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Mütter Evans

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2014.177

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/15/2014

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Middle Name

D

Occupation
Schools

Wake Forest University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Mutter

Birth City, State, Country

Williamston

HM ID

EVA08

State

North Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

4/7/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Short Description

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

Employment

WAAA-AM

Mutter D. Evans Communications

Winston-Salem State University

Art Gilliam, Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2014.086

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2014

Last Name

Gilliam

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Arthur

Occupation
Schools

University of Michigan

Yale University

Westminster School

Hamilton High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Herman

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

GIL08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beach

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

3/6/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ribs

Short Description

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

Employment

Gilliam Communications, Inc.

WMC-TV

The Commercial Appeal

Universal Life Insurance Company

Harold Ford, Sr. Congressional Campaign

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$1

DAStory

4$9

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

Johnny Shaw

Radio station owner and state representative Johnny W. Shaw was born on January 5, 1942 in Laconia, Tennessee. He attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a degree in theology.

In the 1960s, Shaw was the spokesman of a local gospel group’s Sunday morning radio program on WBOL-AM in Bolivar, Tennessee, where he was also the first African American staff announcer. He was later promoted to program director and assistant manager, and then as general manager of WBOL. In addition to his work at WBOL, Shaw served as a minister at Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in Stanton, Tennessee. He also sang with the musical group, the Shaw Singers, and worked as a psychologist.

In 1987, Shaw and his wife, Opal, founded the Shaw Broadcasting Company, LLC, where he served as chief executive officer. That same year, Shaw Broadcasting Company purchased WBOL. In the early 1990’s, Shaw acquired the license permit to construct a 6000 watt FM station in Bolivar, which was then built and began broadcasting in 1992 as WOJG-FM.

In 1997, Shaw was appointed as a co-commissioner of Hardeman County in Tennessee, where he served for one-and-a-half terms. In 2000, he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing District 80, where he became the first African American to serve in the state legislature in rural west Tennessee since reconstruction. Shaw won re-election in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. While in public office, he served as house member of the 102nd through 108th General Assemblies; member of the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee; member of the House State Government Committee and Subcommittee; member of the Joint Pensions and Insurance Committee; and chair of the Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus.

Shaw is a lifetime member of the NAACP, and has served as a board member of the National Civil Rights Museum. He also served as board chair of the Western Mental Health Institute, and was a member of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority Board. In 2012, Shaw received the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters (TAB) Distinguished Service Award.

Shaw and his wife have six children. They reside in Bolivar, Tennessee.

Johnny Shaw was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 23, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.060

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/23/2014

Last Name

Shaw

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Wilson

Schools

Love Elementary

Fayette Ware Comprehensive High School

Allen White High School

American Baptist Theological Seminary

First Name

Johnny

Birth City, State, Country

Laconia

HM ID

SHA07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

State of Tennessee

Favorite Quote

God Cannot Get You Through It 'Til He Gets You To It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

1/5/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bolivar

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Radio station owner and state representative Johnny Shaw (1942 - ) was the cofounder and CEO of Shaw Broadcasting Company, LLC, and owner of the WBOL and WOJG radio stations in Bolivar, Tennessee. He was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2000.

Employment

WBOL-AM

Saint John Missionary Baptist Church

Shaw Broadcasting Company, LLC

Hardeman County, Tennessee

Tennessee House of Representatives

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Johnny Shaw's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Johnny Shaw lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Johnny Shaw describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Johnny Shaw talks about his mother's education and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Johnny Shaw describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Johnny Shaw talks about his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Johnny Shaw describes how his parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Johnny Shaw describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Johnny Shaw talks about the sharecropper system

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Johnny Shaw talks about Tent City in Fayette County, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Johnny Shaw talks lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Johnny Shaw describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Johnny Shaw describes his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Johnny Shaw recalls the entertainment of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Johnny Shaw remembers the influence of WLAC Radio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Johnny Shaw recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Johnny Shaw talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Johnny Shaw describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Johnny Shaw recalls his high school education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Johnny Shaw remembers his father's voting rights activism

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Johnny Shaw describes his senior year at the Allen-White School in Whiteville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Johnny Shaw recalls his aspirations after high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Johnny Shaw describes his position at Whiteville Auto Parts and Hardware in Whiteville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Johnny Shaw remembers Memphis State University in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Johnny Shaw talks about his employment during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Johnny Shaw recalls being hired as a deejay at WBOL Radio in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Johnny Shaw describes the format of his radio show

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Johnny Shaw talks about The Shaw Singers

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Johnny Shaw remembers The Shaw Singers' hit singles

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Johnny Shaw describes his call to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Johnny Shaw remembers founding Shaw's Broadcasting, LCC

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Johnny Shaw describes the gospel format of WBOL Radio in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Johnny Shaw talks about the challenges of radio station ownership

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Johnny Shaw talks about radio station ratings and wattages

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Johnny Shaw recalls the programming at WBOL Radio in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Johnny Shaw remembers purchasing WOJG Radio in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Johnny Shaw talks about WOJG Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Johnny Shaw talks about the gospel programming on WOJG Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Johnny Shaw talks about his competitor, Clear Channel Communications, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Johnny Shaw recalls his appointment as commissioner of Hardeman County, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Johnny Shaw recalls his election to the Tennessee House of Representatives

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Johnny Shaw recalls the opposition to his campaign for the Tennessee House of Representatives

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Johnny Shaw describes his challenges as a state representative

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Johnny Shaw recalls renovating the Western Mental Health Institute in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Johnny Shaw recalls Stacey Campfield's campaign to join the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Johnny Shaw remembers Barack Obama's presidential campaign announcement

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Johnny Shaw remembers Opal's Family Restaurant in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Johnny Shaw recalls his retirement from Shaw's Broadcasting, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Johnny Shaw talks about his role in the Tennessee House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Johnny Shaw talks about per diem limits for legislators

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Johnny Shaw talks about partisanship in the Tennessee House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Johnny Shaw talks about the future of the Tennessee House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Johnny Shaw shares his plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Johnny Shaw reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Johnny Shaw describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Johnny Shaw describes his political advice to his congregation

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Johnny Shaw talks about reconciling his religious and political beliefs

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Johnny Shaw talks about the separation of church and state

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Johnny Shaw talks about the role of religion in government

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Johnny Shaw reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Johnny Shaw talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Johnny Shaw describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Johnny Shaw narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Johnny Shaw recalls being hired as a deejay at WBOL Radio in Bolivar, Tennessee
Johnny Shaw recalls his election to the Tennessee House of Representatives
Transcript
But in the meantime, I had gotten a part time job working at the radio station, only on weekends.$$Now, now tell us how this, this job came about.$$The radio?$$And this is W- is this WBOL [WBOL Radio]?$$WBOL. Well, actually (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) In Bolivar [Tennessee], right?$$That's WBOL in Bolivar. I got hired when I first started--I didn't know this until later. I was hired because I was an African American, and FCC [Federal Communications Commission] had put pressure on southern radio stations and say that, "You got to have at least one black on your staff." So I got hired part time, became the local deejay; actually became, I guess, very popular in the community because I mean at that point in time, if you worked in radio, it was big thing; I mean people actually waited outside to get your autograph and, and whatever else. I mean (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So this is 19--what?$$This--we are now in the upper '60s [1960s]; we somewhere about '68 [1968], '69 [1969], somewhere about. And so I'm working on there weekends but because it became such--the show became so popular they said, "We got to put you on every day."$$Now this a trajectory of--you were telling me before we got started, you said that your gospel group [The Shaw Singers] was on the radio, right? (Simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, this was--$$--and the station manager heard you?$$No, this--right, we--what we were doing were, we would--I had this group--we're the little community group, we were singing, so station manager hears our group; I'm doing the announcing for the group, "We're gonna be at Brown's Chapel [Brown's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Jackson, Tennessee] this Sunday evening at two o'clock, come and hear us sing." We had a couple of sponsors and do the sponsorship and that type thing. "Johnson Mays Appliance Company [ph.], you need your appliances fixed, go by Johnson Mays," you know. "Washing machine, dryers, et cetera," so forth; that type thing; Modeling Rivers Funeral Home [ph.] burial policies, all of that. So the station manager hear me making these announcements and decide that I'll make a deejay so he calls me and he hires me and I get ten minutes of training.$$So now what was his name?$$Ralph Clenney.$$Okay.$$Ralph Clenney in Parsons, Tennessee--lives there now; owns a radio station [WKJQ Radio] in Parsons now.$$How do you spell his last name?$$Ralph Clenney. You know I--I think he spells it with a K; he does. K-L-I-N-N-I-N-G [sic.], something like that, Ralph Clenney. But anyway, I got hired, so now I'm working on a radio station and I'm a local deejay every evening from three [o'clock] until whatever time the sun go down because this is a daytime station. I didn't get a chance to play the recorded commercials; everybody wanted me to adlib their commercials because I was ringing the cash registers. "If Johnny said it--," and I mean--and, and, and people in the community was going in saying, "I heard Johnny say, come by and get this and get that." And people were loving that, so I was doing all of my commercials live. Everybody else had recorded commercials but me.$$Can you do one for us the way you do one in those days?$$(Laughter) Gosh, I don't know. I'm trying to think what--you know, something like, "The Shirt Shack [ph.] at downtown Bolivar; get 10 percent off this afternoon. Go by and tell Vance [ph.], [HistoryMaker] Johnny Shaw sent you; they've got hot styles," or blah, blah, blah, you know--I don't know, I can't do that anymore, but (laughter) that kind of stuff (laughter). And that's how I started in radio, and that's when I was gonna share with you--I decided that I wanted to do production and I knew I had to be good; I knew I had to be real good with it, so I grabbed this Maxwell's Big Star [Bolivar, Tennessee] commercial and I go in the production room and I record it. I never heard it on the air; never heard it, so I asked the station manager. By now, my station manager is a different guy; it's not Ralph Clenney, it's a different guy. And I said, "I did the Maxwell's Big Star commercial and I never heard it; what happened to it?" He said, "Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you they don't want blacks' voice on their commercial." And I said to him, I said, "Well in that case, someday I'll just own their radio station." Kind of just said it as a response, went on, and it was years later that he walked in and said to me, "You said you wanted to own a radio station; we got one for sale, you wanna buy it?" And I said, "Sure."$$Now let's--I'm gonna breeze past all this time, but you were on the air for how many years?$$I was on the air, gosh, for twenty something years there, before I bought.$$Okay, this is 19--$$Yeah.$$--so this would be 1968 until--$$All the way up until--$$--eighty-eight [1988] or so?$$Yeah, somewhere about '88 [1988].$$Okay.$$Yeah, um-hm, you, you, you're right; you're exactly right.$Election to, to the House--now you, this is a campaign. Now you, you have to run, actually, for--$$For the House of Representatives [Tennessee House of Representatives]?$$Yeah, yeah (unclear).$$Well, that came about by a lawsuit that was filed by some concerned citizens, and I don't wanna get into name calling 'cause I'd leave somebody out and they'd be mad at me. But there was a lawsuit filed that there was not enough representation for the rural, especially African American, community in West Tennessee. They won the lawsuit; I'm sitting at my radio station one day, I get a call, and this lady says to me, "Whoopee, we won the lawsuit." And I said, "What lawsuit?" She told me, she said, "And by the way, we know we don't have to, but we would really like to name our candidate to run for that seat, and we think you would be the perfect person." And her name was Mrs. Minnie Bowmer [ph.], and I say, "Miss Minnie, I don't have no idea what a state representative does; I have no money to run for state representative, et cetera, et cetera." She said, "It's nothing to it, it's part time; you can do it." Said, "Besides, we got your back far as funding--financing you; we got your back." Said, "Just tell us you'll run." I said, "I need to do three things; I need to get permission from God, from my family, and from my church [St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Stanton, Tennessee]." I told my family about it, they were so excited they wanted to throw a party. I knew when I got to church and told my church about it they were gonna say, "Whoa, no," 'cause I presented it this way; I say, "Now look, I'm gonna be gone a lot, okay? And there'll be times when you'll need me, I'll be in Nashville [Tennessee], and I just want to be honest with you. I'd love to do this, but if you don't want me to do it, I won't." And the very person that I thought would be against it stood up and say, "Pastor, if you go and represent us and do this, we will make sure that the church ministry is carried on." Well, that was my answer from God, from my family, and from them. So that's where it all started. And I ran in 2000--1999, actually, was when I ran and won that November, and January--well actually, in November of 1999 I was officially elected as state representative for the eightieth district [Tennessee House of Representatives District 80]; and that's been fourteen years ago and, and here I am.

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
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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.

Ronald Davenport

Businessman and lawyer Ronald Davenport, Sr., was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 21, 1936. After earning his B.S. degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University in 1958, Davenport went to law school; earning his LL.B. degree from Temple University in 1962, he went to Yale Law School for his LL.M. degree in 1963.

Davenport started his career as a professor of law at Duquesne University in 1963, where he remained for twenty years. When he took over as dean of the law school in 1970, Davenport became the first black man to be dean of a predominantly white school. In 1982, Davenport became a partner at Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation, and a fellow of the U.S. State Department, reviewing legal systems in South and East Asia. Davenport also served as a consultant to the Constitutional Convention Preparatory Committee of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention. Not content with simply the practice of law, in 1972, Davenport became chairman of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, a group he and his wife formed from the purchase of four radio stations. By 1976, Sheridan Broadcasting owned half of the Mutual Black Network, later completing the buyout. Sheridan Broadcasting was heard through more than three hundred radio affiliates across the country; he also served as the co-chairman of the American Urban Radio Networks.

Beyond his endeavors in the practice of law and broadcasting, Davenport gave his time to a wide variety of other organizations. Davenport served on the board of Colgate University; was chairman of the Visiting Committee of African American Studies at Harvard; and served on the board of Aramark. Davenport was awarded numerous honorary degrees; the Man of the Year Award from the Masons; and participated in several conferences with U.S. presidents.

Davenport and his wife, Judith Marylyn, raised three children.

Accession Number

A2003.182

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/12/2003

Last Name

Davenport

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Spring Garden Elementary School

Stoddart-Fleisher Middle School

West Philadelphia High School

Pennsylvania State University

Temple University Beasley School of Law

Spring Garden School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

DAV07

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

5/21/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Academic administrator and radio station owner Ronald Davenport (1936 - ) is the Chair of Sheridan Broadcasting, heard on over three hundred nationwide stations. Davenport had a career teaching law and has served as the dean for the Duquesne University School of Law.

Employment

Duquesne University School of Law

Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation

Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation

Favorite Color

None

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ronald Davenport interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ronald Davenport's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ronald Davenport talks about his parents' and his grandmother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ronald Davenport discusses the experience of living with his grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ronald Davenport describes his childhood personality and his neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ronald Davenport details his education in Philadephia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ronald Davenport talks about avoiding the negative influences in his neighborhood as a young boy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ronald Davenport recalls his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ronald Davenport talks about the neighborhood survival skills he developed as a young boy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ronald Davenport recounts his grandparents' influence and leadership in his community

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ronald Davenport details his experiences living with his mother and stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ronald Davenport talks about his high school experience

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ronald Davenport discusses briefly his plans to go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport discusses his decision to attend Penn State University

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport describes the small black population at Penn State in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport recalls adjusting to the small black populace in State College, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport explains his decision to major in economics at Penn State University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport details his participation in student government at Penn State

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport discusses his participation in the economics department at Penn State

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport talks about the things that influenced him at Penn State

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport talks about his decision to go to law school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport explains his decision to attend Temple University's law school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport recalls his experiences at Temple Law School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport compares his undergraduate and graduate attitudes towards education

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ron Davenport talks about his first jobs while in law school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport describes his experience as a law clerk in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport talks about his career focus and his drive to become a leader

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport describes his courtship and marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport discusses his mentor and his acceptance to Yale Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport details his coursework at Yale Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport talks about his experiences at Norris, Green, Harris and Higginbotham law firm

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport recalls one of the law firm's biggest clients, Father Divine

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport discusses his mentor, Austin Norris

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport discusses civil rights in the Philadelphia area

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport describes becoming a professor at Duquesne University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport recalls his teaching experiences at Duquesne University

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ron Davenport describes his civic involvement in Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport explains his adjustment to the community in Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport describes his civic activities in Pittsburgh while teaching at Duquesne University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport talks about his work for the mayor's office in Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport describes his leadership roles with the Urban League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport recalls other aspects of his civil rights activities

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport talks about becoming Dean of Duquesne University's law school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport explains his career transition from law to radio broadcasting

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport details the origins of his broadcasting company

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport talks about other radio broadcasters and his other business ventures

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport details his expanding radio business

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport recalls his feelings toward becoming a black business owner

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport details the development of the Sheridan Broadcasting Network

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport discusses Sheridan Broadcasting and its affiliates

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport talks about his success at Sheridan Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport discusses his hopes for the future of Sheridan Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport discusses his successes and mistakes in the radio business

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport talks about his children's participation in the broadcasting business

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport considers decision-making opportunities for African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport considers the future successes of the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport shares his concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport considers his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport considers how he would like to be remembered