they would, they would play the same records like you know five times a day you know it was just crazy. So I remember Charlie Logan, Charlie Logan saying back in 2000, you know, "Those of us who build these radio stations won't be here ten years from now." And he was absolutely right, but it's funny how things happen. The, we had a new general manager 'cause our old guy he had left and his name was Jim Davis [ph.] and he came aboard and he said, "I'm a take care of all the people that helped to build this, this whole network." So what he did all of us are program directors, they offered us a year's salary, we got a year you know for not being there (laughter) that was great. Plus another year of here's a, another year, boom. So you know nobody was mad, we walked out, we said okay that's fine, they hired all new guys, they're out of New York [New York] now basically doing most of the shows out of New York. At that time they were doing everything in D.C. [Washington, D.C.], but it worked out very well and you know we were happy, and that's. That was ten years of my life that you know I really had a good time, and it was, it was fun to see something that had, didn't have legs before, all of a sudden it does now. That was fun; it was your baby it was you know. For the first year that this, this happened in two, two o-elev- '11 [2011] I believe. And I couldn't listen for the first year, I couldn't listen to my station, you know I just didn't wanna hear it. I didn't wanna hear what somebody else was doing with my station.$$I know they changed the name of the show from 'Soul Street' to 'Soul Town' (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah it became 'Soul Town,' well 'Soul Town' that was the name of, what they you know when I left, they just changed it around. Instead of the street 'cause we had a patent on the street, 'Soul Street,' they changed it to soul, 'Soul Town' so they wouldn't be sued (laughter), so.

Jerry Rushin

Radio station manager Jerry J. Rushin was born on May 21, 1947 in the State of Georgia. When he was a child, his family moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he was raised. Rushin’s father was a truck driver; his mother, a part-time housekeeper. Rushin attended Dillard High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduation where he served for three years, including a two-year tour in Vietnam.

Upon returning from Vietnam, Rushin worked in a furniture store and was promoted to manager. He then enrolled in Lindsey Hopkins Technical Educational Center in Miami, Florida and was hired as a part-time board engineer at WEDR-FM while taking a six-month course in radio broadcasting. In 1973, he became a part-time on-air personality and hosted the “Super Jerry J” show on weekends. Rushin was soon promoted as a full-time radio host and later to program director and sales representative for WEDR in 1975. In 1980, he was appointed general manager of the station, becoming the first African American in South Florida to operate a radio station. While general manager, Rushin increased WEDR’s signal from 16,000 watts to 100,000 watts, and, in 1992, the station became the top rated radio station in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area.

In 2000, Cox Media Group purchased WEDR and Rushin was subsequently named vice president and market manager for the corporation’s South Florida radio stations, which included WHQT, WFEZ, WFLC and WEDR. He retired in 2012.

Rushin’s honors include the National Black Programmers Coalition 1995 General Manager of the Year award, the “Living Legend Award” from Black Radio Exclusive, and the Excalibur Award from the Family Christian Association of America. In addition, Rushin served on the board of directors of the Nat Moore Foundation.

Jerry Rushin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.212

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/9/2014

Last Name

Rushin

Maker Category
Middle Name

Joe

Organizations
Schools

Dillard High School

Clarence C. Walker Elementary School

Lincoln Park Elementary School

Lindsey Hopkins Technical College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jerry

Birth City, State, Country

Eastman

HM ID

RUS10

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

North Florida

Favorite Quote

Just Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

5/21/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chop Sandwich

Short Description

Radio station manager Jerry Rushin (1947 - ) became the general manager WEDR Radio station in Miami, Florida in 1980. He later served as the vice president and market manager for the Cox Media Group’s South Florida radio stations.

Employment

United States Army

WEDR-FM

Cox Media Group

Zeno Mattress MFG. Co. Inc.

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1512,16:3024,35:3384,45:3744,52:5616,107:6840,139:17928,474:24420,489:27860,573:28500,584:29060,604:31060,682:38900,759:39440,766:40250,776:42050,802:43940,842:47216,850:47936,951:52472,1111:69701,1335:74706,1451:76015,1509:80019,1619:97848,1961:98238,1967:98550,1972:98940,1978:116136,2212:118842,2440:120236,2481:121794,2560:124910,2626:125484,2666:141156,2939:141524,2944:149350,3070:155690,3214$0,0:2389,57:8740,168:9175,184:14569,357:22138,540:25705,660:30926,669:31521,676:32116,682:39430,772:40190,782:42080,797:43542,841:43886,846:45176,862:46724,936:47842,953:62380,1219:62700,1224:76000,1420:85000,1579:85360,1584:101582,1845:102067,1851:106238,2016:118150,2215:127882,2389:135358,2500:145408,2728:145798,2734:146110,2739:146578,2747:147280,2773:147748,2780:157410,2919:162690,3075:163490,3092:169230,3154:169590,3159:172920,3230:181892,3513:188832,3577:189156,3582:192072,3637:192477,3643:193125,3741:203566,3850:214654,4000:221706,4144:231566,4378:253280,4712:260034,4774:260424,4783:270486,5029:270798,5035:271344,5043:276624,5076:278548,5132:281878,5225:283358,5257:291783,5442:301280,5508
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jerry Rushin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jerry Rushin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jerry Rushin describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jerry Rushin describes the community of Eastman, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jerry Rushin describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jerry Rushin describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jerry Rushin talks about his family's move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jerry Rushin remembers going to work with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jerry Rushin describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jerry Rushin describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jerry Rushin lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jerry Rushin describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jerry Rushin describes the sights and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jerry Rushin remembers segregation in Eastman, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jerry Rushin describes his elementary school experiences in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jerry Rushin recalls his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jerry Rushin recalls his early love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jerry Rushin describes his early aspirations, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jerry Rushin describes his early aspirations, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jerry Rushin talks about the black radio stations in South Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jerry Rushin remembers Clarence C. Walker Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jerry Rushin recalls his early exposure to media

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jerry Rushin talks about his experiences at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jerry Rushin remembers serving in the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jerry Rushin remembers serving in the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jerry Rushin describes his decision to attend the Lindsey Hopkins Technical College in Miami, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jerry Rushin describes his first position at WEDR Radio in Miami, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jerry Rushin talks about WEDR Radio's transition to a black format

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jerry Rushin remembers his show on WEDR Radio in Miami, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jerry Rushin talks about appealing to his audience on WEDR Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jerry Rushin describes the music on WEDR Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jerry Rushin remembers his celebrity guests on WEDR Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jerry Rushin describes his role as program director on WEDR Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jerry Rushin talks about the types of radio shows

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jerry Rushin talks about midday radio shows

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jerry Rushin remembers his conflict with the management of WEDR Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jerry Rushin talks about the growth of WEDR Radio during the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jerry Rushin remembers the changes at WEDR Radio during the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jerry Rushin recalls the on air personalities at WEDR Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jerry Rushin recalls the incidents of police brutality that led to the Miami riots of 1980

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jerry Rushin talks about the relations between police and the community in South Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jerry Rushin talks about the acquisition of WEDR Radio by the Cox Media Group

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jerry Rushin reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jerry Rushin talks about the murder of Trayvon Martin

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jerry Rushin talks about his retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jerry Rushin describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jerry Rushin reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jerry Rushin talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jerry Rushin reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jerry Rushin talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jerry Rushin describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Jerry Rushin talks about appealing to his audience on WEDR Radio
Jerry Rushin recalls the incidents of police brutality that led to the Miami riots of 1980
Transcript
So a, a typical like morning show, would you have a guest, or, or would you--$$Yeah. Back then, you didn't have the complete zoos like you have now. Like if you notice on Tom Joyner ['Tom Joyner Morning Show'], you got J. [J. Anthony Brown], you got Sybil [Sybil Wilkes] and all those people, and, and this Rickey Smiley got ten people in there with him. Back then, it was pretty much just a jock [disc jockey], and I think--but, again, if you can be creative, you can fill that talk void because you're not being scripted, just ten seconds worth of whatever. Or you could have phone calls, or you could have a guest come in. You can have--you know, do interviews. But I, I believe that I could express my opinion at any time because I'm on the air, so I was always concerned about wanting to know and share what listeners thought. I thought people, people like to listen because they either want to disagree with what you say, or they're looking for some kind of confirmation on what they're saying or affirmation of what they're saying. "Oh, he's right. See, that's what I was telling my wife last name. Hear what he just said?" "Oh, he's stupid. What are you talking about?" That's okay. But they listen for those two reasons, so that's why I like to get the, the audience involved, you know. And then sometime if it's not the fire that I wanted, I would say something silly to fire--to put some fire under it, just to, you know--but I would do it myself, you know, so you learn those things and how to do those things, you know, when you're--after a while in the business, you know.$$Well it seems like it would be like a tightrope on some level because you don't want to make yourself unpopular by saying something that's completely wrong, right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah.$$So--$$So, so you learn, you learn to--you know, sort of--kind of like Joan Rivers. She picked at herself some, even when she started having the plastic surgery, she could talk about some other starlet and how the star had plastic surgery. So, what's the word, self hybrid--whatever the word be--$$Self effacing (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$Or, or--$$Okay.$$--self deprecating.$$Yeah. So I was very good at that. I would always shoot myself down the hardest, you know, and it kind of took--you know, people say, "Yeah, you right. You sure are." You know, it kind of took the sting out of it, but now when your time come for me to come down on you, well, you know, there ain't much you can say. You know what I'm saying? But, but you learn how to do that. That comes with experience how to--that tight- the tightrope, get that balancing act. You learn how to do that, you know, without, you know. It's what I used to call going to the edge but not over. I would say, let me just take the audience to the edge, and if they decide they want to go over, they can do it by themselves, but I knew where the edge was on every, every subject that came up, and I would go right to the edge. Then I'd put my brakes on. And now if some listeners want to go over the edge--not that something bad gonna happen, but you want your imagination now to, to go wherever, that's fine, but I didn't tell you to go there, you know.$I guess from the eight- probably before from the--I know from the '80s [1980s] through the '90s [1990s], there, there are quite a few urban rebellions and riots in the Miami [Florida] area beginning in the, 19--$$The '80 [1980] riots (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) eighty [1980] with the big one--$$Yeah.$$--the big one was 1980, I guess, but, but there were other riots in Liberty City [Miami, Florida] (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) We had one, 1980 was when Arthur McDuffie--$$Right.$$--my--a friend of mine got beaten to death by the police. Then we had a kid--$$So you, you knew Arthur McDuffie.$$Yeah, yeah. I knew him well. Yeah.$$Okay.$$That was such a crazy thing. Arthur got beat, beaten in December, and they had the trial in May, and they had a change of venue, and, of course, everybody was found innocent, so--$$What happened? Tell, just tell, tell us from what you remember (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well, Arthur had came to one of my clubs one Saturday night, I think it was, and he was hanging out, but at some point, he got on his motorcycle, and what happened, I guess a cop wanted to stop him for a ticket or speeding. I don't know the details why they were chasing him, but at some point, you know, I think he crashed his motorcycle, and the chase ended right there, or he--and he just--I guess he's excited because of the adrenaline rush from chase--from the chase. And I know that happens when you chasing your kid about, "Don't you run from me, boy." Same thing, you get--so--and they just beat him, and then at some point, he passed away from the blows, you know, and when everybody was let go and the trial over in Tampa [Florida], it was on a Saturday, and I know some people called me up and said--you know, my jock [disc jockey]. Said, "Say J [HistoryMaker Jerry Rushin], we're getting a lot of calls about this trial."$$So, so he was tried in Tampa, which is four--$$Change of venue (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) hours away from here, yeah.$$So he said, "Well, you're getting a lot of calls, man." I said, "Well, you know, just, you know, just tell them we'll get, get into Monday." It's Saturday, but, you know, so I tried to like down play it. Then the jock called back, and said, "Man J, I'm telling you, man. The phones are going crazy." I said, "All right." So, whatever, whatever, so. Then he called me back said, "J, people is outside the building, man. They asking for you." I say, "Okay. I'll be right there." So I drive to the, to the station [WEDR Radio, Miami, Florida], man, 'cause we in the, we in the hood now, in the city. We're in the inner city. Sure enough, I couldn't get to the station for these cars. I'm--I know I was outspoken, but, I never thought about that kind of stuff, you know, like the people really gravitated to the stuff I would do, the things I would say, whatever. But I finally got to the little building there, and, and they just wanted to talk, so I stood outside and we talked and we talked, and then I went on the air, and I talked, and put one or two people on the air. Again, again let, let a couple of them vent. You know, they were upset, obviously. So what happened that night, they had what they called a silent protest at the government building [Metro Justice Building; Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building, Miami, Florida], and a couple police cars got turned over, and it was on for the next few days, and I think maybe twenty-two people [sic. eighteen] got killed, and it was--so, you know, and then some people actually said that the--that I started the riots, and at some point you got to realize, this man is dead and finding these people innocent. Nobody is being punish for it. That's what started the riots. And there had been some other incidents. That wasn't the only one. Nathaniel LaFleur, they broke into his house. Police thought that they had the wrong address, cracked his skull. Young kid was relieving himself outside a warehouse building in Hialeah [Florida], you know, they shot him down. A kid named Donald [ph.] was in his car drunk. They said they thought he had a gun. They shot and killed--all this led up to the ones in this riot, so this is a lot of--so that--now, see all these things and nobody should be punished [sic.]. So remember one of the things the police was saying commonly was, "Well, he made a sudden move." So we came up with this thing we called the sudden move syndrome, so I actually had to go in there and go step by step what to do if you're stopped by the police. You know, you put both hands outside the car. You don't reach for your wallet or your license or your insurance. You put both hands outside the car so he can see them. That way he know you don't have a gun or you're not reaching for a gun. I had some other steps in that whole thing, but--'cause it, it got crazy, and all the cop has to do is say, "Well, you know, he made a sudden move, and I thought he had a gun." "Oh, it was his watch flashing. Or I saw the flash. I thought it was a weapon." And if you say that, nothing happens. And it had to stop. You know, again, that same thing from my childhood kick in. Somebody got to stand up to these people. No, you're not going to fight. You know, you can't fight the police or the, or the government, you know, but somebody gotta make the process change. So, hell, it was--I was--just happened to be there. Again, it was like on my watch so to speak, so and that's how, how that whole thing pretty much went down in 1980, the riots of 1980.

Dr. Glenn W. Cherry

Media company executive and veterinarian Glenn W. Cherry was born in Daytona Beach, Florida to Julia T. Cherry and Charles W. Cherry, Sr. His father founded the Florida Courier and Daytona Times, for which Cherry began selling advertising for in 1978. Cherry earned his B.S. degree in biology from Morehouse College in 1980 and his D.V.M. degree from Tuskegee University in 1984. He then served as a United States Air Force Captain from 1984 to 1988, as Chief of Public Health Service in the Netherlands and Turkey. Cherry was honorably discharged from reserve duty in 1991.

After his military service, Cherry worked in veterinary medicine as confidential assistant to the administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state veterinarian for the Maryland Racing Commission, supervisory veterinarian at the National Institutes of Health, and as biologist at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. From 1994 to 1998, Cherry worked in the Clinton Administration in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel as an executive search manager. Cherry has also served as chairman and chief executive officer of Global Health Professionals, Inc., a Florida-based non-profit organization.

In 1989, Cherry, along with his father and brother, purchased the WPUL-AM 1590 radio station in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cherry went on to purchase WCSZ-AM in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1996, and then WTMP-AM 1150 in Tampa, Florida in 1997, where he served as general manager until 2007.

In 2000, Cherry and his brother founded Tama Broadcasting, Inc., Florida’s largest privately held African American media group, and he served as its president and chief executive officer as well as a board director. Under Cherry’s leadership, Tama Broadcasting acquired Dade City, Florida’s WMGG-FM 96.1 in 2002 and changed its call letters to WTMP-FM. The company also expanded into the Jacksonville, Florida market with WHJX-FM, WSJF-FM, WJSJ-FM, and WOKF-FM. In 2004, acquisitions were made in the Savannah, Georgia market with WSSJ-FM, WMZD-FM, and WSGA-FM.

Cherry is married to Dr. Valerie Rawls Cherry. They have one son, Jamal.

Glenn Cherry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 12, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.233

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/12/2014

Last Name

Cherry

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Organizations
Schools

Morehouse College

Tuskegee University

Campbell Street Elementary School

Basilica School of St. Paul

Campbell Middle School

Seabreeze High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Glenn

Birth City, State, Country

Daytona Beach

HM ID

CHE09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Hold Them In The Road.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

6/2/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tampa

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecued Chicken

Short Description

Media company chief executive and veterinarian Dr. Glenn W. Cherry (1958 - ) was the president and chief executive officer of Tama Broadcasting, Inc. He worked as a veterinarian for several years, and was a political appointee in the Clinton Administration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Employment

Daytona Times

United States Air Force

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Maryland Racing Commission

National Institutes of Health

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

White House Office of Presidential Personnel

Global Health Professionals, Inc.

WTMP-AM

Tama Broadcasting, Inc.

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Glenn W. Cherry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the structural segregation of rural Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers visiting his maternal grandmother, Emma Troutman

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his parents' college educations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his father's experiences at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his father's time in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the beginning of his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his father's involvement with the Citizens Coordinating Committee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the importance of self-defense during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers witnessing the violent response to the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s Florida, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers witnessing the violent response to the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s Florida, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his family's social status in his early neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his early schooling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls protecting his mother and sister during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his family's dogs

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about aspiring to become a veterinarian, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about aspiring to become a veterinarian, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls attending Campbell Street Junior High School in Daytona Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls attending Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about balancing academics and extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers Benjamin Mays and Hugh Gloster

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his experiences at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about his influences at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his instructor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his enrollment at Tuskegee Institute School of Veterinary Medicine, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his enrollment at Tuskegee Institute School of Veterinary Medicine, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers working to establish the Daytona Times with his family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his experiences as a zookeeper at the Audobon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his influences at the Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the racial barriers in equine surgery

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his decision to join the U.S. Air Force as a public health officer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his role at Soesterberg Air Base, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his role at Soesterberg Air Base, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his experiences in Izmir, Turkey

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers being offered a position with the Maryland Racing Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers working for the Maryland Racing Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his responsibilities at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers working at the National Institutes of Health

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his political appointment in the 1990s

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his appointment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the expansion of his family's media ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls becoming the general manager of WTMP Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his duties as general manager of WTMP Radio

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes WTMP Radio's relationship to the Tampa, Florida community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his colleagues at WTMP Radio in Tampa, Florida

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls his transition to working full time in radio

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the obstacles for minorities entering into the broadcasting market, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes the obstacles for minorities entering into the broadcasting market, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry recalls the impact of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons his family's radio stations

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the demise of black broadcasting companies, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the demise of black broadcasting companies, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry reflects upon the future of Tama Broadcasting

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry reflects upon his family's legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry reflects upon his family's legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Glenn W. Cherry describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Dr. Glenn W. Cherry remembers his duties as general manager of WTMP Radio
Dr. Glenn W. Cherry talks about the demise of black broadcasting companies, pt. 1
Transcript
Okay. So, this is '97 [1997], right, 1997?$$Um-hm, um-hm.$$And, now, the, I know the next big thing that you--well, let's--well, you said, now, you were getting advice on how to be a, a general manager and--$$Yes, you know, I think that all this time talking with my father [Charles W. Cherry, Sr.] and that I had been a manager as a military officer, I managed people through every program that I worked as--in the government, you know. So, I had managed people before, you know, and processes and trying to get to a point to where, you know, we, we were successful. So, I wasn't new to--I'd, I had management experience from the time that I got out of the [U.S.] military--from going into the military, you know 'til that point, when I was at the racetrack, you know, I had at least fifteen people that worked for us there, you know. So, I didn't have a management problem.$$Well, what was--maybe I should put it like this. What was--was there a--what was the toughest part of managing a radio station versus some other kind of industry?$$Well, I think the biggest thing was, when you take over a station that was losing money--when I came in the station [WTMP Radio, Egypt Lake, Florida] was losing about $200,000 a year. And I had to figure out, how was I going to turn this around that we could, you know, get out of this hole immediately. And so, you know, I think that was really probably the dynamic. You know, I had to make some cuts and then I had to increase he revenue. And so, I got on the street and started selling and start trying see if I could make the kind of contacts that would get us back to a place where the station had been before. The station had basically been--had its ups and its downs. And the people that owned it before I got there were some football players and their wives, and the wives were running the station but they weren't really broadcasters. They just, just, you know, needed something to do. And I think that's how they kind of ran it. And so, the--actually the guys decided this is not going to work, we need to get out of this business and then they sold the station. So, the station was not being run in a manner that would make it profitable so inside of a year I'd turned the station around. The station was making a profit and that then is history as they say. Because once I started making a profit, then I started becoming seen as a real operator. And people started saying, hey, that, that guy knows what he's doing, you know. The station's turned around, it's getting ratings and revenue is up; and, you know, they started seeing me as a--somebody who could potentially be a player in the industry.$And, at that time, we had done our last final deal we had done with a hedge fund [D.B. Zwirn Special Opportunities Fund, LP]. And we didn't know much about them, because in 2004, there wasn't a lot of information about hedge funds in 2004. And this was a new hedge fund that had come to black broadcasters and said, you know, "We want to make sure that you guys have access to cash and, you know, we think this is a space that, that could be very successful for our business. And we want to be with you for the long term." That was their line. And that we can get a deal done fast. So, the speed at which they did the deals didn't allow for you to really find out who they were until after the deal was signed, 'cause they'd do a deal in thirty days. And they kept you busy on the paperwork telling you we can get this deal done. And so, by the time you got the deal done and figured out you were in bed with the devil, you were already in there, you know. So, that's kind of partly that speed of which we were all moving with, and that we really hadn't hit the, hit the wall with the economy yet. You know, after 9/11 [September 11, 2001] things were kind of getting softer, you know, through '04 [2004], '05 [2005] and then the hurricanes in Florida it may not have affected, you know, other folks but--so, '04 [2004], '05 [2005] it was, it was softening. And then it fell off '07 [2007], '08 [2008], you know, it just--it was all the way in the tank by that time. So, during that period of time, the hedge fund decided that--what we found out was that they decided that the best thing they could do is harvest all their investments as early as possible so that they could reap their money, you know, and that they weren't going to wait. So, when we fell into a technical default on our loans, not that we owed them any money, now. We didn't--we weren't behind on paying them. But they had these little technical defaults in the contract that said, if you didn't hit your revenue numbers, you know, for the quarter then you're in default. So, during the hurricane months where we did not hit our revenue numbers--no one did--you know, they would allow those bigger guys to readjust their numbers but we weren't allowed to readjust our numbers based on the hurricanes. So, they put us in a technical default, and doubled your interest rate, they basically called your note early. It's like they do your house, you know, they just, you know. And so, you know, "We need our $20 million now," when you just gave it to us not, not too, not that long ago, you know. So, we had a $20 million loan that called and that was about worth what half the properties was worth. So, then they basically wanted to take the whole shooting match. Then they'd take that and they'd sell it for a discount price and they'd still make a huge profit because they're making it off our equity. So, that's what started, you know, a whole big battle over black radio. It wasn't just us. This was done to a number of different people, you know, because they came in to that group of us and talked to everybody. So, you had--and I can tell you today, Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation], New York [New York], Percy Sutton, that station's gone. Sid Smalls [Sidney L. Small], who had National Urban Network [sic. National Black Network] and AURN [American Urban Radio Networks], he had stations, TV stations and radio stations up and down the East Coast, New Jersey, New York. Sid Smalls, he had a heart attack and died fighting these guys, right. Percy Squire in Columbus, Ohio lost his five stations. Us, we lost our nine stations, you know. It was one of these same hedge fund deals that were going on in that period of time. So, like, you know, you're talking about four of the, the largest minority owned broadcasters, groups, wiped out. So, you know, that was a period of time that--and, meanwhile, black consumers, black folks, they didn't know because things were going bad overall. So, it was hidden in the fact that the whole economy was going down what was happening to black media.

Mütter Evans

Radio station owner Mütter D. Evans was born in Williamston, North Carolina to Dallas Bryant and Mable C. Evans. Evans was raised in the late 1950s in rural eastern North Carolina. In 1971, she enrolled in Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While there, she worked at the university’s radio station, and in her junior year, she was hired as an intern for the WAAA-AM radio station in Winston-Salem. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 1975 with her B.S. degree in speech communications and theatre arts.

Upon graduation, Evans returned to WAAA as its news and public affairs director. In three years, she was promoted to executive vice president and general manager, with an option to buy the station. In 1979, Evans purchased WAAA from Media Broadcasting Corporation for $1.04 million, making her the youngest and second African American woman to own a broadcast property in the United States. She also initiated the Annual Noon Hour Commemoration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Winston-Salem, five years before the first national holiday. The commemoration is one of the oldest Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial events in the United States.

Evans, who also served as president and general manager of WAAA, sold the station in the 2000s. She later established Mütter D. Evans Communications, a firm that provides assistance in the areas of management, marketing, and public relations. In addition, she served as an adjunct instructor at Winston-Salem State University, where she taught courses in mass communications for over a decade.

Evans wrote a retrospect essay for the History of Wake Forest University, Volume V, 1967-1983 and was featured in the book Jewels: 50 Phenomenal Black Women Over 50 by Michael Cunningham and Connie Briscoe. She served on the governing council of the Quality Education Institute, and on the Business Advisory Council of Winston-Salem State University. Evans has also served on national or local boards for the Quality Education Academy, Arts Council, United Way of Forsyth County, Triad Cultural Arts, Winston Lake Family YMCA, American Red Cross, Wake Forest University Alumni Council, and the Winston-Salem State University Foundation. She was also a charter board member and graduate of Leadership Winston-Salem, and a member of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters for many years.

She has received awards from the City of Winston-Salem, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Liberian Organization of the Piedmont, New Bethel Baptist Church's Race and Progress Committee, Alpha Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Rho Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., the Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission, the Winston-Salem NAACP, Winston Lake YMCA, the United Negro College Fund, Morehouse College and Clark-Atlanta University. Evans has been named “Woman of the Year” by the Winston-Salem Chronicle, and was included as one of Black Enterprise magazine’s “30 Up and Coming Young Leaders.”

Mütter Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.177

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/15/2014

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Middle Name

D

Occupation
Schools

Wake Forest University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Mutter

Birth City, State, Country

Williamston

HM ID

EVA08

State

North Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

4/7/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Short Description

Radio station owner Mütter Evans (1953 - ) became the youngest and second African American woman to own a broadcast property in the United States when she purchased Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s WAAA-AM in 1979.

Employment

WAAA-AM

Mutter D. Evans Communications

Winston-Salem State University

Susan Davenport Austin

Broadcast company executive Susan Davenport Austin was born in 1967. Her parents are Judith Davenport and Ronald R. Davenport, the founders of the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. Austin received her A.B. degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1989, and her M.B.A degree from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1993.

In 1993, Austin was hired as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Inc., where she went on to serve as a vice president in telecommunications finance. From 1997 to 2000, she worked as an associate director for Bear, Stearns & Company. Austin was subsequently appointed as a vice president in the communications, media and entertainment group at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she served until 2001. Then, in 2002, she was named vice president of strategic planning for her family’s Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). In 2004, Austin became president of the Sheridan Gospel Network; in 2007, she was made senior vice president and chief financial officer of SBC. She was named vice chairman of SBC in 2013.

In 2011, Austin became the first woman and first African American elected as chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). She also serves on the boards of Prudential Variable Annuities, Hubbard Radio, and Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. In addition, Austin has served as vice chair of the National Association of Broadcasters’ Audit Committee, as president of the Stanford Business School Alumni Association, chair of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, board member of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, and as president of the board of the MacDowell Colony.

Austin was honored by Girls Incorporated in 1998 and received the inaugural John W. Gardner Volunteer Service Award from The Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2002. In 2008, she received the International Gospel Industry Service Honor and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Prestige Award. Radio Ink Magazine has named her one of the Most Influential African Americans in Radio and one of the Most Influential Women in Radio. She has been profiled in Womensbiz, Ebony and XII magazines.

Susan Davenport Austin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.161

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2014

Last Name

Austin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Davenport

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Ellis School

Harvard University

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Susan

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

AUS05

State

Pennsylvania

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/19/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Broadcast executive Susan Davenport Austin (1967 - ) has served as vice president of strategic planning and senior vice president and chief financial officer of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, as well as president of the Sheridan Gospel Network. In 2011, she became the first woman and first African American chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc.

Employment

Sheridan Broadcasting

Goldman Sachs

Bear Stearns

Solomon Brothers

Bev Smith

Radio talk show host Bev Smith was born March 4, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Smith is the eldest of six children born to Isabel and John Sloan. She was raised in the Homewood neighborhood of Pennsylvania, and graduated from Westinghouse High School. In 1961, Smith entered beautician school, to raise money for college, and a year later enrolled in Clark’s Business School. In 1963, she took classes at Robert Morris Junior College.

In 1969, Smith was appointed office manager for the National Conference of Christians and Jews, under Ralph King. In 1971, she was named Pittsburgh’s first African American consumer affairs investigative reporter for WPXI Television. She was then hired as news and public affairs director for Sheridan Broadcasting in 1975, and hosted a talk show on Sheridan's flagship station, WAMO. In 1977, Smith became the director of consumer affairs, as well as energy coordinator of her county in Pennsylvania. That same year, she moved her radio show to KDKA, where she also hosted a television show called Vibrations. Smith then became a radio host for Miami’s WGBS (now WNMS) in 1979, and Orlando’s WKIS in 1985. In 1988, Smith began hosting a local radio program in Washington D.C., as well as the national Black Entertainment Television talk show "Our Voices," which she hosted for over thirteen years.

In 1998, Smith became the host of "The Bev Smith Show," on American Urban Radio Networks, which made her the only African American female radio talk show host with a nationally syndicated show in the country. Smith signed off the air as host of her show in 2011.

Smith has received nearly 300 awards and recognitions for her contributions to radio and television, including the Spirit of Democracy Award, the Radio Air Crystal Award and the prestigious Max Robinson Award. She has also been selected by Talkers magazine as one of the most important radio talk show hosts in America.

Bev Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.154

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/9/2014

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Lyn

Schools

Crescent Elementary School

Westinghouse Academy

Duff's Business School

Robert Morris College

Baxter Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Beverly (Bev)

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

SMI31

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nassau, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Stand Up, Be Counted, Get Involved.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

3/4/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Yellow Cake With Chocolate Icing

Short Description

Radio talk show host Bev Smith (1943 - ) hosted the nationally syndicated talk show “The Bev Smith Show” from 1998 to 2011.

Employment

National Conference of Christians and Jews

WIICTV (Now WPXI)

Allegheny County Government

KDKA Radio

KDKA-TV

WBBS

WKYS Radio

Daytona Beach Channel 2

WTAE Radio

WRC Radio

Black Entertainment Television

CNN

MSNBC

PBS Washington

American Urban Radio Networks

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bev Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bev Smith lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bev Smith describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bev Smith describes her maternal family's home in Danville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bev Smith talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bev Smith describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about her brother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bev Smith describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bev Smith talks about her father's labor activism

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bev Smith describes how her parents met, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bev Smith describes how her parents met, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her father's service in the Civilian Conservation Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bev Smith talks about her mother's education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bev Smith lists her siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bev Smith lists her siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bev Smith describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bev Smith describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bev Smith remembers moving from the Hill District to Homewood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bev Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bev Smith remembers her father's musical tastes

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bev Smith remembers the Pittsburgh Courier

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her early interest in art

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bev Smith recalls her early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bev Smith remembers her parents' emphasis on politics and current events

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bev Smith recalls her favorite television and radio programs

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bev Smith talks about the black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about her schooling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about her family's political affiliations

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bev Smith remembers the gentrification of the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bev Smith talks about her parents' strict discipline

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bev Smith recalls her influences at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Bev Smith talks about her speaking voice

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Bev Smith describes her relationship with the Kennedy family

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Bev Smith remembers the debate club at Westinghouse High School

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Bev Smith talks about her aspiration to attend college

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bev Smith recalls her responsibilities as the oldest of six siblings

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her experiences of bullying

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bev Smith remembers Duff's Business Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bev Smith talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bev Smith remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bev Smith recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bev Smith remembers her ex-husband

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about her work with the National Conference of Christians and Jews

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bev Smith remembers David Chase

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bev Smith recalls her start as a news reporter on WIIC-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bev Smith talks about the reprisals against her investigative reporting

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bev Smith remembers Fred Rogers of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bev Smith describes her transition from WIIC-TV to WAMO Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bev Smith talks about her reputation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bev Smith remembers the black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bev Smith remembers her programs on WAMO Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about the problems facing the black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bev Smith remembers her time at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bev Smith describes her return to WAMO Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bev Smith remembers her weekend talk show on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bev Smith talks about the struggle of black steelworkers in Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Bev Smith remembers working on Edward M. Kennedy's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Bev Smith talks about her advocacy at WYCB Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bev Smith remembers moving to Miami, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her experiences as a radio personality in Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bev Smith remembers working for WRC Radio in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bev Smith remembers balancing her radio talk show and her program on BET

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bev Smith talks about the racist origins of marijuana criminalization

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bev Smith remembers Mayor Marion Barry

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about her grassroots organizing efforts

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about the changes in the role of black media

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bev Smith reflects upon the downfall of the black media industry

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bev Smith reflects upon her time at BET

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bev Smith talks about her stint as commentator on the American Urban Radio Networks

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bev Smith talks about selecting topics for her radio programs

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bev Smith talks about her network of contacts

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bev Smith describes the origin of her nickname

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bev Smith remembers leaving the American Urban Radio Networks

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bev Smith talks about independently producing 'The Bev Smith Show'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Bev Smith talks about the future of black radio

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Bev Smith describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Bev Smith reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Bev Smith reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Bev Smith talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Bev Smith talks about the threats against her life

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Bev Smith describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bev Smith talks about her books

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Bev Smith describes her transition from WIIC-TV to WAMO Radio
Bev Smith remembers moving to Miami, Florida
Transcript
Now, in '75 [1975], you joined Sheridan Broadcasting [Sheridan Broadcasting Network] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, that was WAMO. That's where the shootings and the prisons, and all the other things.$$Well, tell us about how you, how that--were you recruited by Sheridan?$$No. I was at Channel 11 [WIIC-TV; WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], and they hired a new news director after By Williams left. And he did not like women in the newsroom, white or black. But in my particular place, he did not like. And I had just returned from Washington, D.C., where I had been named one of the fifty outstanding women in America. And I walked into the newsroom, and he used the N word and he used the B word, and he said that I was fired. So, I walked--I didn't have a car in those days. And the hill was like this, Federal Street; the television station sat up there. And I walked down that hill, all the way into town, to the Urban League [Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] where my husband [Smith's ex-husband, Ronald Smith] worked. And I called my uncle Walt [ph.] at the radio station. And he said, "You want a job?" Now, my salary was here, black radio was here. But I had a child [Heather Williams], I was separated, I had to work. And so, I said, "Yes." So, I went from being an NB to the news director for WAMO Radio [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], all in the same day.$$Now, did you consider a lawsuit?$$I did sue them.$$Okay.$$I did sue them. But in those days, a lawsuit was not like it is here. So now you sue and have laws--and you have discriminatory laws, and all the kind of things. We're talking about the '60s [1960s], we're talking about the early '70s [1970s]. Those kinds of things did not exist. But I had Teitelbaum [Hubert Irving Teitelbaum], a man who was a fabulous lawyer. And we got a cash settlement. And at the time, it looked like a lot of money. But in lieu of everything that I went through at that time, it wasn't. But I was able to get money. But the funny thing about it is that was not the station; that was one man at the station, who had a horrible reputation to begin with. Because when I returned to Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania] in February of 2001--2001--some of the most interesting times that I had in television, I had at Channel 11, where my career began. Because I was on MSNBC, and they would have me go up to Channel 11. Isn't life interesting? And right now, I think that the operations manager that they have now, Mark Barash, is one of the finest individuals I know, very kind man. But he wasn't a part of that; he wasn't even there when that happened. There was one man who had a reputation. And shortly after I left, he did the same thing to the white woman there, Eleanor Schano [Eleanor Schano Feeney], and she used my lawyer to help her.$Okay. So, well, tell us about this move to Florida. Well, now how did this take place?$$Oh, this was wild. I was working at, I was the first black to have a talk show on KDKA [KDKA Radio]. And it was very, very popular. And the news director at that time was a man by the name of Lee Fowler, at KDKA here in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania]. And he said to me, I used to say, "God bless you," which is what I say now. And I'm never going to stop saying that. So, he sent me a note, because a listener told him that I was preaching religion. I don't know how, God bless you is a religion. But anyway, I told him I wasn't going to stop. And he said, "Well, I just want to let you know." He said, "But one day, I'm going to be general manager of the station that I have complete control over, not just program director. And when I do, I will offer you a job." Well, here comes the ego again. I thought, "Yeah, right, sure." You know, "Sure you are." So, I am at WYCB [WYCB Radio (ph.)], the little station I became general manager of. And I'm on the air, and I'm doing the series called, 'Tell Me What God Has Done for You Today' [ph.], and I was teaching in the Pittsburgh Board of Education [Pittsburgh Public Schools]. I had no credentials, and I was teaching. My class was extremely popular. I would get off at eleven o'clock, and my show started at twelve. And I would get from here--because it was downtown here--I would get from here out to Braddock, Pennsylvania, which was at least maybe an hour and a half. And I'd have to be there at twelve. So, I would tell the late Gloria Briskey [Gloria Briskey Inez], who was a very well known gospel deejay all over America, to put a tape on for me. And I would tape this part that says, "Tell me what God has done for you? We're going to listen to, C.L. Franklin, talk about what God has done for you?" And I would have rehearsed that, and done that before on tape. And they'd play the tape. And then I'd get there right before the tape ran out, with his preaching. And then I was live, and people wouldn't know that I had just ran that. I said--God, help me if there had been an accident or something. So, it went, "Tell me what God has done for you? Hi, this is [HistoryMaker] Bev Smith, tell me what God has done for you?" "Well, God let me get in touch with you." That voice sounds familiar. I said, "Who is this?" He said, "This is Lee Fowler." I said, "Lee, I thought you were in Miami [Florida]." He said, "I am." He said, "Are you tired of cold weather?" It was freezing in Pittsburgh. It was like, it was about six inches of snow on the ground. So, I'm telling you, I'm moving, I am moving trying to get there. And it was about thirteen degrees above zero. And I said, "Yes." Because I lived in the suburbs, I could barely get my garage door open, it was frozen. And he said, "Well, how would like to come to Miami?" Now, this is on the radio. By this time, you have everyone's attention. I said, "Are you serious?" On the radio. And he says, "Yes." I says, "I'm getting ready to play a record, let me put you on hold, and we'll talk." He said, "Can you come to Miami tomorrow?" I said, "As in tomorrow, like, tomorrow, tomorrow?" And he said, "Yes." I said, "No, I can't." He said, "Can you come the next day?" I said, "No, I can't." He said, "Can you come on the weekend?" I said, "Yes, I can. But I have to bring my daughter [Heather Williams], because the weekend is the time I spend with my daughter." He said, "Well, don't bring her this time." He said, "Get a babysitter, and I'll send you the babysitting money." My parents [Isabelle Jones Sloan and John Sloan], I didn't need babysitting money--or her dad [Smith's ex-husband, Ronald Smith]. I said, "Good, Lee," you know, jokingly. And I went to Florida, and he offered me more money than I had ever made in my life. The station was located on Ives Dairy Road, in old North Miami Beach, in a new section that had been carved out. They paid the first, second, and third month rent on a villa in a gated community. I thought I was in heaven. And a week later, my daughter came in. And a week later, I rented a house. And three weeks later, I moved. And that's how I got to Florida.$$Wow, okay.$$Boom, boom, boom.

Bev Johnson

Radio talk show host Beverly Elaine Johnson was born on May 10, 1953 in Memphis, Tennessee to William Van and Julia Danner Johnson. She was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and attended public schools. Johnson received her B.A. degree in English literature from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and her M.S. degree in educational media technology from Jackson State University. She also graduated from Southwest Tennessee Community College's Substance Abuse Program and The Drug Court Institute, and went on to intern with the Shelby County Drug Court.

Johnson's broadcast career began in Jackson, Mississippi in 1976. In 1983, she was hired at the WDIA radio station in Memphis, Tennessee. She has worked in a number of roles, including as disc jockey to public service director to news/community affairs director, programming assistant, marketing assistant, and talk show host. Johnson was appointed as anchor/talk show host for WDIA, and hosts "The Bev Johnson Show," which first aired in 1987. She is also co-owner of Heart 2 Heart Collaborations Counseling Services, and hosts a cable television show on Comcast Cable titled "Affairs of the Heart." In addition, she teaches at Southwest Tennessee Community College as an instructor of speech and fine arts and language and literature, and has taught radio broadcasting at Rust College for a number of years.

Johnson served on the boards of the Rock N Soul Museum, Memphis-area Planned Parenthood and the National Black Programmers Coalition. She has chaired the Memphis Branch of the NAACP's Radio-thon, and auctioneered for the Coalition of 100 Black Women Memphis Chapter's Annual Eligible Bachelor auction fundraiser, as well as WKNO's Action Auction. She is a charter member of Shelby County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, and was 2nd Vice President for two years. Johnson is also a member of Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. church.

Johnson received the UNCF Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1996. She was named the 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1996 News/Public Affairs Director of the Year by the National Black Programmers Coalition, and was a 1993, 1994 and 1995 nominee for The National Association of Broadcaster's Marconi Award, Personality of the Year. Johnson was also the 1996 Billboard Award Personality of the Year, and was honored by the Tennessee General Assembly's House of Representatives for her tenth and twentieth year hosting "The Bev Johnson Show" talk show. She was named the Memphis Music Commission’s 2013 Emissaries of Memphis Music and received the Jus Blues Foundation 2013 Jack “The Rapper” Gibson Radio Pioneer Award.

Bev Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 25, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.081

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/25/2014

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Elaine

Schools

Cummings Elementary School

Burns Park Elementary School

Tappan Middle School

Pioneer High School

Rust College

Jackson State University

Southwest Tennessee Community College

National Drug Court Institute

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Afternoons, Evenings, and Weekends

First Name

Beverly

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

JOH48

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

No Preference

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

As You Treat Yourself, You'll Treat Others.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

5/10/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cornbread, Greens

Short Description

Radio talk show host Bev Johnson (1953 - ) is the longtime talk show host of "The Bev Johnson Show," which airs on Memphis, Tennessee’s WDIA radio station.

Employment

WDIA Radio

WWEE / WLVS Radio

WLOK Radio

WMQM Radio

WKXI Radio

WJMI / WOKJ Radio

Memphis City Schools

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1428,17:1764,22:2100,27:4368,97:18210,313:19162,328:19434,333:20930,361:23106,399:23582,407:24330,421:24806,430:25894,454:26370,462:37396,604:43070,662:49322,688:50102,705:52052,741:53768,767:54392,776:55094,787:55718,796:56498,808:56888,813:57590,835:63400,866:64030,877:64590,886:68355,937:68740,946:73450,998:78706,1110:89512,1248:90272,1261:91336,1275:94836,1323:95092,1332:98484,1389:98804,1395:101300,1470:111132,1577:113111,1606:118562,1731:126868,1889:142225,2059:142525,2064:162640,2356:166468,2400:174776,2550:184465,2688:184790,2695:185115,2701:187715,2809:188690,2832:206612,3077:206977,3083:208802,3124:209313,3133:210189,3151:219828,3294:220743,3357:226014,3407:226379,3413:231620,3483$0,0:28330,366:28960,376:35050,531:35680,541:40230,647:47484,728:48476,748:48786,754:56482,945:61858,1036:63074,1067:63906,1096:76340,1318:89256,1536:89922,1546:91032,1567:91550,1575:94980,1593:96402,1609:98614,1651:103080,1702
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bev Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson describes her maternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson describes her maternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson talks about her mother, Julia Atlas Danner Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson describes her paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson talks about her father, William Van Johnson

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about her younger sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about her dreams of becoming an actress, her favorite movies, and acting in community musicals

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson describes the cultural arts scene in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson talks about her favorite grade school teachers and watching Nat King Cole on television

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson describes her experience at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson talks about the impact of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination on black students in her high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson talks about African Americans on television during the late 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson describes her decision to attend Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about the cultural climate of Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1970

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson describes her experiences in theatre and choir as a student at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Bev Johnson talks about family vacations during her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson talks about her activities at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about her teachers at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi and her admiration for HistoryMaker Carole Simpson

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson talks about performing with Trudy and the Soul Ultimates while a student at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson talks about Ida B. Wells and African American Studies at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson talks about her graduate school experience at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson remembers her mentors at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson describes her start in radio while she was a student at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson describes her transition from disc jockey to news anchor at WJMI-WOKJ

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about working as a news director at WKXI in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson talks about her work as news anchor for WLOK in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson describes targeting majority white audiences at WWEE radio and WLVS

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about her return to black radio upon joining WDIA as a news anchor in 1983

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson talks about the launch of "The Bev Johnson Show" in 1987

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson describes special guests and topics featured on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson describes the day-to-day operations of "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson talks about memorable stories featured on "The Bev Johnson Show", pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson talks about memorable stories featured on "The Bev Johnson Show", pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson talks about callers to "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson talks about the coverage of domestic violence on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson talks about maintaining neutral political commentary on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bev Johnson describes her work in her community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bev Johnson talks about the history of WDIA

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bev Johnson talks about the decline of disc jockeys and the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bev Johnson talks about authors featured on "The Bev Johnson Show"

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bev Johnson talks about her television show, "Affairs of the Heart"

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bev Johnson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bev Johnson reflects upon her aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bev Johnson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bev Johnson describes her honors

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bev Johnson talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bev Johnson describes her journalistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Bev Johnson talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$3

DATitle
Bev Johnson describes her decision to attend Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi
Bev Johnson talks about the launch of "The Bev Johnson Show" in 1987
Transcript
So you graduated from high school [Ann Arbor Pioneer High in Michigan] is it seventy--$$Nineteen seventy [1970].$$Seventy, [1970] okay, all right.$$Beginning of the '70's [1970's].$$All right, 1970, and when you were on the verge of graduation, what kind of counseling did you get about college?$$Good counseling because at our high school we had the different kind of curriculums, and I was in the college preparatory. They had university preparatory, college preparatory, they had business, and then they had general. And so I was in the college preparatory, cause I always knew I was going to go to college. So that was counseling, but, but where to go to college. I--taking drama lessons and, and being in the theater thing, I got a scholarship to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City [New York]. And during that time, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts did not have dormitories. So you had to find your own housing. And my dad after he found out he says you think you going to New York City to be living in an apartment wherever you need to live. You better find you a school with dormitory. So that crushed my dreams of, you know, being on Broadway cause I knew I was headed that way. So I had to end up looking for, choosing a, a school with a dormitory.$$Okay, so you couldn't find any housing to, to--now this is a--$$Well you had house--you could find it, but he was not gonna let me go at seventeen years old to New York City. No, I had no relatives, no folks, you were just there. And no telling where you may be living. So that was out.$$Okay, and the school couldn't provide any, any help.$$Yeah, I mean they probably could, but I don't know if we would be living--I would be living in a one room place or what, so you don't know. And then I didn't know the city, so--$$Okay, so--$$So that was out.$$Were you very disappointed about that?$$Oh very, I was, I was devastated. And I was angry with my father for a long time about that.$$Okay, did, did you have recomm--good recommendations and everything from your teachers to go?$$Oh yes, because I got that scholarship, yeah, to go, yeah. The only thing was you just had to find your own housing.$$So now I know you graduated from Rust, but--$$Rust College [Holly Springs, Mississippi].$$Did you go to Rust then?$$Yeah, ended up going to--so end up going to Rust cause throughout--a couple of schools, you know either Fisk [University in Nashville, Tennessee] or I know I didn't want to attend the University of Memphis [Tennessee], which was called Memphis State [University] then. I didn't, I did not want to go to Memphis State. I did not want to go--a counselor for, for the black, black students, they were trying to get us to go to Eastern [Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan]. And we could get full ride to Eastern. I said I'm not going, I don't wanna go, I don't wanna be--I'm leaving, so that was out. So as I said, my mother eventually graduated from Rust College. And so she said well Rust, and I thought now Rust, that's in Mississippi. I had never been to Mississippi in my life. And you know the stories we've, we heard of Mississippi. I could see lynching in Mississippi--no it's not. So finally--anyway went to see the school, saw it and my mother knew people and says we're gonna take care of her, we're gonna take care of her. And fell in love with Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi. So that's where I ended up and graduated, yeah.$Okay, all right. So and you launched the Bev Johnson Show, and that was in --$$Nineteen eighty-seven.$$'87 [1987], okay and how did the --$$That was the brain child of, of program director Bobby O'Jay. Oprah Winfrey started her show nationally 1986. And during that time, Oprah was doing all the relationship stuff. So Bobby thought now we need to, you know, do something because during that time you know the FMs were really coming, you know. Even though [W]DIA had been number one for so long, we were -- said we need to do something different. So he -- so I -- and I remember we were going to a radio event and he says I'm thinking about doing a talk show in the mid-day. So we're listening and I think I remember the promotions director being there, Maxine Maclin and he says "Well Bev, you could do a talk show." I'm thinking no, no, no, I'm used to doing a public affairs show, which I was doing, you know, still, a public affairs show. I says "No, every day a talk show?" He says "Yeah, I'm thinking about putting that together and we're going to do that and it's going to be on relationships and all that kind of thing." So finally I guess after he talked with his superior and they said okay we'll do it. He says "Okay we're gonna, we're gonna put you in mid-day, gonna have a talk show, 'The Bev Johnson Show.'" I started a year after Oprah was on and doing the same kind of things Oprah was doing, but I was doing it on radio. Unheard of. Now it was talk shows, remember public affairs and basically they were community issues. But now I'm talking about lifestyles, from divorce to relationships, to all kinds of stuff, all kinds of craziness. In the beginning it was crazy.

Art Gilliam, Jr.

Radio station owner Art Gilliam was born on March 6, 1943 in Nashville, Tennessee to Leola Hortense Caruthers and Herman Arthur Gilliam, Sr. Gilliam attended the Westminster School in Connecticut, and, at the age of sixteen, enrolled in Yale University. He graduated with his B.A. degree in economics from Yale University in 1963 and then joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Gilliam went on to receive his M.B.A degree from the University of Michigan in 1967.

Upon graduation, Gilliam returned to Memphis, Tennessee to work with his father at Universal Life Insurance Company, where he remained until 1975. In 1968, he began writing a weekly editorial for The Commercial Appeal and was hired by WMC-TV in Memphis as the weekend news anchor. Gilliam was the first African American to write for The Commercial Appeal and the first African American on-air reporter and anchor on Memphis television at WMC-TV. Then, from 1975 to 1976, he worked as an administrative assistant to U.S. Congressman Harold Ford, Sr.

In 1977, he launched Gilliam Communications, Inc. and bought the WLOK radio station. In doing so, WLOK became the first African American-owned Memphis radio station and the city's first locally owned station. As president and CEO of Gilliam Communications, Inc., Gilliam has also operated radio stations in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia. He also sponsors the annual WLOK Stone Soul Picnic, which draws thousands of attendees.

Gilliam’s WLOK has earned the title of #1 Gospel Station in the nation by Religion & Media Quarterly for several consecutive years; and, in 1997, was recognized by the Tennessee Historical Commission as a Tennessee Historical Landmark. Gilliam has also received the Black History Men of Honor Leadership Award, the Gospel Bridge Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rainbow/PUSH Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Memphis Advertising Federation's Silver Medal Award, and the Downtown Memphis Commission’s Visionary Award. He was also honored with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Outstanding Community Service Award, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the Year Award, Phi Beta Sigma African American Male Image Award, and the Delta Sigma Theta’s Outstanding Community Service and Florence Cole Talbert McCleave Awards. In addition, Gilliam was recognized as one of the “Top 25 African Americans in Radio” by Radio Ink Magazine’s, and one of “Ten Outstanding Young Men in America” by the United States Jaycees.

Gilliam has sat on the boards of the Memphis Advertising Federation, the Society of Entrepreneurs, Memphis Zoo, Inc., the National Federation of State Humanities Council, and Lemoyne-Owen College. He served as chairman of the Black Business Association of Memphis and the Tennessee Humanities Council, and was an advisory board member of the University of Memphis College of Communications and the Memphis Sheriff’s Department. Gilliam is also a member of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, Leadership Memphis, NAACP, and Leadership Music – Nashville.

Art Gilliam was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.086

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2014

Last Name

Gilliam

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Arthur

Occupation
Schools

University of Michigan

Yale University

Westminster School

Hamilton High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Herman

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

GIL08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beach

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

3/6/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ribs

Short Description

Radio station owner Art Gilliam, Jr. (1943 - ) was president, CEO and owner of Gilliam Communications, Inc. and WLOK, the first African American-owned Memphis radio station and the city's first locally owned station. He was the first African American to write for The Commercial Appeal and the first African American on-air reporter and anchor on Memphis television at WMC-TV.

Employment

Gilliam Communications, Inc.

WMC-TV

The Commercial Appeal

Universal Life Insurance Company

Harold Ford, Sr. Congressional Campaign

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:144,3:1296,21:2664,47:11664,297:13320,359:14184,377:16344,415:29448,607:29793,613:32139,657:33864,696:36279,740:37452,761:38280,779:39384,823:40074,843:45111,1030:51690,1057:55362,1115:68466,1433:68898,1441:69474,1450:83765,1652:88693,1749:90156,1778:99396,1977:107188,2085:108324,2129:118690,2361:123021,2452:123873,2469:134264,2553:137190,2606:138345,2629:139038,2640:139885,2654:140809,2737:156186,2939:156690,2946:159462,3000:162654,3064:167940,3097:170040,3143:172910,3228:174730,3264:181170,3375:181520,3381:182360,3396:182780,3403:190430,3453$0,0:430,7:734,15:1342,24:4660,43:5632,61:10816,178:11545,189:13003,220:14380,243:18106,312:20131,356:22156,384:31080,492:36120,589:37320,614:38200,633:43350,683:44880,705:55092,845:60138,937:66018,1054:77738,1282:78866,1295:83378,1392:87326,1467:87984,1475:89394,1491:89864,1497:99780,1618:100130,1624:104820,1754:105240,1761:107270,1813:108600,1845:109020,1852:110910,1897:111610,1932:120784,2087:127868,2191:128236,2196:135143,2252:136723,2306:141858,2480:156218,2760:157366,2788:159826,2860:161712,2891:164418,2940:180576,3159:181038,3217:191046,3468:193278,3532:193782,3540:194142,3546:194430,3551:194790,3557:195150,3563:204008,3657:204393,3663:205317,3678:206857,3703:212170,3862:213787,3900:217935,3924:219465,3944:228050,4072:228475,4078:233955,4194:234330,4201:239130,4303:241155,4342:242880,4389:243255,4476:247005,4525:247380,4531:247980,4540:248655,4551:248955,4556:257140,4628:263510,4834:263860,4840:264350,4848:267290,5003:269740,5193:306010,5714:307830,5722
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Art Gilliam, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Art Gilliam, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers watching Jackie Robinson play baseball

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes the African American community in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers his family vacations

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Art Gilliam, Jr. recalls his teachers at Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his parents' decision to send him to the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his experiences at Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Art Gilliam, Jr. recalls his initial impressions of the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the development of black radio in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his experiences at the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers being removed from a segregated bus in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about his aspiration to become an actuary

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the impact of his education at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes the African American community at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about his extracurricular activities at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers the African American community in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Art Gilliam, Jr. recalls his graduation from Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Art Gilliam, Jr. recalls hearing Malcolm X speak at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his early career at the Universal Life Insurance Company

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes how he came to write for The Commercial Appeal

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the discriminatory practices of The Commercial Appeal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his column in The Commercial Appeal

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes how he became an anchor at WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his position as a weekend anchor at WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers working for Congressman Harold Ford, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Art Gilliam, Jr. recalls acquiring the WLOK Radio station in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the history and format of WLOK Radio in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers changing the format of WLOK Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about WLOK Radio in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes WLOK Radio's relationship with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the Stone Soul Picnic in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about WLOK Radio's gospel format

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his projects at Gilliam Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about WLOK Radio's on air personalities

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers the election of Mayor W.W. Herenton

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Art Gilliam, Jr. reflects upon his career at WLOK Radio in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the consolidation of the radio industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Art Gilliam, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about his civic engagement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Art Gilliam, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about the state of the radio industry

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Art Gilliam, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Art Gilliam, Jr. talks about his parents' reaction to his career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Art Gilliam, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$1

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
Art Gilliam, Jr. describes WLOK Radio's relationship with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Art Gilliam, Jr. remembers watching Jackie Robinson play baseball
Transcript
We talk about issues that are pertinent to our community. And we've done that, you know, over the years. I even mentioned, you know, we talked a moment ago about Operation PUSH [Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Chicago, Illinois]. Operation PUSH had been on WLOK [WLOK Radio, Memphis, Tennessee] for a few years. The previous owners [Starr Broadcasting Group] had put them off the air, because some of their advertisers had said that, you know, "Yeah, if you put these, keep these people on the air, we're not going to advertise on your station anymore." So, they put PUSH off the air. And so, this is 1977. So, the first thing I did when we came in was we put PUSH back on the air, because we understood what PUSH meant to the black community, and what the aspirations were of the black community. And so, that was the first thing that we did when we first came in, was put PUSH back on the air.$$I guess, I imagine it wouldn't have been hard to sell, you know, ads for that time slot. I mean, you know--$$Hard to sell?$$No, it would not have been hard. I mean, it would be fairly easy in a black community to sell ads for that time period, I guess (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well, yeah, except most of your ads were coming, most of your revenue was coming from white businesses, not from black businesses.$$Okay.$$But yeah, you're right as far as whether there's empathy for PUSH in the black community, absolutely. But it was really, from an economic standpoint, I would say that we, there was no benefit (laughter) economically in putting PUSH back on the air.$$Then did you take a hit, a financial hit, from--$$Well--$$--doing so?$$Not really. At the time I don't believe we did, actually. I didn't know whether we were going to take a hit or not. Because you know, obviously, some of the advertisers had previously indicated they were going to boycott the station from the standpoint of advertising, if the previous owners had left them on. So, I had no idea, really. It was really more a matter of principle for me as far as putting PUSH on, because I knew what they had to say. It would have, you know, in my mind, you know, what would be the benefit of black ownership if you're going to do the same thing that the previous owners are doing, in terms of those things that express the aspirations of the black community? So, really, I didn't think about it from an economic standpoint. But I think in the end we probably ended up not taking a hit, because a lot of people started listening to WLOK as well. And so, we, our ratings improved. And so, that probably affected us positively.$$Now, is there like a black community chamber of commerce type organization in Memphis [Tennessee] since--$$Well, not really. Not in the same way that you have the chamber [Greater Memphis Chamber]. You do have some organizations that are, you know, that are black oriented. But at that time, you really didn't have that to the same degree, to the extent that it would make a difference economically. Most of your revenue, it was not going to come from black businesses or organizations.$$Okay. What kind, what businesses really supported, I mean, the station in those days?$$Well, it could be a wide range of it. It could be automobile dealerships, it could be, you know, grocery stores--any, pretty much the same things you might see on the television, radio, you know, any--these, these businesses are pretty well traditionally involved with, with mass media.$Do you have an earliest childhood memory?$$Well, I do--I can remember things that happened, playing around in Nashville [Tennessee]. And partly because--the way I remember it is because we moved when I was six. So, as a result of that, I know things that happened before I was six years old. I can identify that because of that, you know, change of living circumstance. And as far as early childhood--just a happy childhood, playing a lot. My dad [Herman Gilliam, Sr.] was pretty fun loving, pretty humorous. And so, those are the kinds of things. We just did a lot of things together. We would take a trip really most every summer, which was something that--I guess I learned a lot about the country and about the--from my point of view, the world (laughter). But, we would take a road trip pretty much every summer. And one that I remember in particular though, was that, you know, here in Memphis [Tennessee] there was a Negro League baseball team called the Memphis Red Sox. And that was part of that same league [Negro American League] that the New York team [New York Cubans], Birmingham [Birmingham Black Barons], Kansas City [Kansas City Monarchs]--a number of teams were in that league. And I remember my dad told me we were going to go up to St. Louis [Missouri] to see a professional baseball game. So, I thought the Red Sox--that was about it--I thought that was the professional team. And he said, "No, we're going to see a fellow, a black fellow, who's playing baseball in the Major Leagues [Major League Baseball]." And so I thought, again, I told my dad, "I thought the Red Sox, I thought that was the Major Leagues." He said, "No, we're going to go to St. Louis." So, we went to St. Louis. It turned out he was taking me up there to see Jackie Robinson. And I'll never forget that, you know, now that I know the significance of Jackie Robinson. But he was taking me to St. Louis, because the Dodgers, then Brooklyn Dodgers [Los Angeles Dodgers], were coming to St. Louis to play the St. Louis Cardinals.$$Okay. So, you would have been what, about seven or eight, or--?$$Probably a little over, a little over seven, but maybe in the range of eight or nine.$$Okay.$$Something like that. Yeah, because the Dodgers--it would have been the late '40s [1940s] or early '50s [1950s], probably the early '50s [1950s].$$What was it--well, you know--$$May I get, let me get a (cough)--$$Sure.$$--quick break here (cough). My voice is--$$Let me ask you, like--what was that, what was that atmosphere like? Now, I've heard stories of when Jackie Robinson would come to town and the black community would turn out en masse, you know. (Unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, yeah, well, we went to Sportsman's Park, which is of course the St. Louis ballpark. I don't know that there were a lot of black people there in the park. I don't remember it that well. But I just remember that what was important for my dad, I think, was just the significance of Jackie Robinson. And he wanted me to have the experience of seeing Jackie Robinson play baseball. And I don't think I fully appreciated, at the time, what the significance was. I probably was a little bit too young to fully appreciate it. But as I got older, then I appreciated it a lot more.$$Okay. I'm thinking too, that St. Louis would have been the southernmost team in the National League (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I believe that's probably right. And I'm sure that Jackie Robinson and other ballplayers with the Dodgers--and I don't remember now, I don't believe there were other black players with the Dodgers, as I recall it. At the time I saw Jackie Robinson, I don't remember other black players. Later on, we went to New York [New York], and we saw Brooklyn play. And by that time they had Campanella [Roy Campanella] and Newcombe [Don Newcombe] and other black players--even Joe Black, later Sandy Amoros. They had a number of black players over time. But as I recall, when I went to St. Louis, I don't believe there was another black player on the Dodger ball club.$$Can you remember the black community showing up and--?$$Well, again, it's a big park. So, I didn't--the black community--I didn't specifically have a recollection or an awareness of showing up to see him play. But we came up from Memphis, to drive and just to go buy a ticket to go into the ballpark.$$I know, that's why I asked. Because often they made black people sit together in the park.$$You know, and I don't remember that. I, I, you know, you're absolutely right. I don't remember whether we were sitting in a segregated section or not. Being in St. Louis, I expect we were. But it just wasn't a part of my awareness at the time.$$Yeah, I know how you feel, because I've experienced certain things--where we'd go to the movies when I was a kid. We'd be in the balcony, but I never thought about it until I started doing these interviews.$$Well, you know (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) You might have been--$$--as a matter of fact though--now that, I did think about, and I was aware of. Because Memphis was a segregated city when I was growing up. And so, yeah, we went in the balconies. You had the signs--I don't know if they did that in Dayton [Ohio], your home. But you had white and colored drinking fountains, you had a sign on the bus that said, "Colored passengers occupy rear seats first." In fact, I got put off a Memphis bus once because I wouldn't move back, you know, from the--once I sat down, they wanted to make me move back on the bus. So, this was a segregated area, and you definitely had those elements, and I was very aware of them. But when I went to St. Louis to see the Dodgers, I was not aware necessarily of sitting in a black section.

A. Grace Lee Mims

Radio host and vocalist A. Grace Lee Mims was born on July 17, 1930 in Snow Hill, Alabama to musicians Arnold W. and Alberta Grace Edwards Lee. Mims graduated valedictorian from Snow Hill Institute, which was founded by her grandfather. She went on to attend and graduate from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, and later received her M.L.S degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon graduation, Mims married Howard A. Mims. She was also hired as a librarian in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Cleveland, where she worked at several branches of the Cleveland Public Library. Mims was employed as head librarian at Glenville High School for ten years, where she coordinated the Black Arts Festival, established the most extensive collection of books on African American history and culture in the State of Ohio, and helped found the first Afrocentric lecture course in the Cleveland Public Schools. In 1976, she created and became hostess and producer of “The Black Arts” on WCLV-FM, Cleveland’s classical music radio station. From 1980 to 2010, Mims produced and hosted WCLV’s “Artslog,” a daily five-minute show of interviews. Also in 1980, she was hired as a voice teacher at the Cleveland Music School Settlement.

Mims has served as soprano soloist at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, as soloist with the William Appling singers, as well as throughout the Cleveland area. She was a member of The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus under Robert Shaw, and performed with The New York Bass Violin Choir. In addition, Mims has recorded two albums: “Spirituals,” a solo record, and “A Spirit Speaks” with her family’s jazz-folk ensemble, The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe.

Mims received numerous honors, including an honorary doctorate of music from Cleveland State University in 1999. In 2007, she was the honoree of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of The National Coalition of the 100 Black Women, Inc., and a recipient the Cleveland Arts Prize Martha Joseph Award in 2011. Mims also served on many arts-related boards, including the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra's Community Project, the Cleveland Arts Prize Committee, the Western Reserve Historical Society's Black History Archives and The Rainey Institute. Mims and her husband ran the Cleveland Hampton Institute Alumni Scholarship program for over thirty years.

Mims passed away on October 4, 2019.

A. Grace Lee Mims was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 14, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.071

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/14/2014

Last Name

Mims

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Grace

Occupation
Schools

Case Western Reserve University

Hampton University

Snow Hill Institute

Cleveland State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

A.

Birth City, State, Country

Snow Hill

HM ID

MIM02

Favorite Season

None

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

7/17/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

10/4/2019

Short Description

Radio host and vocalist A. Grace Lee Mims (1930 - 2019) hosted “The Black Arts” and “Artslog” on Cleveland’s WCLV-FM radio for over thirty years. She was an accomplished vocalist and a voice teacher at the Cleveland Music School Settlement since 1980.

Employment

Detroit Public Library

Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Orchestra Chorus

Glenville High School

WCLV-FM

Cleveland Music School Settlement

The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe

U.S. Government

Hampton University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:3630,37:11096,91:18770,172:26322,293:27414,306:35670,394:36020,400:58869,752:59214,758:60525,781:72175,943:84375,1115:84975,1127:86025,1146:86475,1153:87900,1181:88350,1188:113587,1524:117948,1570:121953,1620:134796,1739:143172,1826:145314,1851:187642,2357:188258,2365:193010,2437:218450,2720:219170,2730:223325,2762:241200,2988:253068,3155:272784,3364:282556,3520:295646,3758:299290,3824$0,0:2000,29:14284,170:14660,175:26074,435:27154,454:28306,526:28666,533:29458,542:30106,552:31474,578:32122,588:48670,768:48934,773:51442,827:51904,835:55742,881:56852,904:58110,938:58406,943:65007,1007:70734,1125:71217,1134:72666,1171:73563,1209:82910,1357:97070,1472:100414,1536:103606,1602:114946,1694:115324,1701:116017,1714:118978,1783:120301,1809:124758,1853:126294,1890:126934,1901:127574,1919:128086,1928:129494,1963:137583,2039:145998,2133:149898,2185:150444,2193:160412,2273:174782,2376:179890,2406:180860,2413
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Grace Mims' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Grace Mims lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Grace Mims discusses her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about her maternal grandfather's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Grace Mims attempts to remember the founding date of Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Grace Mims talks about her mother's childhood experiences as a piano prodigy

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Grace Mims talks about the John Work Coral in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Grace Mims shares the story of her parents' elopement in the early 1900s

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Grace Mims briefly describes her father's early work history

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Grace Mims discusses her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Grace Mims traces her father's career path from Spelman College to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Grace Mims talks about her parents' love of jazz and classical music

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Grace Mims talks about how her parents' careers influenced her upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Grace Mims talks about her childhood family's band

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Grace Mims describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Grace Mims describes Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute and the surrounding neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Grace Mims talks about the origin of her home town's name

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Grace Mims briefly describes the demographics and business culture of her home town and the surrounding area

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Grace Mims shares how church and college shaped her musical influences and knowledge

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Grace Mims describes how music influenced her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Grace Mims describes how African Americans have shaped American music

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Grace Mims compares and contrasts the Negro spiritual and gospel music

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Grace Mims talks about influential Negro spiritual composers

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Grace Mims discusses how her teachers and parents influenced her decision to go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Grace Mims shares how her teacher influenced her to become a librarian

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Grace Mims recalls rarely traveling outside of her hometown during her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Grace Mims shares memories of her grandfather

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Grace Mims talks about Mary McLeod Bethune and other well-known African Americans who visited Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Grace Mims talks about her grandfather's autobiography

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Grace Mims describes her academic accomplishments at Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute, and the school's influence on the surrounding community

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Grace Mims describes her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Grace Mims discusses her experiences at Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Grace Mims talks about the early years of her marriage and her career

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Grace Mims describes her experiences at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Music School Settlement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Grace Mims describes her work as a librarian and her work on the Eusi SiKuki Festival in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Grace Mims talks about her husband's, Howard Mims' role in the Black Studies Movement and the importance of African American history and culture

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Grace Mims describes the area surrounding Glenville High School

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Grace Mims talks about her civic involvement in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Grace Mims talks about performing with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Grace Mims talks about her family's singing group, The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Grace Mims talks about her cousin Donald Stone

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about performing with her family's band, The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Grace Mims talks about hosting "The Black Arts" program on Cleveland's WCLV-FM classical music station

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Grace Mims describes her nephews, filmmakers Spike Lee and Malcom D. Lee

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Grace Mims briefly discusses her radio show "Arts Log"

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Grace Mims talks about support of the arts

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Grace Mims shares her thoughts about contemporary music

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Grace Mims talks about performing with the William Appling Singers

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Grace Mims talks about performing as a soprano for the Fairmount Presbyterian Church

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Grace Mims describes teaching at the Cleveland Music School Settlement

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Grace Mims discusses her philosophy about teaching and music

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Grace Mims reflects upon her career and her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Grace Mims describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Grace Mims reflects upon her lack of desire to write a book about black music

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about individuals who share her musical philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Grace Mims describes her influence on the future of classically-trained musical artists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Grace Mims discusses the life and legacy of her late husband Howard A. Mims

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Grace Mims shares how she wants to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Grace Mims describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Grace Mims talks about hosting "The Black Arts" program on Cleveland's WCLV-FM classical music station
Grace Mims describes her academic accomplishments at Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute, and the school's influence on the surrounding community
Transcript
So, now you started--tell us how you started "The Black Arts" Show?$$As I told you I loved classical music so WCLV [FM] is Cleveland's classical music station. So I would always listen to it. And they had of course all the, you know Italian, blah, blah, blah, but they had a program for the Jewish hour, Catholic hour; nothing for Blacks. So I called Bob Conrad and said, what do you think about having a program that features the contributions that Blacks have made to classical music? He said come in and talk to me about it. At that time the--they were down at Terminal Tower which is a big, tall tower downtown [Cleveland, Ohio]. And so I went down and told him what I had in mind and some of the artists I had in mind and he said well do a trial program for me. I did that trial program. I did it with Jessye Norman. Jessye Norman. And he liked it and he said I would like to have you continue to do this but you must do it at least six months. I would, you know, you must agree to do it for at least six months and I've been there, what's it 37 years? Is that 37? [Laughter].$$Now this is--your first, your trial show is with Jessye Norman?$$Yeah.$$And now was Jessye Norman as big a star then as she is now?$$Was she what?$$Was she as big a star then--?$$She was a big star at the time. Yeah--$$Right, okay.$$--because I had records and CDs to play, you know.$$Yeah.$$But my first show turned, I did Leontyne Price, the first, you know when he--when I was on in May of 1976, I did Leontyne Price. And every five years I repeat that because I--the title was Leontyne Price in Prayer, you know, and used a lot of Verdi Arias and things at where she would be--the heroine would be praying as well as at the end. And I always try to use spirituals at the end of my show that would you know--songs that had prayer in them or in the title. Like, "I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" or whatever. So that's what I did.$$So--$$And that's what I still do.$$Okay. So did the station manager know who Jessye Norman was when--?$$Oh yes, everybody knew who these classical artists are.$$Okay.$$And I try to pay tribute to them on their birthdays. I find out when their birthdays are cause I just did Leontyne Price. She was born in February, and coming up Marian Anderson's birthday, you know, I try to do birthdays. And I did Joe Wilder who is a trumpet player who was the--a forerunner of Wynton Marsalis because he can play classical and jazz. And he's 93, I believe now coming up. I just saw in the New York Times that they're doing some kind of tribute to him and he's on up there now. But I try to acknowledge them on their birthdays. I usually do Miles Davis and Duke Ellington, but I usually have classical artists. And if new people are coming in all the time I try to you know, spotlight them as well.$$Okay. So you do like a weekly show--$$Weekly show, Wednesday nights from 10 [p.m.] to 11 [p.m.], weekly, one hour show.$$Now did the show ever interfere with your performances on the road with The Descendants?$$If they do, I you know, I'm not traveling anymore you know so--$$I mean in those days.$$In those days--$$Yeah.$$I could record, put it in, in advance, you know. Like I said we weren't out for two and three weeks. We would you know go to a college and, couple of days at the most, you know. You do your rehearsal and the concert and come back home.$$Okay.$$So it wasn't a matter of being out for a long period of time, no. And certainly didn't interfere and if it did I would just tape it another day.$$So, now did you have children during this period of time?$$For--did my husband and I have children? No, I don't have any children.$$Oh okay, all right. So you didn't have to worry about trying to take care of children and--$$No.$$--travel and all that.$$No.$$Okay, all right.$Now did you have any--I mean could you afford to get bad grades when you were growing up?$$Never thought about it. Always, just came natural. I was valedictorian of my high school at Snow Hill [Industrial and Normal Institute, Snow Hill, Alabama]. And so I never even thought about bad grades, didn't think about bad grades when I went to Hampton [Institute, Hampton, Virginia]. I graduated second in my class at Hampton. I'm just wondering, now was Snow Hill [Normal and Industrial Institute, Snow Hill, Alabama] sort of like a cultural gathering place for the rest of the community there, you know? You--I imagine some of the school--did Snow Hill have a library too?$$Yeah, we had a library.$$You had a library. So you had all--yeah. So--$$But it was just a warm feeling. The people didn't come on campus except for special occasions you know. But there was a tree and around that tree was a bench and they would wait for the mail there and that--that's where all the community gossip and stuff would go on. That's where the men said they heard Ms. Stedward's daughter got married. But anyway, everybody met and that was just down a slope from my [maternal] grandfather's [William James Edwards] house and everybody would gather around that tree for mail. And the mail would--the Rural Free Delivery, FDR [RFD]. You know we had--and it was a white man who came--Mr. Stabler, he was very nice and he drove over and gave us--everybody their mail.$$Okay.$$But people lived on over--it felt very you know, warmly towards the school but they weren't down there all the time. I mean it was a school. It was a school and it was for the people who came and were down there as boarding school students and teachers who lived with them in the dormitory who were the dormitory school masters as well as teachers. So--$$I didn't ask you about the students but who were--are there any remarkable students who were there or people that are memorable that you remember from your Snow Hill school days?$$I don't remember any outstanding students when I was there. My mother [Alberta Edwards Lee] had written information about the school and she gave it to us. I think I gave you a copy of that. But I can't remember anybody in, you know during my era that was--became famous except Bill Lee [brother] was probably, you know--Spike's dad Bill was somewhat famous with his composing and playing in jazz groups.

Paul Berry

Broadcast journalist Paul Berry was born on February 15, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised by his grandmother Annie M. Talley. Berry joined the U.S. Air Force in 1961 and graduated from the Department of Defense Information School. He went on to serve with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) assigned to the Tuy Hoa Air Force Base in Vietnam, where he worked as program director and sportscaster. While on assignment, Berry established the first independent FM radio station in South Vietnam.

In 1969, Berry was hired as an anchor and reporter at the ABC-owned outlet WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Michigan. In 1972, he joined ABC-7 (WJLA-TV) in Washington, D.C., where he served as senior news anchor. Berry went on to establish two of WJLA’s community service programs, "Crimesolvers" and "Seven on Your Side."

In 1999, Berry left the news desk and hosted Washington, D.C.'s “The Paul Berry Show” for a number of years. He has also produced and hosted his own nationally syndicated weekly radio talk show, “Home & Family Finances,” which is now entitled “Family Financials with Paul Berry.” The show is owned by Berry, sponsored by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and airs on Radio America Network. In addition, Berry established and heads the media consulting business Paul L. Berry & Associates, LLC. He is also a licensed realtor and founder of R & B Travel Agency.

Berry has been a member of several civic, charitable and professional organizations. He served on the boards of Ford's Theatre, The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, The Neediest Kids, Inc., The Washington Jesuit Academy, and the Paul Berry Academic Scholarship Foundation. He was a member of the Talbot County Tax Assessment Board; named president of the Chesapeake Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; and serves as commissioner for Maryland Public Television.

In 1982, Berry was the winner of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Ted Yates Award. Also, in 1982, Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry honored Berry by declaring November 12, "Paul Berry Day in the District." He received the 1986 Humanitarian Award of the National Martin Luther King, Jr., Student Leadership Conference; the 1989 Mid-Atlantic Professional Golfers' Association -Citizens Award; and the 1989 Olender Foundation’s Generous Heart Award. Washingtonian Magazine named Berry "Washingtonian of the Year" in 1991. He also won the 1993 Capital Region Emmy Award for Outstanding News Anchor, and in 1994, he was voted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences "Silver Circle." In addition, Berry has received community service awards from the National Capital Optimist Club and the Associated Press.

Berry is married to Amy Berry; they live in Easton, Maryland and have three children: Talley, Hudson and Paul.

Paul Berry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 28, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/29/2014

Last Name

Berry

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lawrence

Schools

Cass Technical High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

BER04

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nassau, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Education Is The Only Solution.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/15/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pig Feet

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Paul Berry (1944 - ) , founder of Paul L. Berry & Associates, LLC and the R & B Travel Agency, worked as an anchor for ABC-7 in Washington, D.C. for over twenty-five years. He also established the first independent FM radio station in South Vietnam, and is the host of Radio America Network’s “Home & Family Finances."

Employment

United States Air Force

Armed Forces Radio and Television Service

WXYZ-TV

WJLA TV

The Paul Berry Show

Family Financials with Paul Berry

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:2160,110:11120,268:21561,391:21927,398:35225,608:39020,780:57680,991:62770,1081:95980,1553:96260,1558:107602,1760:112168,1831:113528,1866:114684,1891:117713,1915:130700,2186:132140,2212:132940,2224:133420,2231:140036,2287:144392,2341:145040,2353:145544,2362:156584,2594:157620,2615:159248,2657:160210,2678:162652,2716:193182,3097:194040,3113:194568,3122:195492,3146:200150,3212:201130,3302:208340,3471:216862,3593:217474,3604:222767,3723:228850,3834:240140,3935:248870,4041:249182,4046:254798,4186:264014,4362:277238,4560:284606,4686:285050,4693:300721,4970:306771,5143:328500,5522$0,0:4988,145:25708,412:26036,417:30464,498:31858,526:45126,701:47633,719:49337,770:49692,776:80595,1222:94758,1386:99078,1490:100446,1533:101886,1575:102174,1580:117700,1728:127050,1816:132358,1865:134726,1955:135096,1961:154710,2259:163484,2458:166717,2538:167022,2544:174682,2681:176586,2724:194963,2889:202320,3022
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Berry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Berry lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Berry talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Berry talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Berry talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Berry talks about growing up in Swanton, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Berry talks about growing up in Swanton, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Berry talks about his current home in the Eastern Shore of Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Berry talks about his mother's childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Berry talks about his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Berry talks about his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Berry describes his father, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Berry describes his father, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Berry describes his parents' marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Berry talks about how his grandmother influenced him

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Berry talks about being taught to cook by his grandmother

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Berry talks about his sister

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Berry describes his earliest childhood memory, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Berry describes his earliest childhood memory, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Berry describes his memories of Highland Park, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Berry talks about Joe Louis Barrow

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Berry describes living in Swanton, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Berry describes living in Swanton, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Berry describes the Church of God church near Swanton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Paul Berry describes listening to the radio with his grandfather

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Berry talks about the role of radio and television in his childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Berry talks about being on television for the first time as a child

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Berry describes the issues with school integration in Swanton, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Berry describes the issues with school integration in Swanton, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Berry talks about moving back to Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Berry talks about moving back to Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Berry talks about joining the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Berry describes experiencing racism at Gunther Air Force in Montgomery, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Berry describes experiencing racism at Gunther Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Berry describes his time in the Air Force, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Berry describes his time in the Air Force, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Berry talks about arriving in Vietnam in 1968 after the Tet Offensive

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paul Berry describes beginning the first FM radio station during the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paul Berry describes announcing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination to the troops

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paul Berry remembers his time at the radio station in Vietnam

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paul Berry talks about his first foray into civilian broadcasting, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paul Berry talks about his first foray into civilian broadcasting, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paul Berry reflects on being a good journalist and his role at WXYZ

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paul Berry talks about his role at WXYZ

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paul Berry talks about broadcasting in Detroit, Michigan and being hired in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paul Berry talks about news anchor Max Robinson

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paul Berry recalls leaving Detroit, Michigan for Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paul Berry recalls backlash to his report on Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paul Berry recalls backlash to his report on Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paul Berry talks about Max Robinson

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paul Berry talks about working for BET

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paul Berry talks about HistoryMaker Marion Barry, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paul Berry talks about HistoryMaker Marion Barry, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paul Berry remembers Petey Greene

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paul Berry talks about a conflict with another journalist

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Paul Berry talks about the Watergate scandal

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Paul Berry talks about his show "7 On Your Side," pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Paul Berry talks about his show "7 On Your Side," pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Paul Berry talks about his show "Crime Solvers"

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Paul Berry recalls his various achievements

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Paul Berry talks about Washington D.C. public schools

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Paul Berry narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

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DATitle
Paul Berry talks about being taught to cook by his grandmother
Paul Berry describes announcing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination to the troops
Transcript
She [grandmother Annie Talley] had me--I would go to church on--we'd go to church, I'd go to church, a little church in (laughter), on Irwin Road and Old State Line Road, a little Church of God with Reverend and Sister Jackson. He was a minister. And we would go to church Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, whether we wanted to or not. I remember at eight years, I was teaching Sunday school. I could read from the age of, I think mom says three and a half or four years old. I was reading, reading the Bible, you know. And so my grandmother would have us--and at that time, Debbie was still with, was still--we'd go to church and we'd be sitting there. And in the church would be Reverend Jackson, his wife, my grandmother and Debbie and me. That was it in the church at that--and there's, you know, they're singing and we're singing. Debbie and I look at each other and then Reverend Jackson would get up, and he would preach. And he'd do the service, and Debbie and I would look at each other because we knew that my grandmother knew more Bible than he knew because (laughter) she had studied the Bible. So we knew. So who was he preaching to? Debbie and I didn't care (laughter). We didn't wanna hear it. And he would, and then he would say this--and this, and (unclear) (laughter), "Now, pardon my digression." And we, oh, God, that meant, here's a ten minute loop about--oh my God. And my grandmother would look over at us and throw her finger at, which meant, you didn't misbehave. Or she would, if you did, she would walk over with her hand held high, coming across to where we were sitting, and reach over and grab you on the arm, right here and turn it and dare you, dare you to say a word. You'd better not yell. She'd just turn it, pinch you. And she'd turn you loose and walk back. And that, now, she was known for it so much so that her younger sister, Carrie Presley, that was her nickname. She used to call her "Pinch," (laughter) because she used to pinch. You didn't wanna get pinched by our grandmother, but she would come over and she would, she'd wrap you up, boy. And we'd sit there, and, you know--and it was good. I mean I, I learned the things, and I would teach Sunday school. Then I traveled with the Reverend Jackson. We went to different--she felt comfortable that he was a good man, a good and decent man. And what I learned later was what she meant by that, she wasn't worried of turning me loose with this guy. She thought he was--and he was. He, there was never, ever any, a hint of anything at all. And I would travel with him, and it was great. And then, you know, he'd take his eight, nine-year old parishioner with him to, to what they used to have those conventions, church conventions here and there. It was great. I got a chance to travel. Then when I got back to--I was home at, I think about the age of eight or nine, my grandmother called me in one day. And she said, "Paul, I want you to learn to cook." She says, "You gotta take care of yourself." She said, "So from now on, once a month, I want you to plan a meal, go shopping with me to get it, come back and fix it, cook it, clean up." She said, "I want you to do that once a month. Would you do it?" I said, "Of course." When you're eight years old, that sounded like a huge assignment and wonderful. So we used to go into the A and P, when we--when I went with her or Kroger's at the time. I think it was an A and P Store. And we'd buy, she said, "What do you want?" And I'd tell her what I was gonna cook. And I would come back and I would cook that meal. And it was a wonderful learning experience. But I grew right--and I did it every year, eight, nine, ten. When I came back from--at eleven, twelve, and then probably at my twelfth or thirteenth year, and I don't know which one, I was outside playing. And I had boasted about the fact that I cooked, and I knew how to cook. And my friends, Tommy Sorminsky [ph.] and Mike Soransky [ph.] who lived across the street from us, they laughed at me. "Why are you laughing?" "You, girl--boys don't cook. Girls cook." That's what they said. And I remembered that. So she called me in one day. She said, (laughter) "Paul, come (unclear), it's time." And I was upset because we were playing out in the field or whatever we're doing and I gotta go shop and all that. And I said it to her. I said, "Mom, I'm a boy. I'm not a girl. I'm a boy. Why do I have to--girls cook." "Oh, Paul," she said, "really?" She said, "Now, where did you hear that?" I told her. She says, "Well, let me tell you something." She says, "I raised nine of my children," and she says, "I raised them so dumb in the kitchen that they didn't know how to boil water. I did it all." She says, "But with you I got a second chance, Paul. And I'm making full use of that." She says, "Now, you're gonna cook." And she says, "I'll tell you why." She said, "At one day in the future, you're going to grow up," she says. "And you're going to want to get married." She says, "But one of the reasons you'll get married is not because you're hungry. You'll know how to cook." And that was, and I looked at her. She said, "So go out. I'll do it," she says, "but you're gonna cook." She says, "You'll get married for all the right reasons, but you'll know how to take care of yourself." And I remember that to this day. "You know, you'll get married for a lot of silly reasons, but one of 'em won't be because you're hungry."$And so when King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]--I don't know whether it was King or Kennedy [Robert Kennedy]. Who got--King got killed first.$$First, right.$$When King was killed, it was censored out of Saigon, censored. I mean until they figured out how to broadcast. But you know where it wasn't censored on FM Tuy Hoa. And we broadcast--now, again, we weren't doing it as anti anything. We were just saying that the troops, here was the news. We picked up the signal. We got the reports, and we played that report right on--"[Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King, Jr. killed, assassinated, or whatever they called it, and we broadcast that thing. Now, to understand the structure, the radio station was controlled AFVN [Air Forces Vietnam Network]. Our radio station, our little FM Tuy Hoa was controlled by the base commander, okay. So if I reported to anyone, I reported to him. He was the commander of Tuy Hoa, okay. And this was a installation that was sitting on his facility. So he was commander of it. But we weren't thinking about that. We, that was just a structure that we had to have in place because we were on the base. And sure enough, we broadcast the assassination of Martin Luther King. All hell broke loose because somebody heard our broadcast and the censors in Saigon went absolutely ape, and upset, and boy, we got, you know--you will not, you'll cease and desist, and you'll so and so, and that is, you know, it's unauthorized. And you don't have, and I mean, and we were like, "Well, Jesus, what is this? You know, I mean we were just giving out the news." Our theory was Americans fighting had to know what was going on at home. So we--and it's a good thing it happened then because I then had to explain. The, the--we stopped with the broadcast because we were told to stop. And at this point, we didn't know what to do. The commander of the air base at Tuy-Hoa listened to FM Tuy Hoa. It was his radio station, so he called me down to his office. "Lieutenant, what the heck's going on?" Why, you know, I told him what happened. And he says, "What?" I said, "Yeah, apparently--well, not apparently, sir, the, you know, the Air Force wants to, wants it censored information." I says not Air Force because AFRTS [American Forces Radio and Television Service] was a combination of all services, Armed Forces Radio Television Service. He says, "Well, how does that apply here?" I said, "Well, the commander-" He said, "The commander is not in charge of my facility. That's my radio station." And he says, "And you are now ordered to put--you go on the air with whatever you choose." He says, "As long as it's in good taste, the American soldier has a right to know. Thank you, sir." So, it got quiet. We went back on doing our broadcast, doing our written newscast. And then up comes the death of Robert Kennedy. And we were first--Reuters is the other news services that I was talking about, okay.$$Right, out of Britain.$$Reuters was the news service.