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Kojo Nnamdi

Broadcast journalist Kojo Nnamdi was born as Rex Orville Montague Paul on January 8, 1945 in Guyana. He emigrated first to Montreal, Canada in 1967 to attend McGill University, and then to the United States in 1968.

Nnamdi first lived in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked on Wall Street and joined the Black Panther Party. He then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1969, and became part of a new organization called The Center For Black Education, developed in large measure by former members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1970, Nnamdi was hired as the editor of the radio show “Sauti,” a news magazine program on WOL-AM. From 1973 to 1985, he served as news editor and then news director for WHUR-FM, and produced the award-winning local news program “The Daily Drum.” Then, from 1985 to 2011, Nnamdi hosted “Evening Exchange,” a public affairs television program broadcast by WHUT-TV at Howard University. He became host of WAMU-FM’s “Public Interest” in August of 1998. In 2002, “Public Interest” changed its name to “The Kojo Nnamdi Show.” In addition, he has served as the host of WAMU’s “The Politics Hour.”

Nnamdi has chaired the board of the Public Access Corporation of Washington, D.C. since 1997, and served on the board of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center from 2003 to 2008. He has also been active in Guyaid, an organization devoted to the welfare of children in Guyana.

Nnamdi was honored as a civil rights hero by the National Council for Community Justice in 2001; and in 2003, the Library of Congress selected Nnamdi as the keynote speaker for African American History Month. In 2005, he was named a "Washingtonian of the Year" by Washingtonian magazine. DCist named Nnamdi one of "DC’s Most Influential People" in 2007, and Washingtonian has listed Nnamdi as one of the “150 Most Influential People in Washington.”

Nnamdi has five sons and lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.

Kojo Nnamdi was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 30, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.014

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/30/2014

Last Name

Nnamdi

Maker Category
Schools

McGill University

Queen's College of Guyana

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Kojo

Birth City, State, Country

Georgetown

HM ID

NNA02

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Antigua

Favorite Quote

The Greatest Thing You Ever Learn Is To Love And Be Loved In Return.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

1/8/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

Guyana

Favorite Food

Chicken (Grilled), Rice

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Kojo Nnamdi (1945 - ) has worked as a radio and television show host in the Washington, D.C. area for over forty years. His shows have included WHUT-TV’s “Evening Exchange,” and WAMU-FM’s “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” and “The Politics Hour."

Employment

WOL-AM

WHUR-FM

WHUT TV

WAMU-FM

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kojo Nnamdi's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kojo Nnamdi lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about the African and East Indian populations in Guyana

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kojo Nnamdi continues to describe his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his parents' engagement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his childhood home in Georgetown, Guyana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kojo Nnamdi describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kojo Nnamdi describes the music and culture of Guyana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his elementary school and sports

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his childhood interest in conversation and stories

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about anti-colonial struggle

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about Forbes Burnham

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about Walter Rodney, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about Walter Rodney, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about Walter Rodney, pt. 3

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about the presence of radio in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about attending high school at Queens College in Guyana, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about attending high school at Queens College in Guyana, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his time before and at McGill University in Montreal, Canada

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his political activity at McGill University in Montreal, Canada

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about living in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his former wife and his move to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about the Center for Black Education in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about the Center for Black Education in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about the Center for Black Education's radio projects

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his work at Howard University Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kojo Nnamdi reflects on Howard University Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about black political convenings in the '70s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about Melvin Lindsey's "Quiet Storm," pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about Melvin Lindsey's "Quiet Storm," pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kojo Nnamdi remembers his time as news director at WHUR in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his transition into television work

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his television and radio shows, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his television and radio shows, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his television show, "Evening Exchange"

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his journalistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about surprising moments in his career

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Kojo Nnamdi reflects on conducting interviews

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Kojo Nnamdi reflects on the differences between WAMU and his broadcasting career at Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Kojo Nnamdi reflects on the differences between WAMU and his broadcasting career at Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Kojo Nnamdi reflects on the differences between WAMU and his broadcasting career at Howard University, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his plans for his future

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his experience in Ethiopia

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Kojo Nnamdi describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Kojo Nnamdi reflects on his life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Kojo Nnamdi reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Kojo Nnamdi talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
Kojo Nnamdi describes the music and culture of Guyana
Kojo Nnamdi talks about his television and radio shows, pt. 1
Transcript
Well, speaking of music, I mean that's, that's--what kind of music was played? I mean, what kind of music music was played?$$There was the local music, which was calypsos and local folk music. The music that we heard on the radio was generally music coming from either the United States or England, which was the colonial power there at the time, popular music generally. In my father's era it would have been one kind of music. By the time we came along is when R&B started to dominate in the airways, but in their day they were listening to Bing Crosby, and Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. In my day we were listening to more R&B artists and the like. But because Guyana was the only English speaking country in South America, we were located right next door to Dutch Guiana, which is now Suriname. And our radio stations could pick up the music coming from those stations. So merengue music, which they like to play on that station, was also very popular in Guyana, and we listened to all kinds of other music that influenced our local music. But the, the local music that we generally listened to and enjoyed the most was of the calypso variety.$$So Guyana just, just for the sake of those who don't know where it is, I mean, it's in the--it's on the, the--$$Northern--$$--northern--$$It's on the northern tip of South America, bordered by Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north.$$It's the--it's the I guess the eastern most part of South America that comes out--(simultaneous)--$$Kind of northeast--$$North--okay.$$--part of South America. It kind of looks--the shape of it looks like a, a lion if you look at it on a map. But it's a country of 83,000 square miles with a population of less than a million people--three quarters of a million people. And that population has been stable for at least four or five decades, 'cause so many people leave the country, and the population hasn't been growing at all.$Okay.$$"Evening Exchange" was a live one-hour television broadcast that took phones that aired from seven to eight every evening, so it was a lot like "Insight" except with cameras. And of course, I was to discover that the cameras made all the difference in the world. Coming from a background where, as I began by saying, in a country where people listened to the radio, it became apparent to me when I started doing television that people don't listen to television as much as they watch it, and that things are said on talk radio that people hear you can say them on television. But unless you say them two or three times, people may not hear them at all because they're busy watching television. So it was a new experience and a new challenge for me, doing "Evening Exchange." It was every night, five days a week, much like what I'd been doing before, except it was an hour long and it was television. And so from 1985, I was doing that, and then as the television station began to have some financial difficulty, instead of doing the show live nightly, we started prerecording it; and instead of doing five nights a week, we were there two or three nights a week. And that's what I essentially was doing up until--from, from about nineteen--we started recording the show I guess around 1992--1993 maybe--about '93 [1993]--and that's what I was doing up until 1998. The show gave me an identity and I was able to give it an identity that I may not have had before as an individual. I'd always been associated with the "Daily Drum," but then "Evening Exchange" gave me an identity to the point where they changed the name of the show and called it "Evening Exchange with Kojo." And it was that that I was doing in 1998 when a guy I knew from WAMU Radio [American University Radio] approached me and asked me if I would be interested in doing the "Politics" program. It was called "The Politics Hour with Mark Plotkin" here at WAMU, and I agreed to have a conversation with the program director at WAMU Radio about doing that. After that conversation, I agreed not just to do the "Politics Hour with Mark Plotkin," but the entire show, which was then called "Public Interest," ten hours a week from noon to two, Monday through Friday in addition to continuing my work with "Evening Exchange." And so from June--from June of 1998 until I retired from Howard University [Washington, D.C.] in 2011 I did both jobs--the radio station ten hours a week, and two or three hours of "Evening Exchange" every week--wore me out. And then--

Darryl W. Dennard

Broadcast journalist Darryl W. Dennard was born on September 18, 1957 in Harlem, New York to Eleanor Adamson and Glenn W. Dennard. He graduated from De Witt Clinton High School. Dennard was a member of Fordham University’s Upward Bound program and participated in its Bridge program by taking classes at Fordham University. He then went on to attend the State University of New York College at Buffalo and graduated with his B.A. degree in broadcasting in 1981. While at Buffalo State, he was a member of the Black Liberation Front student organization, where he was an executive board member, founding the college’s Minority Resource Center.

In 1980, Dennard was hired as a production assistant at the NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York. He was promoted to a news reporter in 1983, and worked at WGRZ-TV until 1987. Dennard then became co-host of the “Ebony-Jet Showcase” from 1987 to 1991, and was hired as associate editor of Ebony Man magazine. He then served as co-host of the “Black Enterprise Report” and as host and producer of the “Minority Business Report.” Dennard also worked as an anchor of “Good Day Chicago” in the 1990s, and has hosted many other programs, including “Know Your Heritage.” He has worked on WVAZ-FM's “Steve Harvey Show,” WCGI-FM's “Morning Riot,” WGCI-AM's “John Hannah Morning Show,” and WVAZ’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” In addition, he has interviewed many celebrities and notable figures, including President Barack Obama, Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey.

Dennard served as Vice President of First Trace Communications, a strategic, cause related public relations firm, and Founder and CEO of Double D Productions, Inc., a full service audio/video production company, which produced the 1999 documentary “Heading West: A History of African Americans on Chicago's West Side,” and the more recent documentary, “Culture of Calm: A Calming Presence,” which chronicles the Chicago Public School’s mentoring efforts directed towards “At Risk” youth in the wake of the Derion Albert beating death.

Dennard’s professional affiliations include the National Association of Market Developers, Black Public Relations Society, the 100 Black Men of Chicago, the Young Brothers for Christ Youth Ministry at Apostolic Church of God, and the Radio and Television Broadcasting and Theatre Departments at Kennedy King College.

Most important to him are his wife Darlene, and their two children, Autumn, a graduate of Howard University and Darryl Jr, a fine arts graduate at The Cooper Union in New York City. Dennard also has a son-in-law, Brian, and two grandchildren, Ari and Milo.

Darryl Dennard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.020

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/23/2014

Last Name

Dennard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Schools

DeWitt Clinton High School

State University of New York at Buffalo

Ps 59 The Community School Of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Darryl

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DEN02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Now Faith Is The Substance Of Things Hoped For And Evidence Of Things Not Seen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/18/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Darryl W. Dennard (1957 - ) , founder of Double D Productions, Inc., has hosted and anchored nationally recognized television and radio programs, including “Ebony-Jet Showcase,” “Black Enterprise Report,” “Minority Business Report,” “Good Day Chicago,” the “Steve Harvey Show,” “Morning Riot,” and the “John Hannah Morning Show."

Employment

WGRZ TV

Ebony-Jet Showcase

Ebony Man Magazine

Black Enterprise Magazine

Minority Business Report

Good Day Chicago

Know Your Heritage

WVAZ-FM

WCGI Radio

First Trace Communications

Double D Productions, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Darryl Dennard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes his maternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes spending nights at family members' homes in the South Bronx

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about working at Pioneer Supermarket as a stock boy

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard describes his father and paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about the first and second waves of The Great Migration

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes his father's creative interests and jazz collection

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about his younger sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes his extended family

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes growing up in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes his childhood interests and involvement with Upward Bound and College Bound

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about his experience in Upward Bound and College Bound

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard reflects on the critical time to motivate young black boys to do well in school

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Darryl Dennard talks about his childhood jobs and hustles

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard describes his New York City public school education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard recalls being exposed to Broadway and opera with the Upward Bound and College Bound programs

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes running track in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes taking an English class at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York while in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes his experience at State University of New York College at Buffalo

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes his transition to college at State University of New York College at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about black news commentators Max Robinson, Bob Teague and Gil Noble

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about his summers while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard describes why he chose to attend a college outside of New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard describes the communications program at Buffalo State and his focus learning the broadcast speech standards

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Darryl Dennard remembers his first day at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard remembers his first day at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard talks about Buffalo State's Black Student Union, named Black Liberation Front

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes his college mentors and working for the U.S. Customs Service

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes his internship at WGRZ in Buffalo, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes memories from his time at WGRZ

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard describes his offer to host the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes being interviewed by HistoryMaker John H. Johnson

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about African Americans in broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about the changes in black broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard reflects on the lack of blacks in the media industry compared to the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about partiality in journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his time working for the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes interviewing Michael Jackson

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about interviewing Oprah Winfrey

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard remembers interviewing Sammy Davis at Johnson Publishing Company headquarters

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase' and his interviewing style

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his journalistic philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes his interview style

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about working with Deborah Crable

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his family's adjustment to living in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about positions he held between 1991 and 1993

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about 'Minority Business Report'

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard talks about the significance of black manufacturing companies versus vendors

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about 'Minority Business Report' and the significance in diverse business ownership

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard talks about his work with Kennedy-King College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about his production company, Double D Productions

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about his film, 'Heading West'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about black migration to Chicago, Illinois and his film, 'Heading West'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about various programs he has hosted and produced

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his current projects and mentorship

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about youth violence

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about etiquette and polite society

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about the current state of video production

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes his disinterest in using social media

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about the media organizations he's involved in and HistoryMakers Pluria Marshall, Sr. and Jr.

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about his wife, daughter, and grandchildren

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about his relationship with his in-laws

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about his son

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard considers what he might have done differently

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard considers his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Darryl Dennard describes his father's creative interests and jazz collection
Darryl Dennard describes being interviewed by HistoryMaker John H. Johnson
Transcript
Okay, now, now was your--was your father [Glenn Dennard]--did he finish school--$$I think--yeah, he graduated high school.$$Okay.$$And he used to paint and, and enjoyed music. And I remember him taking me, hanging out with him, and we--took me to the Apollo Theater [Harlem, New York City, New York] one time. And as he was at the Apollo Theater, he was backstage, you know, getting high with some of the performers. And--$$You said, said he's friends with Sonny Rollins.$$Sonny Rollins, yes--Sonny Rollins. If I mentioned the name, he, he knew my father, yes.$$And your father was an art--an artist. He was painting--$$He was painting.$$Yeah.$$He was--he was a painter.$$What kind of--(simultaneous)--$$Artist?$$--did he do? Okay.$$Abstract, things like that, you know.$$Right--(simultaneous)--$$He--and he loved music, you know. And then he also loved like informing us on history. So he would get us black history books at the time, black history coloring books that had just came out. He got me a book about Greek and Roman mythology that was a coloring book where I learned about Achilles and how Achilles was dumped in the pool. And the mother dumped him in there, and his skin in a sense became indestructible except for that one area where she held him up by his heel. And then, of course, you know that he was shot there in that heel and ended up dying, you know, so; and books of poetry; and he would also get my sister and I--my sisters [Glenda Dennard and Toya Dennard] and I--he would buy us records. And we would literally listen to--in addition to taking us to the movies--my mother [Eleanor Adamson Dennard] and father taking us to the movies--he would also have us listening to records. And then he would have us listening to jazz records. So on a Sunday, as we were still living in Manhattan [New York City, New York] at the time, and I wish we could have stayed there because if they could have bought that that would have been incredible. But we were right around 96th Street and near Amsterdam Avenue. And I remember we would walk over to Central Park, and he would have a photographer come and take pictures of us. And during that Sunday--I remember on Sundays my mother would be cooking. And they were very, very young at the time, 'cause they had us as teenagers. And I remember two songs in particular that were always played on the console stereo. And one was Dinah Washington, 'What a Difference a Day Makes.' And the other one was, was 'Song for My Father,' by Horace Silver. [Musical beats] and so, you know, I was always filled with jazz, and he had an incredible jazz collection. And--but you know, I just remember, you know, he was tied into that kind of hustle aspect of New York City. And as I got older, I would kind of hang out with him. And my cousin actually ended up spending more time with him on the hustle side. 'Cause, you know, he kind of aware--made me aware of the streets of New York and how to navigate the streets. I knew how to navigate them to a certain extent, but he also showed me how to kind of make money. And we did things legitimately, but you know, he's like hey, this is how you do this; this is--you know, we're gonna go over here; and you can open up the doors in front of Lincoln Center [for the Performing Arts, New York City, New York], and people will give you money for helping open up the door.$$Okay, okay, 'cause always--with so many people I guess it's always something to do--(simultaneous)--$$Well, it was always--$$--if you--$$--something to do--$$Okay.$$--and New York was our playground. And I think I mentioned to you before. Since my grandmother [Lucille Adamson] on my mother's side had eight children, my cousins were my surrogate brothers, so I would spend time with my cousins--my male cousins--during the summer, and they would spend time with me. And you know, we would go over there and spend maybe two weeks spent--we called it spending the night. And I would just spend two or three weeks with them, maybe even longer sometimes, maybe almost an entire month just spending time with my cousins. And then during the year, of course, on weekends get ready to go over my cousins' house and hang out with them and stuff like that. And they always had kind of different jobs, and so I would learn how to hustle the streets with them.$And, and so I remember flying into Chicago [Illinois]. I hadn't been to Chicago before. And I flew into Chicago and met with [HM John H.] Johnson, and we had an interview. It lasted all of maybe twenty minutes to a half an hour. You know, and Mr. Johnson asked me questions like, well, you know, tell me a little bit about yourself, where you're from, things of that nature. And you know, I told him who I was, and you know, they had probably already sized me up way before then--spoke maybe two or three, five minutes to, to [HM] Linda [Johnson Rice]. And I think you know, the job was paying like sixty thousand dollars or something, which would've put--three times what I was making in Buffalo [New York], plus it was--it's national job, and, and everybody knew of Johnson Publishing Company. And so, low and behold, I was gettin' ready to leave, and Mr. Johnson and Linda stepped aside for-[Osbert] Ozzie [Bruno] wasn't even--I don't even know if he was there at the time, and Ozzie is a good friend of mine. They stepped aside for maybe five minutes or so, and I waited outside their offices. And then Mr. Johnson came back and he said--said well, Darryl--and he would speak forthrightly to you--he goes you man--you know goes, "What do you think about becoming the host of my television show?" And here I am, you know, in Buffalo. And you know, so I went, "Well, Mr. Johnson, you know, could you give me a little bit of time, you know, to think about it." And he cut right into me. He said, "Think about it? What you talkin' about thinking about for? Now I'm offering you a job to leave Buffalo, New York, and you're tellin' me you gotta think about it." I said, "You know, you're right, Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir, I'll take it," (laughter). Literally, that's what he--he said, what you gotta think about leavin' Buffalo, New York for? I said, you're right, Mr. Johnson. Please forgive me. I'm sorry. I will take the job. He says okay, good, now Linda take care of that. That's exactly the way it happened, man. And I remember in my soul how I felt. 'Cause I was gonna go back home to my wife [Darlene Dennard], and we had already had my--you know, our daughter [Autumn Dennard]. And my daughter is like--it's '80 [1980], so she's about four or five years old at the time, 'cause she was born in '82 [1982], so this is '87 [1987], you know, five years old. And, and so what happened was that I told my wife I--you know, I'm driving back, and I don't think I called her or anything because there's not like cellular phones and stuff. And I remember driving back--driving out to the airport--out to O'Hare [International Airport, Chicago, Illinois], inside the express lanes, which was kind of weird for me because you know how the express lanes are divided in the middle. And then you had traffic heading one direction, and traffic heading in the opposite direction, and we were heading on the outbound traffic in the afternoon. And you know, I went back home, and my wife met me at the airport, and I said get your bags ready. We're moving to Chicago. And Mr. Johnson actually increased my salary by ten thousand dollars when he offered me the job. He didn't let me know. I accepted at, at that base salary, but he said no, pay him more.$$So this is--this is really exciting, so.$$It was a very exciting time for me. You know, I ended up--I had a beautiful going away party with all of my church members. I went to Bethesda Full Gospel Tabernacle in Buffalo, New York. And the current pastor is Bishop Michael Badger, but Michael was a contemporary of mine. And at that time the pastor was Reverend Billy White, and he's a white guy that was the pastor of this interdenominational Pentecostal church--phenomenal church in Buffalo right on Main [Street] and Utica [Street]. And, and so everybody was just like overjoyed, 'cause they would watch me on TV of course, but you know, I was very much into the ministry and so was my wife, and my buddy, Ron, and my buddy Byron--Byron Brown and Ronald Brown--no relations. But they ended up throwing me a nice little going away party. And Byron Brown became the first black mayor of Buffalo, who just got elected to his third term. And, and so we left. My wife and I we left; we packed our bags and, and came to Chicago in 1987.

Pam Morris

Radio host Pam Morris was born and raised in West Virginia. She graduated from St. Albans High School and West Virginia State College.

In 1989, Morris was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley as an event coordinator for the City of Chicago and as head producer for the Chicago Gospel Music Festival. Morris also created and coordinated Mayor Daley's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Breakfast. She went on to serve as interfaith liaison for the United States House of Representatives in the Second District of Illinois.

In 2000, Morris was hired as a radio personality at WVON-AM in Chicago, where she went on to host "Gospel with Pam Morris." She worked at WWHN 1510-AM and WGCI-AM; and, for seven years, hosted the radio program entitled "The Inspirational Gospel Stroll," on WVAZ-FM. Morris also hosted "Gospel with Pam Morris" on cable television. In addition, she has worked as an international Gospel consultant for The Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy; The Gospel and Soul Easter Festival in Terni, Italy; and The Tree of Life Gospel Event in Durbin, South Africa. She served as a consultant to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and was appointed lead ambassador for the American Heart Association’s Most Powerful Voices Gospel Tour. In 2009, Morris retired as event coordinator for the City of Chicago and founded the nonprofit organization P. Morris & Associates.

Morris has received numerous awards for her work. She was the 2006 Stellar Award recipient for Gospel Radio announcer of the year. She also received the 2010 Who's Who in Black Chicago Award; the 2010 Living Faith Church Lifetime Achievement Legacy Award; the City of Chicago Appreciation Award; the 2012 National Council of Negro Women Media Award; and N'Digo's N'Religion Award. Morris also served on the Grammy Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences - Chicago Chapter.

Morris has recorded two Gospel albums, and is the author of the book Lessons Learned from Aunt Mabel and So Much More.

Pam Morris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.023

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/23/2014

Last Name

Morris-Walton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Jacqueline

Occupation
Schools

Tackett Creek School

St. Albans High School

West Virginia State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Pam

Birth City, State, Country

Charleston

HM ID

MOR15

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

West Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

I Love You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/20/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Radio host Pam Morris (1949 - ) , founder of P. Morris & Associates, is the host of WVON-AM’s "Gospel with Pam Morris," and was head producer for the Chicago Gospel Music Festival for over twenty years. She is the author of the book Lessons Learned from Aunt Mabel and So Much More.

Employment

WVON Radio

United States House of Representatives

City of Chicago

V103 Radio

1390

Favorite Color

Black, Puple, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pam Morris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pam Morris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Pam Morris describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pam Morris talks about her mother, Paskalena Page

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pam Morris talks about her father, John Brown

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pam Morris describes being raised by her Aunt Mabel

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pam Morris describes her likeness to Aunt Mabel

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pam Morris talks about Aunt Mabel's work as a minister

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Pam Morris describes the Apostolic Free Church of God Church on Redds Hill in St. Albans, West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Pam Morris shares her childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Pam Morris describes the sights, sounds, and smells of St. Albans, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pam Morris describes growing up on a farm in St. Albans, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pam Morris describes her great grandfather greeting a date with his shotgun

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pam Morris recalls the music and television of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pam Morris describes her school memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pam Morris describes her Uncle Beauford

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pam Morris describes her church experiences as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pam Morris describes attending Tackett Creek Elementary School in St. Albans, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Pam Morris talks about her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Pam Morris describes Aunt Mabel's reluctance to be active in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Pam Morris describes the magazines she read while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Pam Morris describes the students at St. Albans High School in St. Albans, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Pam Morris talks about being raised in a strict household

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Pam Morris talks about her senior year at St. Albans High School and her decision to attend West Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pam Morris describes working at her grandfather's store

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pam Morris remembers how she was viewed at St. Albans High School in St. Albans, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pam Morris describes attending West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pam Morris talks about attempting to reconnect with her mother

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pam Morris describes the importance of prayer in her life

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pam Morris recounts moving to New York to live with her mother

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pam Morris recalls marrying John Morris in 1969 and having two children

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pam Morris talks about being a minister's wife and recording an album with her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Pam Morris talks about her church and radio activities in Chicago, Illinois in 1975

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Pam Morris describes the gospel music scene in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pam Morris talks about working on Charles Sherrell's radio program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pam Morris describes the popular gospel shows and performers during the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pam Morris describes the content and sponsors of Charles Sherrell's radio program

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pam Morris talks about hosting programs and events

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pam Morris describes how she selected music for the programs she hosted

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pam Morris remembers Harold Washington's campaign for Mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pam Morris describes her radio career in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pam Morris talks about her relationship with HistoryMaker Juanita Passmore

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Pam Morris remembers visiting Aunt Mabel as an adult

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Pam Morris remembers meeting Mahalia Jackson and Albertina Walker

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Pam Morris talks about the gospel legends she met

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Pam Morris recalls becoming the Special Events Coordinator for the Chicago Gospel Music Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Pam Morris talks about Chicago festivals

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Pam Morris describes her work on the Chicago Gospel Music Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Pam Morris talks about the role of prayer in her life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Pam Morris comments on the political and civic involvement of ministers in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Pam Morris shares the highlights of her twenty-year tenure as Special Events Coordinator of the Chicago Gospel Music Festival.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Pam Morris describes the various genres within gospel music

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Pam Morris defines gospel music

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Pam Morris talks about the business of gospel music

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Pam Morris talks about deciding to leave her position as Special Events Coordinator of the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Pam Morris talks about deciding to leave her position as Special Events Coordinator of the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Pam Morris recounts the challenges she faced as Special Events Coordinator of the Chicago Gospel Music Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Pam Morris talks about the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Pam Morris describes the life lessons that Aunt Mabel taught her

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Pam Morris talks about her current relationship with her mother

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Pam Morris talks about her children

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Pam Morris talks about her awards

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Pam Morris reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Pam Morris talks about her radio show

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Pam Morris talks about her regrets

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Pam Morris describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Pam Morris narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
Pam Morris talks about hosting programs and events
Pam Morris shares the highlights of her twenty-year tenure as Special Events Coordinator of the Chicago Gospel Music Festival.
Transcript
Okay, so your show is catching on, and did you-- the logical growth, outgrowth of a good radio show is live events with the performers--(simultaneous)--$$Um-hum, I would do, host programs, started to host programming, started, people start calling me up, asking me to host. Would you please come to my church? Antioch [Missionary Baptist Church] was the first church I went to. Reverend Daniels [Wilbur Daniel] was so sweet. He was such a wonderful person. He was always so kind. He loved his wife [Marguerite Richards]. Oh, my God, he loved his wife. She loved me, she just thought I was the most loveliest person. She said, and I want to thank you for your music 'cause you know how to play music. I'll never forget that. Those were some great days.$$Okay, so you did your first public program there?$$Um-hum.$$And who was on the program? Do you remember who was on the program at Antioch Church?$$No, other than his choir, I don't remember who else sang? I don't.$$Okay, but you were just like the host for the program?$$Um-hum, I introduced.$$Okay.$$And that just started, where I started just going from one place to the other. I mean a whole lot of it.$$So people were coming, I mean you were a draw then since they heard you on the radio, you were a draw for their programs?$$They were coming to see me and shake my hand and give me a hug, for real. It made my day and theirs. I think I was flight somebody. I want to say I was Flight 1570, take a flight with me. I think that, I had a little cliche or something going on there. I think I did. I'd have to ask Ron Baker that because I remember him coming over to the station. But I think I did have something like Flight 1570. I want to say that was the call letters, 1570.$$Okay, AM radio?$$Uh-huh, AM radio, 1570. That wasn't WVON.$$No, no.$$No, I think it was 1570.$$This is Charles Sherrell's station.$$Sherrell, yeah, I think I was a flight.$$I'm sorry. I can't think of the call letters right now, but anybody--(simultaneous)--$$But I think I was on a flight.$$--who wants to research it can find it.$$Okay, I think I was on a flight, and I was saying, "Come go with me on my flight. I'm gon' take you somewhere", and I would take you. And then when I would host, I would say, "Come meet me, 'cause we've landed. So come on over and meet me." And that's how people were hugging me and-$But back to the fest [Chicago Gospel Music Festival] itself, what are some of the--now, you were the--(simultaneous)--$$Oh, and, but speaking of Reverend [Clay] Evans, let me take you back to the fest--$$Okay, okay.$$--and say that even when he wouldn't make meetings, he'd call me up and tell me about somebody. He said, I think so and so need to be, put this down, consider this person, consider them. He would do that.$$Oh, to be on the committee?$$He was on the committee. So he was always helpful to me, had some great resources there. I was good, but I was better because of the help that I had.$$Okay.$$You gotta give credit where credit is due, had some great people working with me.$$Well, are there any special moments from the Gospel Festival, you wanna share with us, 'cause you did this for--$$Twenty years.$$Twenty years, yeah.$$Twenty years, so many. It's so many. I could go back, I could go back to Mom and Pop Winans, sitting on the side of the stage, Mom and Pop Winans sitting there saying, "Now, that's what I like right there", and I think at that time, it was Doc McKenzie and the Highlights singing "I've Won". And they're sitting on the side of the stage. I can go back to Solomon Burke when we went to Millennium Park, and he was one of, he was one of the featured performers. And they laid the red carpet out for him, and he sat in throne chair, or whatever you call that big chair he sat in. And he sang and he sat back there and sang, and people loved him, but it wasn't until Rance Allen came on behind him that people went crazy.$$So they performed with him?$$No, they performed after him.$$After him, yeah.$$Uh-huh, with Destiny's Choir. I think his choir was one of those choirs that performed with him or with Solomon Burke. It's just so many highlights. I can go back to when we honored Andrae Crouch and how beautiful that time was. And then let me tell you about this wonderful experience, of sitting at a gospel supreme, Pastor Maceo Woods, Evening of Gospel Elegance and, at Christ Universal, and I look over at one of my board members. Actually, it was Pastor DeAndre Patterson, and I had a "Ah-hah Moment", like Oprah [Winfrey] would say, an "Ah-hah" moment. And I said, I wanna take elegance to Grant Park or to Millennium Park, downtown Chicago [Illinois]. And I just felt something from how he was doing what he was doing where I wanted to bring an evening of gospel elegance to the festival. And I met with Fred Nelson, one of our board members. He said, we can make this happen.$$Now, what characterizes an evening of gospel elegance?$$A gospel evening of elegance is when you dress up in your tux, in your long gowns, and you come out and you present yourself accordingly. And you add into that a stringed instrument like a violinist or an opera singer or a tenor singer as we added in one of those performances from Three Men--Cook, Dixon and Young.$$Yeah, the Three Mo' Tenors.$$Added Dixon in there. Oh, my God, you talking about a evening of elegance. He steps out in his tuxedo and sings in that baritone voice, and it rings throughout the park. Oh, my God, and we dressed up too. Nothing like it, nothing like it, and God blessed us to do this for the City of Chicago for over a dozen years or close to a dozen years, that particular segment on a Saturday evening in downtown Chicago. Just get up, get dressed and come on down to the park and feel special. And every group was great now. I can go from the Barrett Sisters. Let me tell you another important part of this was Pastor Archbishop Lucius Hall, one of our board members. Arch Bishop Lucius Hall walked into one of the board members, one board meeting and said, I'd like to work in this area. And he helped us recognizing living legends, people that never really had a chance to come down and be honored that were still performing. And you had to be now over a certain age now. You couldn't be fifty, couldn't be fifty-five. I'm not even sure if you were sixty, might have been over that. But he was over that segment and presented them--oh, I could just go on and on, the Caravans, all of them, the Caravans, Dr. Albertina Walker, Delores Washington Green, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, oh, just--I could just go on and on.$$Shirley Caesar.$$Oh, my God, it was just, oh. Israel Houghton of, and New Breed, the Clark Sisters. Oh, the Winans, Take 6, I could just go on and on in telling you how we were blessed to bless many people with great music during our tenure for the City of Chicago. Yeah, wonderful.

Pierre Sutton

Broadcasting executive Pierre M. Sutton was born on February 1, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Percy E. Sutton and Leatrice Sutton. He attended the University of Toledo in Ohio and received his B.A. degree in 1968. Sutton then pursued graduate studies at the University of Kentucky and New York University, and later completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School.

In 1971, Sutton, along with his father, co-founded the The New York Courier, a weekly newspaper, where he served as the executive editor until 1972. During that time, he also fulfilled duties as the vice president of Inner City Research & Analysis Corporation in New York City. Also in 1971, Sutton’s father co-founded Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies in the United States. When ICBC acquired WLIB Radio in New York City in 1972, Sutton was brought on as the public affairs director. He then served as the vice president of ICBC from 1975 until 1977. Then, in 1977, Sutton became the president of ICBC and assumed responsibilities of the company’s radio stations in New York and California.

Sutton has held leadership positions in numerous professional, business and non-profit organizations. He served as a member of the board of directors for the Better Business Bureau of Harlem from 1972 to 1977; then Sutton was named as the inaugural vice president of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB). He also became a member of the board of directors for the Minority Investment Fund. Sutton’s community involvement includes serving as the chairman of the board of directors for the Harlem Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. He was selected to sit on the board of directors for the New York City Marathon in 1979, and was appointed as its executive commissioner. He also served as a member of the board of directors for the Hayden Planetarium, and as a member of the board of trustees for the Alvin & Ailey Dance Foundation.

Pierre M. Sutton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.314

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2013

Last Name

Sutton

Maker Category
Middle Name

Monte

Occupation
Schools

University of Toledo

University of Kentucky

New York University

Harvard Business School

P.S. 123

Intermediate School 59

Andrew Jackson High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Pierre

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SUT03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/1/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Broadcast executive Pierre Sutton (1947 - ) was the cofounder of The New York Courier and president of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation. He also served as the inaugural vice president of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB).

Employment

New York Courier

Inner City Research & Analysis Corporation

WLIB Radio

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1878,32:2494,42:2802,47:3264,54:3880,63:9578,156:10117,166:12504,202:13043,211:13505,218:14275,228:15738,245:16431,256:18048,285:23850,302:29656,352:30237,360:45448,471:45824,476:46294,482:47422,495:52860,553:53628,559:58716,645:60156,669:65320,696:66904,731:67264,737:70790,763:71305,769:101694,1112:102006,1120:104112,1155:104580,1163:108948,1261:109650,1272:118825,1313:136800,1439:137160,1445:137592,1453:141768,1536:146075,1556:151603,1609:151911,1614:153143,1637:155684,1674:156531,1687:156916,1693:157301,1699:158764,1743:159072,1748:160997,1780:161844,1791:162383,1802:166156,1896:169082,1922:171546,1963:172932,1988:198242,2235:198538,2240:200314,2300:200832,2340:204828,2382:205198,2388:205716,2397:210704,2428:211848,2442:216864,2512:217304,2517:218272,2529:219240,2541:224480,2564:225232,2573:225890,2582:226548,2590:230308,2623:230778,2629:239090,2708:239888,2716:240572,2724:246455,2796:247877,2818:248351,2826:249457,2845:249773,2850:252610,2870$0,0:2100,69:2688,98:3276,106:4704,125:5292,133:5796,141:6216,147:8210,195:8777,204:10154,226:17444,352:19226,488:26678,597:27407,611:27731,616:28298,625:30566,671:44279,817:46604,849:51626,909:51998,914:52370,921:52928,929:56183,965:71787,1087:87919,1269:88792,1280:89180,1285:89859,1293:90538,1301:92687,1311:93239,1321:94481,1339:96344,1370:96896,1380:97379,1388:98138,1400:99035,1415:99449,1427:99932,1435:100829,1461:104830,1493:113240,1550:116824,1616:126666,1773:128829,1798:130065,1808:133010,1861:133274,1866:133802,1876:150134,2129:171145,2371:171715,2379:173235,2398:179940,2442
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pierre Sutton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton talks about his father's move to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton recalls his neighborhood in Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Pierre Sutton talks about his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Pierre Sutton recalls his early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Pierre Sutton describes his schooling in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's law practice

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton talks about his dyslexia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton talks about his college education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton recalls his experiences in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton remembers the black market during the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about acquiring The New York Courier

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton remembers the Woolfolk-Petioni family, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton remembers the Woolfolk-Petioni family, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton describes the content of The New York Courier

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton describes the Inner City Research and Analysis Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton talks about the life and death of Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton recalls the impact of the Vietnam War on his relationship with his parents

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton remembers the acquisition of WLIB Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton talks about the success of WBLS Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton recalls the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's community involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton talks about the initial financing of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton describes his initial role at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton talks about the black politics of the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton talks about the role of radio in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes the programming on WBLS Radio and WLIB Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton remembers the invention of the circular polarized antenna

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton talks about Dionne Warwick

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton remembers David Lampel

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton reflects upon the impact of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton describes the founding of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton recalls the expansion of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton remembers the economic and political challenges of the 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton remembers his acquisition strategy for the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton describes the founding of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton compares the black communities in New York City and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about the Harlem Clubhouse

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton remembers his financial challenges

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton remembers meeting Coleman Young

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Pierre Sutton talks about Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's expansion into California

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Pierre Sutton remembers the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in New York City, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton remembers the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in New York City, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton remembers selling KGFJ Radio and KUTE Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton talks about the work of Janice Campbell and Vy Higgensen

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton talks about his competition from disco radio stations

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton recalls the competition between WBLS Radio and WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton talks about the deregulation of the broadcasting industry

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about Charles Warfield, Jr.'s career at WBLS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton remembers 'Showtime at the Apollo'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton remembers the introduction of cable television

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton talks about the changes in cable franchise agreements

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton talks about the Queens Inner Unity Cable System and Urban Cable Works

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes his partnership with Time Warner Cable

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton talks about the merger of the National Black Network and Mutual Black Network

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton recalls the pressure to expand the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton remembers his failed deal with Cathy Hughes

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton recalls the problems with the Apollo Theater revitalization project

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton recalls his father's ambition to develop Africa's cable infrastructure

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton talks about his father's impact on New York City's Harlem community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Pierre Sutton remembers the Telecommunications Act of 1996

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$11

DATitle
Pierre Sutton describes the programming on WBLS Radio and WLIB Radio
Pierre Sutton remembers the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in New York City, pt. 1
Transcript
So let's talk about those early years and what you're learning about radio and the immediacy of radio. You know, because you spoke about a little bit, you know, the difference. So you--you're head of news and public affairs. What are--who is already in place on air, and who do you bring in place?$$Well, we were fortunate in that we had a terrific program director, the famous Frankie Crocker, Frankie "Hollywood" Crocker, a unique man who became--we spoke about the club scene earlier. We became number one for a reason. It was, it was in ra- in radio because we were, we would, we had it all. We had all--on FM radio, we had all of the music. They came to us first, and they came to us often with their music. We got it first because we're the biggest radio station, as we saw it, in America (laughter), you know. Frankie Crocker--we used to--he is something, Frankie Crocker. "I am the originator, not the imitator, not the flower or the root or the rod. While others are laughing and joking, Frankie Crocker," or he would supplant that with WBLS [WBLS Radio, New York, New York], "WBLS is taking care of business, cooking and smoking, too much to take too soon. If you don't dig where we're coming from, you got a hole in your soul. Don't eat chicken on Sunday" (laughter). You know, you know, that is kind of a rap. But it's--it was, it expresses pride, and it certainly got people's attention. We would, so we had a great deal of influence of course in music that's being played. But we brought the music to the people. There was, record day was an interesting day. That was the day when people from the record companies would come to our place of business and would bring their wares. "Will you play this, will you play this?" And it was kind of well organized, that day. However, if you would walk into our lobby, I sometimes described it as a scene, the bar scene from 'Star Wars,' because people looked wild, you know. They were from a different kind of world. You know, the music scene is very different from our relatively conservative (laughter) broadcasting environment. So, but it, but it was--there were two sides of it. It was, there was entertainment, which was WBLS. And then there was a much more serious side at WLIB [WLIB Radio, New York, New York], where we were still on the AM band. We were doing more talk radio, we were doing black news and information. We were, we were communicating with the Caribbean. We would, we had shows where we were interacting with continental Africa. We were doing our best to interact with the African diaspora on WLIB--a very serious other side of Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation]. The AM station made no money. It was completely flipped. FM is god now; and all the money is coming in from the FM side in order for us to do this work on the AM side.$Your father [Percy Sutton] comes on. I want to move into the Apollo Theater [New York, New York] because that besides--that becomes part of Inner City [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation], but that's a huge project, take on project. And you're really, you're becoming an entertainment conglomerate sort of, with--am I right? No?$$That would be the idea, but that's not really how it worked out (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay. I know, I know, I know. But that was the concept, that was--$$That was--oh boy--$$Okay.$$--was it the concept. There's--there was very few monies that we saw that we could make money in this man's world and one of whom of course is entertainment. And you have to put sports in there, too, that's part of entertainment. It is what it is. The Apollo Theater, we talked earlier about the death of the Chitlin' Circuit and the radio--I'm sorry, the venues, the theaters, that were a part of that Chitlin' Circuit that existed, that died with the end of segregation. Well, the Apollo Theater was like many of these other theaters, going to become a church, and it was in bankruptcy. And my father thought it was a good idea to buy it out of bankruptcy.$$Wow.$$Now here was the trick. There would be a conversion of this theater, taking its mere fifteen hundred seats and making it into a television production and post-production facility, thereby effectively increasing the size or the seating capacity by the number of people who had television sets, potentially. So that--the theater was bought and it was supported by--and its--bought by Inner City, basically bought and supported by Inner City Broadcasting--and its, and its building, its state of the art television production and post-production facilities--only to discover that the people who were producing things wouldn't come to Harlem [New York, New York], just would not come to Harlem. I can kind of understand. The only thing that was on Harlem that was still sta- was standing was the Apollo Theater. The rest of 125th Street was an absolute mess. And to get through that mess to get to the Apollo Theater--why would they, why would they do that, when they can stay downtown and be comfortable? So the grand idea of the Apollo Theater becoming, re- revitalizing the Apollo Theater, bringing back the glory of the Apollo Theater was greatly diminished by the lack of enthusiasm for the project in the producing community downtown.

Charles Warfield, Jr.

Broadcasting executive Charles M. Warfield, Jr. was born in in Washington, D.C. in 1949. Warfield attended Hampton University and graduated from there with his B.S. degree in accounting in 1971.

Upon graduating, Warfield began his career as a staff auditor at Ernst & Young, and then joined RCA Corporation as supervising senior auditor in 1974. Warfield’s broadcasting career includes managing some of New York City’s top radio stations including twelve years at Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC). He joined ICBC as a corporate controller and was promoted to vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio. Warfield was later hired at Summit Broadcasting Corporation, where he served as vice president and general manager of WRKS-FM Radio in New York City.

In July of 1997, Warfield was appointed as the vice president and general manager of heritage stations at WDAS-AM/FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later became the senior vice president of urban regional operations for Chancellor Media Corporation in March of 1998, with oversight of KKBT-FM in Los Angeles, California; WJLB-FM and WMXD-FM in Detroit, Michigan; WGCI-AM/FM and WVAZ-FM in Chicago, Illinois; WUSL-FM and WDAS-FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and WEDR-FM in Miami, Florida. Warfield was promoted to senior vice president of regional operations in October of 1998, and assumed responsibility for Chancellor Media Corporation’s thirty stations in Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami and Puerto Rico. From 1997 to 2003, Warfield served as senior vice president of regional operations for AMFM, Inc.; and, from 2000 to 2012, he served as vice president and chief operating officer of Inner City Broadcasting Holdings, Inc. In October of 2012, Warfield was named president and chief operating officer of YMF Media, LLC.

In 2009, Warfield was elected president of the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP. The following year, he was appointed as the chairman for the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. He also served on the Radio Advertising Bureau Executive Committee. Warfield’s community involvement includes organizations such as the American Red Cross, the National Urban League, the Salvation Army, the United Negro College Fund, the Partnership for a Drug Free Greater New York and the Harlem Young Men’s Christian Association. In 2010, Warfield received the National Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Charles M. Warfield Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.281

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2013

Last Name

Warfield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Morris

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

James G. Birney Elementary School

Kramer Middle School

Thurgood Marshall Academy

Anacostia High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WAR17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Saint Martin

Favorite Quote

Straight Talk Makes For $Straight Understanding

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/10/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast executive Charles Warfield, Jr. (1949 - ) served as president and chief operating officer of ICBC Broadcast Holdings, Inc., and as vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio.

Employment

Ernst & Young

RCA Corporation

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, Inc.

WBLS Radio

WLIB Radio

Summit Broadcasting Corporation/WRKS-FM

WDAS Radio

Chancellor Media Corporation

AMFM, Inc.

YMF Media, LLC

Medger Evers College

Uptown Records

Favorite Color

Black, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Warfield, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls spending the summers in Rappahannock County, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

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

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early responsibilities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his brother with Down syndrome

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his relationship with his twin brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers lessons from his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his family's holiday traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his childhood hobbies

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his experiences at Kramer Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early academic interests

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his start at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his decision to major in accounting

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the student protests at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the closure of the Hampton Institute in 1971

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his time at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision not to live in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his work at S.D. Leidesdorf and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his work at the RCA Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers joining the staff of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his career advice to African American youth

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his transition to the broadcast industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his interview at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his coworkers at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the influence of radio deejays

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Frankie Crocker

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his role in station acquisitions at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his contributions to the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his promotion to vice president and general manager of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's human resources system

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the process of acquiring a radio station

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the challenges of managing a nationwide media company

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the impact of recessions on the black radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the Quiet Storm radio format

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the competitors to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his decision to join WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remember Barry A. Mayo

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the audience of WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his changes at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his career at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his departure from WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his attempts to invest in a radio station

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers working for Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls joining the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the longevity of WVON Radio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the role of syndication in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the importance of community relationships in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his experiences as senior vice president of the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his return to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the financial crisis of 2008

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about changes in the radio market

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the introduction of the portable people meter

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about competition from satellite radio

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls serving on the executive committee of the National Association of Broadcasters

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the conflict between Cathy Hughes and Dionne Warwick

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the bankruptcy of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the divestiture of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's assets

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the underrepresentation of African American radio executives

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the dissolution of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of black broadcasting

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his contributions to the broadcasting industry

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for African Americans in the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his career

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his success

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations
Transcript
Can you describe the organization you're coming into; and who, who some of the key players are, and, and what--because at this point--let's see--Inner City [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] began--I thought it began in (simultaneous)--$$ (Simultaneous) Began in '72 [1972] with--$$It's--$$ --the AM--'74 [1974] with the FM [WBLS Radio, New York, New York], and by '75 [1975], '76 [1976], going into '77 [1977], FM had overtaken AM as the primary band for entertainment on the radio. And I was a bit star struck when I--when I first went into the company. I had--you're listening to the radio in New York City [New York, New York], and I listened to a lot of radio. And I'm, I'm here with the home of Frankie Crocker and Ken Webb and [HistoryMaker] Vy Higginsen on the air. It's--this is Percy Sutton's company. This is a high profile job opportunity in New York City. So you're, you're struck with that. You have the artists that come through the radio station that you would see from time to time coming to pay homage quite honestly to the man, Frankie Crocker. There was also [HistoryMaker] Hal Jackson, who was there as a vice chairman of the country--company. And Pepe--Pierre--Percy Sutton, who was running for mayor of New York City against Ed Koch, was in and out. And Charles Rangel [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel] was in and out; and [HistoryMaker] Basil Paterson was in and out. And, and these kinds of people were in the environment all the time. David Lampel, who was the news director--people that you would hear on the radio, and now I'm here in this company, and it--yeah, it made--it made me feel very good. It was an important job, but then the reality of the work that you're facing, you know, sort of hits you in the face and says you got a real job here. All this was before computers. Records were maintained on handwritten cards, receivable cards. Human error was involved. They had a manual system for putting commercials on the air. And once the commercial ran--getting the commercial on an invoice and being billed, and how they handled the collection of money and offsets against accounts receivable, and, and the, the manual--our means of processing checks. There was a real need for the job at that point, and I embraced that, and I--and I worked hard as I was taught to always do--gained the confidence of, of people. One thing I learned at this point--and I, I guess I was learning it along the way is that I'm very good at the numbers; I understand the numbers; I can explain the numbers, but I wanted more in my life. I also had an interest in engaging with people. I wanted to learn the business, but I wanted to do more than be in the--the bean counter that's upstairs or downstairs or around the corner in accounting. And prep--Percy Sutton, when he lost the race for mayor and came into the company as chairman of the company, began to give me more and more responsibility and respect and, and counted on me. In the first year I was there I spent working with a consultant to the company, had engaged to raise money to buy radio stations in other cities, which was a very difficult thing to do in 1977 because African Americans--one you're in radio; you--it's a business you don't know because the entrepreneurs in radio at that point were successful business people in either arenas who are now investing in radio were not seasoned broadcasters, and they were surrounded by seasoned broadcasters. So we didn't have a lot of confidence in financial institutions to lend us money. But the first year I was there working with a consultant we were able to convince Citibank [Citibank, N.A.] to lend the company $15 million, which in 1978 allowed the company to buy an FM station in Detroit [Michigan], an AM/FM station in San Francisco [California], and an AM/FM station in Los Angeles [California] and get change back. Now today, you can't buy WLIB [WLIB Radio] in New York today for anything approaching--uh, maybe $15 million today you possibly could, but there's a valuation today that's totally different from what it was in, in those days. But I gained the confidence of, of Dorothy Brunson and, and Percy Sutton at that point, and he allowed me to learn more about the business and become more involved in, in other aspects and ultimately appointed me as the vice president and general manager of Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] in 1981, replacing his son [HistoryMaker Pierre Sutton], who was de facto in that position and had been in that position when Dorothy Brunson left to run her own company. I will always be thankful to Inner City Broadcasting, to Percy Sutton. I don't believe that had I been a controller working for CBS or NBC or, or the other broadcast companies I would have ever been given an opportunity. And I've never taken that for granted, giving me the opportunity to learn the business. As I say, I learned the business from the bottom up. I learned the business from a P and L [profit and loss] perspective: here's how much money we're gonna make but understanding well, how do we get there? And it's because of the trust that he in- that he showed in me during my tenure there with Inner City Broadcasting.$One of the challenges--and, and I--and I take this seriously, with being one of the few African Americans given the opportunities that I've been given in this industry, I have to speak on behalf of those that did not get the opportunity that I have. I have to speak on behalf of the communities that we serve. And when I started with this company, I mentioned that it grew from roughly twenty-five stations to ninety-six. And they had a staff meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, where they brought in the managers of all of all ninety-six of their radio operations. Six of us were African American out of these ninety-six managers. And I'm--and I'm in the room, and there's six people whose careers I followed-- Verna Greene in Detroit [Michigan]; [HistoryMaker] Jerry Rushin in Miami [Florida]. There was not an African American in, in Phila- in Los Angeles [California]. I'm running DAS [WDAS Radio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] AM and FM. Chester Schofield was running Power [WUSL Radio] in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. [HistoryMaker] Marv Dyson was running GCI [WGCI Radio] in, in MXD [WMXD Radio, Detroit, Michigan]--I mean, GCI in--$$In Chicago [Illinois].$$ --in Chicago. Legendary individuals in this business, very successful in their own right, and they're all under this umbrella of Chancellor Media [Chancellor Media Corporation] at this point. In '98 [1998], I was approached by Jimmy deCastro as to whether I would be interested in overseeing the urban properties. Because I'm challenging them every opportunity I get, why aren't there more qualified African Americans that you can hire to run some of these radio properties, not just urban. I can run more than urban. That's what I run; that's what I'm comfortable with; that's what I been challenged to do and I've been successful at, but there need--there's the need for more diversity here. And you, you--if you're in the room where you can have the conversation, you have a responsibility to have the conversation. They gave me an opportunity for about six months to oversee the urban operations, so I was not only running DAS AM and FM in Philly, I was also over Power in Philadelphia. I was overseeing EDR [WEDR Radio, Miami, Florida] in Miami [Florida], Marv's stations in Chicago, ZAK [WZAK Radio] in, in Cleveland [Ohio]--there are two stations in Cleveland--the Beat [KKBT Radio; KRRL Radio] in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. I had--we had ten of the top urban radio stations in America under Chancellor Media that I had an opportunity to be involved with. In my, my under--what I do, I don't tell them how to run their radio stations. I can't tell Marv Dyson how to run a radio station. He's been doing that successfully for more years than I have. It's how do we help bring resources to help these stations continue to grow under the banner of Chancellor Media? And from there a few months later with some corporate changes, I was given an opportunity to, to drop the urban operations title, and I took on a cluster of thirty radio stations for Chancellor Media, AMFM [AMFM, Inc.], which concluded all of their stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta [Georgia], Miami, and Puerto Rico. So I had a thirty station region that I was responsible for which was all different types of formats--$$That's--$$ -- (Unclear) (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous)huge then. So what--how long did you do that?$$ I did that for about a year and a half, until the announced merger with, with Clear Channel [Clear Channel Communications, Inc.]. And I had an opportunity to stay with the company or to leave; and I exercised an option to leave (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) To leave (audio disturbance).

Pluria Marshall, Jr.

Publisher and broadcasting executive Pluria Marshall, Jr. was born on January 17, 1962 in Houston, Texas. His father, Pluria Marshall, Sr., is a professional photographer and a civil rights activist in the media business. Marshall graduated from Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University, in 1984 with his B.S. degree in business administration and management.

In 1981, while attending Clark College, Marshall was hired at KLTV in Tyler, Texas, as a management-training intern. He spent the next two summers in Lufkin, Texas, and continued his management-training program. He then worked for WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia and for Turner Broadcasting in 1982 and 1983. From 1984 to 1985, Marshall completed his management training and development position at WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1986, he served as the station manager and then as vice president of WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi. Marshall entered into an agreement to purchase WLBM in 1990, but the transaction did not consummate due to a suspicious fire at the facility in April of that same year. In 1992, he purchased The Informer & Texas Freeman in Houston, Texas. Then, in 1993, Marshall became general manager and owner of WLTH Radio in Gary, Indiana, and also purchased the KHRN radio station licensed to the Hearne, Texas, Bryan College Station radio market in 1994. He ran both the AM talk radio station in Gary and the radio station in Bryan College Station for several years.

In 1997, Marshall joined the board of the Wave Community Newspapers, and purchased a controlling interest in 1998. He then purchased the Los Angeles Independent in 2000. After the purchase of the Los Angeles Independent, Marshall merged both operations to form the Los Angeles Wave Publications Group. In 2013, he launched Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions; a media planning and buying firm that specializes in placing ads that target multicultural audiences.

Marshall has been a member of the National Black Media Coalition, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Association of Television Programming Executives. He has also served on the boards of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Texas Association of Broadcasters, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. Marshall is chairman of the board and president of the Watts Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club.

Pluria Marshall, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 15, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.295

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/15/2013

Last Name

Marshall

Maker Category
Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Lockhart Elementary School

Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School

James Madison High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Pluria

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

MAR17

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Don't Make Dollars That Don't Make Cents.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/17/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Broadcast executive, publisher, and newspaper publishing chief executive Pluria Marshall, Jr. (1962 - ) was the owner and publisher of the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman and the Los Angeles Wave Publications Group. He also operated WLTH Radio and Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions.

Employment

KLTV

WXIA TV

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

WLBM TV

WLTH Radio

KHRN

Informer & Texas Freeman

Los Angeles Wave Publications Group

Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pluria Marshall, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. lists his favorites

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's civil rights activism

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his paternal grandparents' professions

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his father' role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his father's accomplishments as a photojournalist

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his household

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls accompanying his father on photography shoots

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his neighborhood in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the influence of his father

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his experiences of integration busing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers Johnston Middle School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the racial demographics of James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his participation in athletics at James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his part-time position at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the black publications in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's relocation to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his decision to attend Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the communications department at Clark College

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his college internships, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his college internships, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the historically black college experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his decision to major in business

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his training at WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his first impressions of Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his management approach at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the programming on WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls the major news stories in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the fire at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his sales position at KBXX Radio in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls acquiring WLTH Radio and KHRN Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his partnership with Lorenzo Butler

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the programming on WLTH Radio in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the programming changes at KHRN Radio in Hearne, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his decision to settle in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his editorial philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at the National Newspaper Publishers Association

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls joining the board of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the history of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his challenges at the Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the Los Angeles Wave Publication Group's role in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his business strategy for Los Angeles Wave Publications Group

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers filing for bankruptcy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his hopes for African American broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his family

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the Black Media Preservation Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi
Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls joining the board of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.
Transcript
So you were there fif- fifteen months. What happened? Why did you, well why didn't you stay longer?$$Well, as you can probably tell by my, my history, I, I like to work, and there was really not a whole lot more for me to do. I mean I had been in three years--three summers of training, been at WLBT [WLBT-TV, Jackson, Mississippi] for, you know, a little over a year. And so Frank [Frank Melton] would, you know, we'd have board meetings, and he was, he'd allow me and my cohort to attend the board meetings, you know, for the exposure. And so, they would always talk about this little station [WLBM-TV; WGBC-TV] in Meridian [Mississippi]. They said, "Oh, man, that station's not making money." The guy would come, and he would have a song and dance every month. Why we're losing money, why we're doing this, why we're doing that or whatever. And so I said to Frank, you know, I'm twenty-two, twenty-three years old, I'm like, "Frank, come on, man, you know, if it's losing money, I mean, you know, give me a shot. Let me run it," you know, and I'm, yeah, as they say full of piss and vinegar. And so he said, "Well, hell, Pluria [HistoryMaker Pluria Marshall, Jr.], you know, you can't do any worse than what's going on there now. We're losing money." And so I said, "Okay, great." So he says, "All right, you can move to Meridian." And so, I said, "Okay, great." So we had to renegotiate my little package that I was getting paid and everything. And so he said--so I said, "So what do I do?" He said, "You make it make money." I said, "Okay, so how do I do that?" He said, "You cut your expenses, raise your revenue." I said, "Oh, okay, great. That's easy, you know." And so literally, I got there and the guy that ran the station, it was a guy named Glenn Rose. Glenn was a nice old guy, but he's just not really good at raising or selling ads and things of that sort. And he used to always say, "Pluria, you just, you're just too aggressive, you just, you know, you just, you gotta be patient." I said, "Dude, I have no patience, you know, I've gotta get this done." So--$$This sounds like a clash in cultures of--in Mississippi, they do, they move slower. They move slower.$$Oh, they do. They do.$$So I mean you're like, you know--$$Yeah, I (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) anybody watching this can see.$$Oh, yeah, yeah, I'm like, hey, guys, you gotta move. You know, I mean I'm, I can't sit here and wait, you know. So, finally, after probably about, you know, two or three months, you know, Glenn gave me, through Frank, he said, "All right let him be a--," I was a station manager. And so I'd go in, "I'm sorry, fine. We can fire this person. We need to do this. We're gonna raise the rates. We're gonna make the--," I did all the things that I was trained to basically do. And so ninety days after I got there, the station made money. And so, you know, I said, "Frank. I did it, all right? So make me the general manager," (laughter). And so he was like, "You know, you're being a little impatient, Pluria." I'm like, "Yeah, I am, you know." And so I kept pushing and pushing and pushing. And so finally Glenn said, you know--and Glenn was a little bit older and been around the business for quite some time. He said, well, he's gonna basically retire. And so I said, well, you know, the station's mine at that point. And so Frank, you know, put me in as the vice president and general manager. And it also helped that NBC was on its rise in the mid-'80s [1980s]. So we had 'The Cosby Show' and we had all this great programming. Although the station was a bit of a, less than a full powered station, it covered the Meridian area. But it wasn't as big as the station in Jackson [Mississippi]. And so, you know, I kept it, it never lost a dime as long as I ran it. It was always very profitable. And so I ran it from, essentially, '85 [1985], '86 [1986] until 1990.$$Okay, and you got a large black viewing audience down there, I would imagine?$$We do, we do. Yeah, the state's about 50 percent black.$$Right.$$Yeah.$$So anything you put in the air, there's gonna be a lot of black folks, at least by this time, having--with TV sets. They can check it out.$$Right, oh, yeah, definitely, definitely.$$And watching a lot of TV.$$Yeah, 'The Cosby Show' was a hit. It definitely was.$$Okay, okay, so you were there--you weren't there that--were you there very long? I mean--$$From, from, as I said, from about '85 [1985] to '90 [1990], roughly 'cause when I spent--I was in Jackson for about fifteen months. So, and that was from '84 [1984] to '85 [1985]. So, late '85 [1985] to 1990. So I was there about, you know, for five and a half years.$Is it now talk, time to talk about the Wave?$$Sure, sure, sure, sure.$$'Cause there's--$$(Simultaneous) So, so all right, so we segued, so we have Houston [Houston Informer and Texas Freeman]. We had Gary [WLTH Radio, Gary, Indiana], we had KHRN [KHRN Radio; KVJM Radio, Hearne, Texas]. I mean we got all these properties, and so as I said, when they, they deregulated radio, it made it difficult for me to one, find stations, two, acquire financing. And, and so our offices in Houston [Texas] were domiciled within the 610 loop [Interstate 610]. So Houston has a loop system. So 610 is the loop. So there was this company that was getting a fairly large bit of notoriety called Enron [Enron Corporation]. And, you know, I knew who they were. They were big. They were doing all kinds of things.$$That's the big energy company that--$$Enron, oh, yeah.$$--the big energy that got in trouble.$$This is the big one.$$Enron, all right.$$Enron, so, you know, as I'm out looking for money, I get a phone call from someone who says, "Hey, Enron company is looking to do things locally in a local community." And so they said, "Okay, so--," I'm like, "Great, that was good. How does that help me?" "Well, they have money to invest." I said, "Oh, fantastic." So they said, "One of the first requirements--," (laughter), which was you had to be within the 610 loop. I said, "Really?" I said, "As long as my business is inside the loop, I'd qualify for one of their possible loans?" And he said, "Yes. I said, "Wow, okay," I said, "that's great." So I'm involved with NNPA [National Newspaper Publishers Association] and I'm out scouting and talking to people and so, they, I get a call that there's this paper in Los Angeles [California] called the Wave. And so I said, "Okay, fine." So I went and did my research on L.A. There was a Wave, the Los Angeles Wave was a community paper. The Los Angeles Sentinel was a black paper. So I said, "Well, heck, let's just, you know, run the gamut and see what we can find out." I contacted the people over at the Sentinel, had a real difficult time getting to the owner, just never could get any traction there at all. So I talked to the, this gentleman that was running the Wave, C.Z. Wilson. And so, you know, I talked to him, and, he says, "Oh, yeah, man, we're doing great things. We got a bunch of people, and I'm taking over, and we're looking to acquire, had some challenges." And so I said, "Okay." He said, "Oh, I want you to come over and join my board [of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc., Los Angeles, California]?" I said, "Really?" I said, "C.Z., I mean, I know I'm a young, young guy," probably thirty-eight, thirty-nine years old, "but I'm buying businesses just like this. I mean I would buy this newspaper." He said, "Oh, don't worry about it--," he used to call me young buck, "Oh, don't worry about it, young buck. You come on in." So I said, "No, I'm gonna have my lawyer write you a letter to basically let you know that essentially, I'm a fox and you're a henhouse. And I like eggs," (laughter), you know. "So I want you to be very clear that if you add me to your board, there's a possibility that I would acquire, acquire this newspaper, you know, from you guys." And so, you know, he said, "Oh, fine." I said, "Okay, no worries. I'll come in, and I'll join the board."

Lois Wright

Broadcast executive and lawyer Lois E. Wright was born on June 25, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey, to parents Robert Wright and Elise Onion. Wright earned her B.A. degree in American Studies from Douglas College at Rutgers University in 1970. After attending the Bout Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Wright transferred to the Rutgers School of Law and graduated with her J.D. degree from there in 1973.

Upon graduation, Wright was hired by the City of Newark as an attorney in the corporate counsel’s office. She became a lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1977, and served there for three years in the Broadcast Bureau as well as the Office of Plans and Policy. In 1980, Wright became the general counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies. She was later appointed as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for ICBC.

In 1996, Wright became a member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of The Links, Inc. She later served as the counsel to the board of directors for the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), and as a member of the board of directors for the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). Wright is also a member of the National Bar Association (NBA),

In 2010, Wright received the distinct honor of being named as one of “The 50 Most Influential Women in Radio” by Radio Ink magazine.

Lois E. Wright was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.280

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/14/2013

Last Name

Wright

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Elaine

Schools

Rutgers School of Law

Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California

Rutgers University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lois

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

WRI07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sole (Dover)

Short Description

Broadcast entrepreneur and lawyer Lois Wright (1949 - ) served as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies.

Employment

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

City of Newark, New Jersey

Favorite Color

Black

Oscar Lawton Wilkerson, Jr.

Tuskegee Airman and radio programming executive Oscar Lawton Wilkerson Jr. was born on February 9, 1926 in Chicago Heights, Illinois to Oscar L. and Elizabeth Wilkerson. After his graduation from Bloomfield Township High School in 1944, Wilkerson entered the U.S. Army Air Force’s Aviation Cadet training program in Tuskegee, Alabama. He was assigned to the 617th Bombardment Squadron, where he was trained to fly the B-25 “Billy Mitchell” bomber.

Wilkerson received his commission as a 2nd lieutenant and his “wings” as a B-25 pilot in 1946. In 1947, he graduated from the New York Institute of Photography. Wilkerson also graduated from the Midwest Broadcasting School in 1960. Wilkerson became a weekend disc jockey and community relations director at WBEE-AM in Harvey, Illinois in 1962. As an on-air personality, he was known as “Weekend Wilkie.” As community relations director, he launched a weekly radio show hosted by Chicago Alderman Charles Chew, as well as publicity campaigns for the NAACP, the Chicago Urban League, the Committee of 100 and other organizations. Wilkerson was promoted to the position of program director at WBEE in 1965. Under Wilkerson’s supervision, WBEE launched the radio career of Merri Dee, who became known as “Merri Dee, the Honey Bee.” In 1969, he oversaw the station’s switch to a more jazz-oriented format, and took on the additional responsibilities of operations manager. Wilkerson also hosted his own program, Wilk’s World, on weekday mornings. Wilkerson left WBEE in 1971 to become the public affairs director at WMAQ Radio. In that role, he was responsible for all public service material aired on the station. Wilkerson was named program director at WMAQ in 1973, and served there until his retirement in 1988. Following his retirement, Wilkerson served as president of the Multi Media Ministry at New Faith Baptist Church in Matteson, Illinois. He is one of the “Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen” (DOTAs), and is active in the Chicago “Dodo” chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. Wilkerson regularly visits schools around the United States to tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. He lives in Markham, Illinois.

Oscar Lawton Wilkerson Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.202

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/22/2013

Last Name

Wilkerson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lawton

Schools

Tuskegee University

Midwest Broadcasting School

Bloom High School

New York Institute of Photography

Washington Junior High School

Lincoln Elementry School

Dr. Charles Gavin School

First Name

Oscar

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago Heights

HM ID

WIL66

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/9/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Tuskegee airman and radio program director Oscar Lawton Wilkerson, Jr. (1926 - ) received his commission as 2nd lieutenant with the 617th Bombardment Squadron in 1946. After his service with the U.S. Army Air Force, he had a long career in radio as a programming executive.

Employment

WMAQ Radio

WBEE Radio

South Suburban Bus Lines

Golden State Mutual Insurance Company

Hammond & Powell Funeral Home

United States Army Air Force

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:46294,555:70240,867:102181,1249:109640,1357:122100,1525:137480,1741:142998,1970:167775,2447:200545,2871:213769,3062:214164,3102:257440,3708$0,0:6624,143:6912,148:11088,239:50514,761:56969,878:73888,1141:74364,1149:80348,1258:80756,1264:122080,1891:183510,2851
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Oscar Wilkerson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Oscar Wilkerson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his parents' occupations and their move to Chicago

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Oscar Wilkerson mentions his older brother and describes the neighborhood he grew up in

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Oscar Wilkerson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses his elementary school experience

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses his junior high school and high school experience

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his interest in aviation and in joining the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Oscar Wilkerson remembers his basic training experience in Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about attending church as a child as well as his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses his mother's personality and his interest in photography

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Oscar Wilkerson describes how his family celebrated the holidays

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about going on family vacations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his older brother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses his basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his primary training in Tuskegee, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his primary training in Tuskegee, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his first flight experience

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his first solo flight

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his experience as a cadet at the Tuskegee Army Air Force Base, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his experience as a cadet at the Tuskegee Army Air Force Base, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Oscar Wilkerson describes Tuskegee's civilian environment

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses the first phase of his advanced training at Tuskegee Army Airfield

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses the additional phases of his training at Tuskegee Army Airfield

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about leaving military service

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his various civilian jobs and becoming a radio broadcaster

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Oscar Wilkerson recalls his flight training and the flying accidents that occurred

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Oscar Wilkerson describes those officers in charge during his flight training and his various jobs after leaving the military

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about going into radio broadcasting and his interest in music

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about the first radio station he worked for

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his colleagues and responsibilities at WBEE Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about the entertainers and radio personalities he knew at WBEE Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses competing radio station, WVON

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses going to work for WMAQ Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about former State Senator, Charles Chew, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his colleagues at the radio station, WBEE

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about becoming Manager of Community Affairs at WMAQ

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his experience as Manager of Community Affairs at WMAQ

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about other blacks in Chicago broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Oscar Wilkerson compares his jobs at radio stations, WMAQ and WBEE

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about WMAQ Radio's shift into country music

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Oscar Wilkerson describes WMAQ under Charlie Warner's leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Oscar Wilkerson explains what radio taught him and why he was successful

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about the community leaders he met during his radio career and his work with NBACA

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Oscar Wilkerson discusses positive highlights from his career in radio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about his participation in local organizations and his retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about pilot, Jim Tillman and the differences between Chicago Heights and Chicago in Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Oscar Wilkerson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Oscar Wilkerson describes his military emblems

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Oscar Wilkerson describes what it feels like to fly a plane

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Oscar Wilkerson talks about performing a prohibited plane maneuver in his hometown of Chicago Heights

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Oscar Wilkerson recalls his flight training and the flying accidents that occurred
Oscar Wilkerson describes his experience as Manager of Community Affairs at WMAQ
Transcript
Now you said 9,000 were trained to fly?$$Nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety two.$$Were flo--were trained to fly.$$Yeah.$$Okay. And so how many people were on the ground then?$$Ten times that, plus.$$Ten, okay. So you're saying the whole, whole contention of, of Tuskegee Airmen is about--that would be almost 50,000.$$Yeah, whatever the math comes to be, yes.$$Okay.$$This, this is support people that keep that plane in the air.$$And for each--so what, what did it take one to fly and how often were you flying when you were flying? Even the, the practice drills. How--what, what was that regiment like?$$Flew virtually every day. And when you're early in training, your instructor every day. Then you'd go out after you've soloed and you'd fly and practice those things that you were taught by the instructor. So you flew every day. And for most of the time you also had ground school courses to take every day. Learning flight, learning about the aircraft you were flying, and the many facets of keeping you in the air so that emergencies come along, you'll be able to take care of 'em and all of that is bound together to make one pilot.$$And so during the time that--were there any accidents that happened?$$Yeah.$$Okay and do you remember like the worse accident that happened?$$I remember there were in--not in my advanced class, but in some advanced class the cadets were flying T6's, the aircraft that I mentioned that was the first one with the retractable gear. Flying formation and somebody got too close and they clipped wings. The--one of the pilots was able to get out and ejected and I don't, I don't mean eject like in the jet when you pull a handle and you get shot out. You had to put the canopy back, get your harness off and get out of the plane. He didn't manage to do so and he went down with the aircraft. I don't recall who that was or what class it was, but that did happen, may have happened more than once. I, I know about that one. There have been other lesser accidents and people weren't killed. I was involved in one myself, but obviously I was not killed.$$You mean when you say you were involved in one, you were involved an accident and you came, and you came down with the plane.$$We were flying in advanced training and I was, we were doing night landings. Part of the training involved flying at night and they put you in the air and they would give you a segment to fly in until it was your time to come back to the field and land. So you'd circle in that quadrant and they would call you in to land. Well there was somebody--when they finally called me in to land, there was somebody ahead of me as there always is. You land and you do what they call touch and goes. You make a--what would be a perfect landing except you don't stop. You just pull the coat on and you take off and you go around again in order to save time; you're not taxiing on the ground. The guy ahead of me landed and was supposed to have taken off to go ahead and he didn't. And then the--I believe the tower told him to clear the runway, but he also didn't do that. And in the meantime they had cleared me to land and I didn't know that he was still on the runway. And when I landed, I see this guy ahead of me and I attempted to pull up to get a--away from hitting him. My landing gear clipped his--part of his canopy and both planes went over upside down. But I--both of us survived that. He got a big bump on his head and they had to shave part of his hair off, which was his major injury. And nothing happened to me. That was the crash I was involved in. But I'm sure there were others. I was about to say many, but probably not many; there were others.$What was your, what were--what did they say they wanted you to do and what did they want you to accomplish?$$Well I was responsible for making sure that we met all the federal requirements for a broadcasting station to stay on. You don't just come on the air and stay on the air cause you want to, you got to fulfill certain obligations so far as responding to community needs, determining what they are, programming toward response to those needs, and prove that you did. And the percentage has to be whatever is required at the time, eighteen percent or whatever it was, of programming that responded to those needs. And my responsibility was to make sure we're doing that; keep record of it so that when it came time to apply for license, you could prove that in paper and you did so, in sheaves of paper. That was my primary responsibility at that point.$$Well that's a good job for a black person to have at network station.$$Yeah, it was a good job.$$I mean, I mean a, a very good job. And so the question I have: Were they under any heat at that point that they hired you? Was [W]MAQ--were there any challenges about not doing certain things for the community or not?$$Not--I don't think so, no.$$Okay, so what you then do with the--with your, your, your job then? What are, what are the programs you put on, and--$$Well we did a number of discussion types of programs, specific ones I can't remember. And we were involved in the various community activities. I was like the face for the station at various banquets and stuff. I ate royally and attended a lot of things I would not have gotten a chance to see on my own. Went a lot of places that I would not have been able to go to on my own because I was in D.C. [District of Columbia].$$What were some of those places?$$Oh well New York City, the home headquarters, went there a number of times and we were located and still are as far as I know, located in the Rockefeller Center Building there. Had lunch in the Rainbow Room like the big dogs did and things such as that. I became the Treasurer for the National Association of Broadcast--$$National Association of Broadcasters?$$No, no, no.$$NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists]?$$NABA [North American Broadcasters Association] I think it was. Anyway the org--national organization of those who were in my kind of job and across the nation. And we had a couple of--$$You became what?$$The Treasurer.$$You were the Treasurer.$$Yeah, and NBACA [National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs] maybe, National Broadcast Association of--I've forgotten the rest of that title, but it was people who were in, in public affairs at stations across the nation. And we had several meetings in, in Vail, Colorado and that was nice. And all kinds of stuff like that, that I would not have been able to do on my own.

Carol Cutting

Radio station owner Carol Moore Cutting was born on April 24, 1948 in Livingston, Alabama. She was raised in an educational family and a close-knit community. Cutting enrolled at Tuskegee University in 1965 and graduated from there in 1969 with her B.A. degree in secondary education. She went on to attend graduate school at Springfield Community College and graduated from there in 1971 with her M.A. degree in community leadership.

Upon graduation, Cutting moved to New England. In September of 1971, she received her official license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 1984, Cutting applied for a construction permit for 106.3 but was challenged by an existing broadcaster who applied to operate on the same frequency. She then became the owner and general manager of Cutting Edge Broadcasting, Inc., making her the first African American woman in Massachusetts to operate a radio station. After eight years of litigation and several technical delays, Cutting was granted the construction permit and her station, WEIB - 106.3 Smooth FM, tested for broadcast with the FCC in 1999. Cutting was also appointed as an independent director of United Financial BanCorp. in 2001. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) and she has served on many committees and boards including the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, WGBY, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst Fine Arts Center, the American Heart Association, and National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) where served as the Northeastern Regional Representative.

Cutting has been recognized for her community service and her entrepreneurship with many honors, such as the “Woman of the Year,” “Businesswoman of the Year,” and other similar awards. She was inducted into the Springfield Technical Community College’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame; and, in 2000, she received the Business Woman of Distinction award.

Cutting has been married for forty-three years to Dr. Gerald B. Cutting. They have two children, Alysia Cutting and Darrel Cutting, and six grandchildren.

Carol Moore Cutting was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.161

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/28/2013

Last Name

Cutting

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Tuskegee University

Springfield Technical Community College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Carol

Birth City, State, Country

Lexington

HM ID

CUT02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

4/24/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Northampton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Radio station owner Carol Cutting (1948 - ) , President and CEO of Cutting Edge Broadcasting, Inc. and WEIB 106.3 Smooth F.M., is the first female in Massachusetts and the first African American in New England to have been granted a FCC-FM radio station construction permit.

Employment

WEIB Radio

United Financial BanCorp.

Favorite Color

Green, Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:346,3:2396,44:7890,167:8546,176:18828,290:19752,322:20544,329:23052,345:34804,493:35192,498:36938,519:39945,559:41594,584:51821,682:52778,710:53909,737:56954,809:57476,832:59390,866:68430,943:72561,1025:108980,1511:109568,1518:110940,1535:112410,1558:117062,1621:131106,1781:136734,1841:139315,1861:140008,1870:144344,1893:145380,1910:145750,1916:149848,1963:150904,1998:151696,2010:152840,2035:153280,2042:153720,2048:154952,2075:155480,2082:156536,2096:156888,2101:159264,2146:161024,2173:161904,2184:167100,2205:171880,2239:172420,2246:173050,2276:173500,2282:175570,2303:177460,2325:178000,2332:179620,2356:180340,2366:180790,2372:191460,2448:193240,2479:195910,2501:197067,2519:198046,2534:198580,2541:202410,2550$0,0:3116,58:4182,80:5084,94:7298,125:7872,133:13080,191:14368,213:15104,224:15656,232:30054,330:30410,335:36907,435:41410,467:43538,487:44868,499:46198,511:48060,526:61275,626:63060,642:66872,670:67200,675:70480,717:70864,722:71824,743:77584,857:78064,863:78448,868:79120,877:88451,980:90362,1005:91272,1016:94093,1053:95640,1073:104610,1176:105680,1188:110560,1217:115060,1262:115940,1275:122020,1368:123620,1392:127259,1419:139300,1533:140600,1548:145332,1565:147500,1588:150065,1624:150445,1629:151775,1645:152345,1652:155964,1669:156700,1679:158540,1698:162036,1762:165927,1804:166245,1812:166457,1820:166722,1829:168290,1839:168830,1847:177500,1899:178545,1913:179970,1931:191875,2085:192379,2096:192694,2102:193135,2110:201880,2201:204403,2238:204925,2246:205795,2259:212698,2314:215382,2348:216383,2354:216838,2360:219750,2401:220569,2420:221024,2426:222025,2439:228514,2516:229130,2524:230714,2552:235025,2603:241178,2671:241724,2679:244454,2726:248510,2805:248900,2811:254778,2876:255183,2882:257289,2920:257937,2933:259314,2958:260367,2977:265160,3037:265670,3044:273477,3106:273849,3111:274872,3124:275244,3129:276174,3141:276546,3146:276918,3151:281800,3214:283758,3230:284172,3242:289025,3309:300165,3462:301270,3477:305945,3533:311680,3591:313170,3612
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol Cutting's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carol Cutting lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carol Cutting describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carol Cutting describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carol Cutting describes her mother's family background, pt. 3

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

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carol Cutting describes her father's background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carol Cutting describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carol Cutting talks about her sister

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carol Cutting talks about her mother's desire to have a college education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carol Cutting talks about living with her grandparents on their farm

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carol Cutting describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carol Cutting describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carol Cutting describes her childhood experience attending a country Baptist church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carol Cutting describes her experiences attending school, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carol Cutting describes her experiences attending school, pt 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carol Cutting talks about her childhood desire to learn

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carol Cutting talks about her childhood experience with the radio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carol Cutting describes her childhood aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carol Cutting talks about her high school mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carol Cutting describes the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carol Cutting talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carol Cutting talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, pt. 3

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carol Cutting describes her experience at Tuskegee University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carol Cutting describes her experience at Tuskegee University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carol Cutting describes her experience at Tuskegee University, pt. 3

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carol Cutting talks describes her experience at Tuskegee University and Tom Joyner who also attended there

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carol Cutting talks about her initial reaction to Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carol Cutting describes the black community in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carol Cutting talks about her initial experience with radio in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carol Cutting describes her search for her own FM frequency and broadcasting license, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carol Cutting describes her search for her own FM frequency and broadcasting license, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carol Cutting talks about the legal battle over her radio frequency, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carol Cutting talks about the legal battle over her radio frequency, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carol Cutting talks about the construction of her radio station, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carol Cutting talks about the construction of her radio station, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carol Cutting talks about the adult jazz format of her radio station

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carol Cutting talks about the adult jazz format of her radio station, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carol Cutting talks about the deregulation of radio, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carol Cutting talks about the deregulation of radio, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carol Cutting reflects upon the importance of perseverance, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carol Cutting reflects upon the importance of perseverance, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Carol Cutting describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carol Cutting reviews her life and whether she would have done anything differently

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carol Cutting reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carol Cutting describes her responsibilities at the radio station

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carol Cutting talks about her radio station's listeners

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carol Cutting talks about her employees at the radio station

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carol Cutting talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Carol Cutting talks about her initial reaction to Springfield, Massachusetts
Carol Cutting talks about the legal battle over her radio frequency, pt. 2
Transcript
So when you were on the verge of graduating from Tuskegee [University], what were your thoughts? You were gonna go and teach in high school, you were gonna apply for teaching positions, or had you thought about going to graduate school or--$$No. By that time, my husb--well, I married my husband [Dr. Gerald B. Cutting] during Christmas break December, 1968--$$Okay, so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--and we graduated together in 1969--$$Okay.$$--and so it wasn't about me at that point; it's where he got his job which was Springfield--East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and he in fact had the job, and so I--we came up here together.$$Okay, so that's how you get up here to the Springfield [Massachusetts] area.$$That's how I got up into the Springfield [Massachusetts] area. I had spent some summers in Boston [Massachusetts] working; I had relatives there in Boston and so I worked there several summers and so I--but that was Roxbury, this was Springfield, Massachusetts and when we moved here, we didn't know anyone here; we didn't (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--'Cause your husband is from Roxbury [Boston, Massachusetts], right?$$Yes, he, he was born in Boston [Massachusetts] and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut so he was familiar with New England; I was to a little extent from the summer time spending the summers here, but I--we didn't know Springfield [Massachusetts]. We, we had no idea where anything was, and so when we moved here in June of 1969, it was like, 'okay, so where are we? What's happening in the community? How do you connect to the churches?' You know, how does one who comes to this area find out about the, the social life or--here? You know. Where do you get your collard greens? Where do you get your hair done? Where do you go to church? We didn't know, and we didn't know anyone who knew because his primary frame of reference was not--was primarily in the white community, from the edge of Longmeadow to East Longmeadow [Massachusetts]; that's what it was about. And so we didn't have a radio station and we didn't have public television at that time; we didn't know (unclear) maybe had two radio stations--I mean two television stations at the time here.$$Emm hmm.$$And so I thought coming from Tuskegee [University], a place where you've got all kinds of commerce and things going on, and you could listen to radio station even if it wasn't owned by African Americans, I found it very--very depressing. I thought we were coming to liberal New England, and so I found it to be rather separate.$So it was basically because of the opposition of this one person?$$Yes. He, in fact, took me through the entire comparative hearing process; he appealed all the way to the [Washington] D.C. Court of Appeals--the final one, where I also prevailed. But by that time, it was years later and, you know, no resources. And I can say that there was a broadcaster--an existing broadcaster by the name of Ed Perry, who I would not have this station had it not been for him because he went, he assisted me through the process. When there was a need to argue, he came to [Washington] D.C. in our favor, so I can just say that he was responsible for helping, helping me through this process. Now there was time when--during this time, you know, we'd have to pack up the kids and put 'em in the car, and my husband would drive us to [Washington] D.C., he would, he would then take the kids off sightseeing; they're thinking they're on a field trip, and I'm going to the, you know, to the courts, and being called everything except a child of God because it was that strong--I mean they wanted that frequency so badly that whatever it took to try to litigate me financially out of the process was being done, and so I can say that Ed [Perry] was there and he was--and he owns a radio station in Marshfield, Massachusetts--WATD; and he's still a friend to this day. He went to college in, in Amherst, Massachusetts and knew the area.$$What's his last name again?$$Ed Perry.$$Perry, okay.$$Emm hmm.$$He's the owner of WATD?$$WATD, in--here in Massachusetts, Marshfield. Not only did he, did he do that, but he also--finally, when we were able to, to get things going he, he was there and helping to oversee things, 'cause he was all--not only was he an owner, but he was also an engineer--$$Emm hmm.$$--so he was able to help me with the technical part of things.$$Okay.$$And so it was during those years of trying to get this station, and having to go to [Washington] D.C., that--there was no one in this Springfield [Massachusetts] area that I could talk to that I could--who could relate to what I was going through because no one in the Springfield area knew what I was doing. It was very quiet, and so I knew that it was taking a toll on my family, terms of the resources, and so it became--well, is it, it is, is it worth it? And so that was one of those times when I called--out of the clear blue sky called Gayle King; she's probably not even aware of the fact of the impact that she made, but she was an anchor at Channel Three, and I called her and said, 'You don't know me at all,' I said, 'but I'd like to know if I can meet you.' And--'because I have--I'd like to discuss something with you.' And I shared wi--and she said, 'Oh yes, come on down to the studio.' And I did, and she--I was able to share with her some of the things that I was going--and my--what I was going through; my dilemma. Is it fair? My children are growing up, we're taking resources from the family, and you know, is that, is that fair? Should I just forget about this and move on to some other thing? And--but she was very encouraging, very supportive, knew that there was a need, and encouraged me to, to stick with it. And that was a word that I need because I couldn't--it's hard to go to your husband when you're--I needed someone who was neutral, someone outside, who could look at it and give me advice, and she, and she did; I've never been able to or never had the opportunity to really let her know what, what her words meant, and how much she encouraged me and--to move forward, and what has happened to even now.

Michele Norris

Journalist and National Public Radio (NPR) host Michele Norris-Johnson (known as Michele Norris on NPR) was born on September 7, 1961, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Belvin and Elizabeth Norris. As a youth, Norris was encouraged by her parents to read the newspaper and watch the evening news. In 1979, she graduated from Minneapolis’ Washburn High School where she participated in the InRoads Program.

Norris went on to enroll at the University of Wisconsin to pursue a career as an electrical engineer. After completing three and a half years, Norris was encouraged by a dean to take political science courses. In 1982, she transferred to the University of Minnesota and majored in journalism and mass communications. There, she also wrote stories for the Minnesota Daily and was later hired by WCCO-TV as a beat reporter.

Throughout the 1980s, Norris worked as a reporter for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the L.A. Times. During her stint with the Washington Post, Norris wrote a series about a six-year-old who was living in a crack house. The story was reprinted in a book entitled Ourselves Among Others. Then, in 1993, she was hired as a news correspondent for ABC News and as a contributing correspondent for the “Closer Look” segments on World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. While serving as a reporter for ABC, Norris received an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for her contribution to the coverage of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

After working for ABC, in 2002, Norris was selected out of 100 candidates to be the host of All Things Considered, the nation’s longest-running radio program on NPR. In this capacity, Norris became the first African American female host for NPR.

In 1990, Norris won the Livingston Award for young journalists. She is a four-time entrant for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2006, she received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award, and the National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Award. In 2007, she received Ebony magazine’s eighth annual Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications Award.

Norris lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Broderick Johnson and their three children.

Accession Number

A2008.078

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/2/2008

Last Name

Norris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Washburn High School

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Eugene Field Community School

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Elementary School

Justice Page Middle School

Susan B. Anthony Junior High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Michele

Birth City, State, Country

Minneapolis

HM ID

NOR05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Minnesota

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Always Write Your Future In Pencil.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/7/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mangoes

Short Description

Radio host and television news correspondent Michele Norris (1961 - ) was the host of National Public Radio's (NPR) "All Things Considered". Norris also served as a correspondent for ABC News, where she won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for her coverage of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Employment

ABC News

National Public Radio

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michele Norris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michele Norris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michele Norris describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michele Norris describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michele Norris remembers her neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michele Norris describes her maternal grandmother, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michele Norris describes her maternal grandmother, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michele Norris describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michele Norris talks about her father's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michele Norris describes her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michele Norris talks about her father's move to Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michele Norris describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michele Norris describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michele Norris remembers her father's frugality

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michele Norris describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michele Norris recalls her experiences during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama

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

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Michele Norris remembers her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Michele Norris remembers an influential elementary school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Michele Norris recalls the mentorship of Principal Roland R. DeLapp

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Michele Norris describes her experiences at Washburn High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Michele Norris recalls her early interest in news publications

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Michele Norris describes her maternal grandmother, pt. 1
Michele Norris describes her earliest childhood memories
Transcript
My [maternal] grandmother [Ione Hopson Brown] was, was very--she was a community activist and she was very, very, very, active in traveling around the city, and advocating for better housing, advocating for senior rights, there was a group a community organization called You Need Us [ph.], and she was the head of this organization, I remember as a child, she was given a key to the city. She was very, very, well known, and was a agitator in her own way, in sort of a Minnesota way, you know, and was very active in the Sabathani Community Center, on the south side of Minneapolis [Minnesota]. I'm kind of fidgeting because there's a story that is part of our history, but I'm kind of going back and forth here because my mother [Elizabeth Brown Norris] is, is--in the family they're split about whether the story really should be told, and I'm gonna share it with you because for the sake of history, and I apologize to my mother right now for doing this, because she's said tell that story when I'm gone, but I think that it's part of our history. My grandmother, was, had a certain standing in the community, and was very much looked up to and I didn't always understand where that came from and it--I discovered, really only recently, because my family only recently started to talk about it, and again, there's my Uncle Jimmy [James Brown] who's doing all this research, just discovered a lot about this and we'll talk about this and other parts of the family, except, please don't talk about that. My grandmother had earned a bit of a name for herself, and was able to earn money and put aside money for herself, and start a life traveling as a--she would do demonstrations, and it's--the background there is that it was several grain companies, in Minnesota, Pillsbury [Pillsbury Flour Mills Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota], General Mills [General Mills Inc.]--$$Yeah, and (unclear)--$$--she was a traveling Aunt Jemima, and she would travel throughout small towns, at a time when pancake mix, the idea of just adding water and eggs, and whipping up pancakes, was, was, new and different, and you used to, you know, you'd have to do all this by scratch, and she'd travel around and wear a kerchief on her head, and demonstrate how you could do this. And she would do this in rooms full of people, through small towns all across Minnesota, and I think she traveled to Iowa, and the Dakotas and she became very well known, and apparently, there were other traveling Aunt Jemimas around the country who were doing this--$$I've heard this, this kind of story before, and it may have been in Minnesota.$$Yeah.$$There's somebody, who may just be related to you. We'll talk about this after, (laughter). I'll try and think of who it is.$$Oh really, no, because this is--my mother hates this story.$$But there, there's, I heard this, yeah (unclear).$$And you know what, it's interesting, because it's--and it's not because of any kind of shame, my mother--I don't want you to think that she was ashamed of this at all, but it's very painful, because, I mean, you know the stigma associated with Aunt Jemima, but at the same time, you know, what a wonderful thing, that my grandmother was able to travel at a time when African Americans, in particular, African Americans didn't travel, and see the country, and receive a certain amount of accolade, and respect and was able to earn money, you know, doing this. And I think it set her on a path to becoming the community leader and the wise elder that she became in the community, so that's part of our, our, story too (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Now, I've heard different stories--$How many siblings do you have?$$I have two sisters [Cindy McGraw and Marguerite McGraw], yeah.$$Two sisters, okay. And where do you fall in the order?$$I'm the youngest, by ten years.$$Okay.$$They're ten and twelve years older than me. My mother [Elizabeth Brown Norris] was previously married to Donald McGraw [ph.], and my two sisters, were the product of that marriage, so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Okay. All right, do have, have an earliest childhood memory?$$I don't know what my earliest childhood memory is, I have, I have several. I, I, remember playing dress up, you know, they kept a big dress up box for us, and, well a lot of it was my sisters' cast off clothes, 'cause you know my sisters were the coolest people on earth, we had a rec room in the basement, and you know, they had the hair tape, that they would curl right here, and I used to, used to sit in the basement and watch them dance to James Brown records, and I just thought they were the coolest people in the land.$$What's the gap between you?$$Ten and twelve years.$$Ten and twelve years. Okay, okay, so they were like--yeah (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So, you know, I was an eight year old watching them--a six year old watching them, at sixteen and eighteen, and eighteen and twenty and they just, they were the personification of hip you know, to me. I remember Halloween, my father [Belvin Norris, Jr.] was a baseball fanatic, would watch baseball on television but listen to it on the radio, and I do remember on Halloween, I remember this very clearly, I wanted so badly to be--you know, the Sears [Sears, Roebuck and Co.] catalog would come with all of the Halloween costumes, and I wanted something that had tiaras and wands and I wanted to be a fairy princess, because all the other little girls in the neighborhood, were going to be like fairy princesses, my father dressed me up as Tony Oliva, and it was this Sears costume, you know, you would get, you know, the baseball costume, that doubled as pajamas, so, you know, you'd and then, I had to wear the Tony Oliva costume for months afterward (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) The, the great baseball player for Minnesota [Minnesota Twins] or something?$$Yes, yes (laughter), who, who is still spends time in Minnesota, 'cause, my sister and her husband, Tim [ph.], say that they went indoor to the Mall of America [Bloomington, Minnesota] to see him, at a local eatery or something, but yeah, I do, I have, distinct memories of that, and I remember going down to Birmingham [Alabama] a lot. I remember the summers in Birmingham, and spending time with my [paternal] grandparents [Fannie Walker Norris and Belvin Norris, Sr.], and all the cousins would be down there. I remember my grandfather, drove this gigantic car with suicide doors. The doors that opened up like this, instead of one door opening, it would open up so that the whole of the car was, sort of open, and he would drive, after he worked in the steel mills, and he would--after he retired, and most of his sons worked in the steel mills, my father never did, he moved up to Chicago [Illinois], right out of the [U.S.] Navy--he would drive back and forth to Bruno's [Bruno's Supermarkets, LLC] which was a grocery store, a chain down there, and I do remember driving, and I would love sitting in this gigantic car with my grandfather, who was also a very big man, big hands, big shoulders, and he would drive a woman back and forth to Bruno's. And I remember that, and we had sort of a lending system in the neighborhood, in Birmingham, and I also remember being there and they, they--and I guess that at the time, they couldn't use the library, the public library, so they had this sort of lending system, within the neighborhood in Ensley [Birmingham, Alabama], and I actually do remember, running books back and forth, and they kept a list of who had what book, and someone would want a book next, and I remember that when I was a kid also, was running the books all over. Those are some of my earliest memories.