Beverly Taylor

 

As the owner of The Joy Of Music in Cleveland, I have to be down-to-earth, savvy, and hardworking. I did radio promotion for Columbia, Tommy Boy, Rap-A-Lot, and Maverick Records. I also did retail promotion for other powerhouses such as Epic/Sony, Arista and Motown.

I caught the entrepreneurial spirit after working in another record store and started my own store with seven hundred "fifty dollars five years ago. I developed my business into more than a simple store. It is a community center, a cultural explosion, a musical mecca where I am affectionately known as "Ma." With seven schools in the area, I have plenty of opportunities to talk one-on-one with young people about their Blackness and the importance of excellence. My boundless energy is also spent as President of SIMMS of America (a retail coalition), where I work to promote economic strength and community action. While I work on projects such as voter registration drives and benefits for a battered-women's shelter, I also think it is important to take time to talk to people, to try to help them, to touch their lives. The Lord keeps me going every day. I know that He's got me. I have much more "Joy" to give the music industry, my community and to everyone through The Joy of Music and my indomitable spirit.

 

 

Eddie O'Jay

One thing I can say about my career is that it has been varied and productive. It began in 1951 as a Disc Jockey at WOKY in Milwaukee. From there, I went to WABQ in Cleveland, and WUFO in Buffalo, finally working my way to the "Soul at Sunrise" show on WWRL, WBLS and WLIB in New York City. After a distinguished 27 year career in radio in the United States, I expanded to include an internationally syndicated radio program on "Swazi Music Radio," in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1980.

Because of the familiarity and popularity of my voice, I was nominated and inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame. You've probably heard my voice on commercials for Chevrolet, Schlitz Malt Liquor, Sears, Perdue Chicken, Lipton Tea, Campbell's Soup and on "Sesame Street." I was also privileged to have performed in theatrical productions which emanated from the Karamu House in Cleveland such as "My Sister Eileen," "Wonderful Town," "Golden Boy," and "The Connection."

I was fortunate to have discovered, while I was at WABQ, a fine group of five young beginners in the business called The Mascots from Canton and Masilon, Ohio. I was asked to manage and direct the group which took my name, The O'Jays. The rest, as they say, is history.

   

Dell Rice

If you've ever been to Kansas City, chances ar that you've heard of Dell Rice.  For the past 25 years, Dell has been the voice of that city's jazz & R&B stations.  Mr. & Mrs. Skip Carter were the first to notice Dell's cool professionalism, and hired him at their station KPRS after he's been in broadcasting school for just three months.  His rise through the ranks was swift, and in just under two years he became Assistant Program Director.

Dell RiceIn 1971, Dell was made Program Director at KUDL-FM and was hosting a show on it's AM sister station.  As his talents became more widely known his career expanded dramatically.  He was chosen to be the Master of Ceremonies for several jazz concerts held in Kansas City's Royal Stadium.  There he shared the stage with performers such as George Benson, Teddy Pendergrass, Natalie Cole and Chaka Khan.

After returning to KPRS in 1972 as Program Director, Dell was afforded the chance to give back some of the love and support that the community had bestowed on him throughout his career.  He volunteered his time and knowledge of broadcasting to inform the city's students of  the many opportunities they might have with a career in radio, television or journalism.  As a local celebrity, he has spoken to high school and elementary school students.  He also held seminars at the University of Kansas.  The local chapters of The Boy's and Girl's clubs are also thankful to Dell for his extensive volunteer work with them.

Dell credits a natural affinity towards music, that is, having been born with an "ear" for it that led a jazz CD that he'd co-written with the Max Groove Jazz Group to number 12 on Billboard's 1998 Jazz charts.  "Midnight Rain", on the Optimism label is considered by many critics to be a splendid recording of contemporary jazz.

The true joy of his 25 years in the radio industry, says Dell, "is the fact that I've been able to raise a wonderful family here in my hometown of Kansas City, without having to move them from place to place."  Married for those past 25 years to his wife Ruby, they have raised 4 children, Dell Jr., Gerald, Felicia and Lavinia, who as made a radio career of her own in Norfolk, Virginia.

   

Louise Williams-Bishop

State Representative Louise Williams-Bishop was born in Cairo, Georgia. She is a graduate of West Philadelphia High School and received her degree in communication and radio broadcasting from the American Foundation of Dramatic Arts.

Ms. Bishop was re-elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1990 to begin her second term as a state legislator. She is an ordained Baptist Evangelist minister and has a 30-year career that spans the Philadelphia air waves as a radio personality. She was first ordained Evangelist by the Pennsylvania Baptist Association in 1978. She serves her ministry with the Message of God's Saving Grace and has conducted revivals throughout the East Coast. Her radio career began on WHAT until she began hosting her own program on WDAS-AM and FM, where she currently is host and Gospel Programmer of "The Louise Williams Show" on WDAS-AM.

Representative Bishop was appointed by House Speaker Robert O'Donnell to the following House committee assignments for the 174th Legislative Session: State Government, Aging and Youth and Liquor Control Committee. She is currently the secretary for the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and a member of the Legislative Housing Caucus.

For her commitment and dedication, Ms. Bishop has been honored with the following awards: Philadelphia Mayor's Council on Youth Opportunity "Outstanding Citizen Award"; City Council of Philadelphia Citation Merit "Outstanding Woman Award", Bright Hope Baptist Church; Richard Allen Award (Highest African Methodist Episcopal Church's Award); "Mother of the Year", Pinn Memorial Baptist Church; Missionary Baptist Pastors Conference "Community Service Award"; "Woman Preacher of the Year", Ministers Conference; an honorary doctorate of Humanities from Monrovia College; Philadelphia Mass Choir of the James Cleveland Workshop of America "Community Service Award"; Philadelphia Tribune Achievement Award; Outstanding Radio Personality Awards by: CBS Records, Philadelphia Record Promoters and Gamble & Huff; "Woman of the Year Award", Operation Push; Thomas A. Edison Home & School Association "Community Award"; The Voice of Fellowship; United Holy Church of America; and Pennsylvania State Choir.

Ms. Bishop is a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus: NAACP; National Political Congress of Black Women; Afro-American Historical & Cultural Museum; Baptist Minister's Conference; National Association of Women's Clergy; LaSalle University (Honorary).

Ms. Bishop is the mother of four children; Todd James, Tabb Jody, Tamika Joy and James Alburn Bishop, Jr.

   

Georgie Woods

Georgie Woods is a product of four of the largest cities in America. He was born in Barnett, Georgia (near Atlanta), raised in New York, married in Chicago and has spent most of his working life in Philadelphia. He is widely known as a talk show host, disc jockey, civil rights activist, community leader, promoter and entrepreneur.

Georgie worked as a disc jockey for WWRL Radio in New York. He moved to Philadelphia in 1950 and got his first job by calling WHAT Radio after reading of a job opening in Jet Magazine. His first salary was $18 net per week. He worked for WHAT Radio for three years and then became employed at WDAS Radio. For more than 20 years, he has worked for one or the other of these African-American oriented radio stations as a disc jockey or talk show host.

He began his career as a promoter at Philadelphia's Town Hall with Jocko Henderson, featuring The Velvelettes. He produced many one nighters with different groups and moved his show to the Nixon Theatre and eventually to the Uptown Theatre in 1957. Some of the music industry's top names were presented to Philadelphia by Georgie Woods including, but not limited to: Michael Jackson, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Jerry Butler and Earth, Wind and Fire. Georgie produced these shows to provide alternative activities for the city's youth-—to create an outlet for their unharnessed energy.

Woods active civil rights career began in 1960, as vice president of the NAACP He was credited for bringing peace to the Philadelphia neighborhoods during the 1964 riots. In 1964, Woods participated in the March On Washington. Through his efforts, 15 bus loads of people went to Washington for that historical event. Here, Georgie heard King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech. This made such an impact on him that he became one of King's most ardent supporters.

Georgie Woods was active in every civil rights struggle in the country. Locally, he was a key operator in the struggle to get Girard College to admit African-American youth. For years, they kept up a constant vigil outside the walls of the College and had a strong contingent of youth involved in this effort. In 1965, he traveled to Selma, Alabama with Dr. King. As part of a national protest, he led a march on City Hall with 15,000 African-American people tying up traffic. They went to protest the treatment of African-Americans by the government and this was the closest branch of government to which they could take their message.

This was also the period in which Malcolm X was speaking across the country with a very different message of equality for African-Americans. Georgie worked with the Muslim community in support of some of the activities initiated by Malcolm X.

In 1966, Woods and Sam Evans invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Philadelphia. Despite some resistance from the African-American leadership about bringing this "outsider" into the Philadelphia civil rights scene, King was greeted by massive crowds for the five days he spent in Philadelphia. Georgie Woods joined Philadelphia recording artist, Bobby Rydell on a 17-day tour of Vietnam. He was the first African-American to go to Vietnam to entertain the troops.

While disc jockeying and promoting was his main profession, Woods used his position to raise money for the needy. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised, primarily from the music industry, to feed the hungry and house the homeless. One of his most ardent supporters was and still is, songwriter/producer, Kenny Gamble. Georgie Woods began his formal political career in 1967. He ran for City Council on the Republican ticket and received 333,000 votes. While he won the election with the original count, he lost the recount. This was a very serious political lesson for Georgie.

After Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death in 1968, things seemed to go downhill. African-American leadership seemed to be shattered and the leadership void couldn't be filled. Georgie began to again concentrate on promoting shows and sponsoring benefits for different groups.

In the 70's, Mayor Frank Rizzo proclaimed Georgie Woods Day and public schools were closed for the day. The Jackson Five, Don Cornelius (Soul Train) and Mrs. Coretta Scott King came to Philadelphia to help celebrate. He received the Liberty Bell and later the Liberty Bowl, Philadelphia's two highest honors.

In the 80's, Georgie Woods worked to get politicians elected. He was active in the elections of the first African-American Mayor, first African-American State Senator, first African-American City Commissioner, and most of the African-American politicians that have been elected since he has been in Philadelphia.

In 1988, Georgie founded the United Black Business Association (UBBA) and built it into a membership of more than 100 businesses in less than a year. UBBA provided a new level of knowledge of minority business in the city. He is the father of one son and three daughters. He is distinguished as being the only African-American to witness the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty by President Jimmy Carter at the White House.

In 1987, he was approached by Saboor Muhammad with an idea to merchandise "Georgie Woods Potato Chips". Georgie thought he was joking; however, Mr. Muhammad kept coming back to Georgie and after the third visit, George said "yes". His first check was received a month later and this made him take a whole new look at the idea. Many people had laughed at the idea. Others have tried to steal the idea. However, the idea has gained 99% support coming from the African-American community.

Georgie Woods, Saboor Muhammad and new partner, Gamble and Huff hope to make a significant dent in the market of 30 million African-Americans who buy potato chips in America. You are a major part of that goal.

   

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