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Amplify Color

Author: Interval Presents

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Charlamagne Tha God. Wendy Williams. Robin Quivers. The names are familiar, but the stories of their trials and triumphs in the radio industry may not be. Amplify Color reveals the empowering and inspirational stories of individuals who left an undeniable impact on the radio industry despite the challenges and battles they faced. Each week, we chronicle the history of Black radio through the story of a trailblazer who made a long-lasting impact on the medium that we know and love today. Hosted by Ryan Cameron, the “voice of Atlanta” and Georgia and Black Radio Hall of Famer.
16 Episodes
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Charlamagne Tha God. Wendy Williams. Robin Quivers. The names are familiar, but the stories of their trials and triumphs in the radio industry may not be. Amplify Color reveals the empowering and inspirational stories of individuals who left an undeniable impact on the radio industry despite the challenges and battles they faced. Each week, host Ryan Cameron chronicles the history of Black radio through the story of a trailblazer who made a long-lasting impact on the medium that we know and love today. Coming September 13th. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Radio connected people like never before. It changed the way we received information and advertising, as well as how we listened to music. Everyone got to enjoy radio … but that doesn’t mean everyone got to participate. How and why did African-Americans get excluded? In this episode we explore the origins of how the medium of radio rose to dominance and changed the world, and how African-Americans refused to be denied. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2 | Jack L. Cooper

2 | Jack L. Cooper

2023-09-1328:00

Everyone on this list is forever indebted to Jack Leroy Cooper, America’s very first Black radio disc jockey and radio programmer. Despite no formal education and dropping out of elementary school, Cooper paved the way for Black folks to be entertainers on-air and to control the content that was heard. In 1929 he created the “All-Negro Hour” on WSBC in Chicago. He was the first DJ to play gramophone records on air. This was, of course, not without many obstacles as we learn the hurdles that Mr. Cooper faced to lay the groundwork for where Black folks are on radio today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In 1949, WERD became America’s first radio station owned and programmed by African-Americans. Founded by Jesse B. Blayton in Atlanta, Georgia, WERD was known for playing Black music that wasn’t traditionally played on white-owned stations, offering Black artists and DJs new opportunities to be heard. The station also played a huge role in the Civil Rights movement, allowing leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. to relay his message to his audience. The station faced opposition along the way. The city of Atlanta regulated the station to 1000 watts which was just enough to reach local Black neighborhoods but not much more. The impact of WERD would soon spread across America and its founder Jesse B. Blayton would be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
4 | Petey Greene

4 | Petey Greene

2023-09-2731:49

“Petey Greene the Talking Machine” was Washington DC’s fast talking, provocative, but tell-it-like-it is radio disc jockey. His life is a turn-your-lemons-into-lemonade success story. Petey served 21 years in prison but it was in prison where he found his calling as a radio personality. Prison guards used to let Petey use the prison PA system for two hours a day so that he could entertain his fellow inmates with his quick wit and sharp humor. Upon his release, he landed his own show, “Rappin’ with Petey Greene,” on DC’s AM radio station WOL 1450. Though he battled many demons throughout his career, he used his own story as a message to listeners to not make the same mistakes he made in life. Extremely foulmouthed and brutally honest, Petey was loved by all, from street cronies to even the President of the United States. His life in radio proved that the power of authenticity can take one to new heights. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
5 | Cathy Hughes

5 | Cathy Hughes

2023-10-0435:13

When she was just in her early 30s, Cathy Hughes created the largest African-American broadcasting company in the United States. This did not come without extreme adversity. When looking to buy her first radio station, she was denied bank loans 34 times. In this episode, listeners will hear how Cathy’s persistence and determination led not only to the creation of a new radio format, but to Cathy becoming the second wealthiest Black woman in America. Her impact and legacy have changed Black radio forever. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
6 | Dyana Williams

6 | Dyana Williams

2023-10-1132:10

Though June has been known as Black Music Month since 1979, it wasn’t until Dyana Williams met with President Clinton years later before The White House officially recognized it. Today Dyana is known as an activist for the rights of Black musicians. She got her start in radio back in the 1970s when she joined the staff of 96.3 WHUR-FM in Washington D.C. Two years later she returned to her hometown of New York City to become an on-air personality and the first Black-Latina woman to host rock music station WRQX-FM. Her career in radio has left a legacy of fighting for Black musical creatives and is proof that radio personalities can have a positive impact on our world outside of the airwaves. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
7 | Tom Joyner

7 | Tom Joyner

2023-10-1829:19

Nicknamed America’s “Fly Jock,” Tom Joyner was the #1 voice of Black radio for over 25 years. He earned his nickname because he hosted a morning show in Dallas and an afternoon show in Chicago, which required that he fly back and forth from city to city every day. Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Tom attended local HBCU Tuskegee University. His first passion was music and he was even an early member of the Commodores. In 1983, his radio career took off and he never looked back. After 25 years, only one thing could derail the King of Black Radio … technology. With his salary dictated by listenership and with the popularity of radio on the decline, Black radio’s “Fly Jock” decided to retire from the airwaves. He was the first African-American to be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame and he left a legacy that can be described by his own words: “Superserve the African-American community and continue to give back.” See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
8 | Mr. Magic

8 | Mr. Magic

2023-10-2532:12

Hitting the airwaves on WHBI in New York City in 1979, In 1979, Mr. Magic’s “Disco Showcase” debuted on WHBI in New York City. Mr. Magic had no way of knowing that his so-called disco showcase would become the very first hip-hop radio show. With his DJ Marley Marl, Mr. Magic became the voice of the streets – though that title didn’t come without competition. A rivalry began to brew between Magic and Kool DJ Red Alert. In this episode, listeners will learn about the deep rivalry between these two radio crews, the legacy that it left behind, and how Mr. Magic changed the course of Black radio and hip-hop forever. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia are two of the most surprising contributors to Black radio. This Jewish and Puerto Rican duo turned Columbia University’s college radio station WCKR into hip-hop’s first radio-safe haven. Every Thursday from 1am -to 5am, The Stretch and Bobbito Show was a place where up-and-coming rappers like Nas, Eminem, Wu-Tang Clan, and Big L played their latest records or showed off their lyrical freestyles. In the process, a format was born that hip-hop shows imitated for years to come. These pioneers of hip-hop had one nemesis…the birth of Hot97, hip-hop’s very first radio station dedicated to only rap. Not only did Stretch and Bobbito survive but they thrived and left an undeniable legacy on Black radio. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10 | Robin Quivers

10 | Robin Quivers

2023-11-0831:15

Born in 1952 in Baltimore, Maryland, Robin Quivers began her professional career in the military before rising to national prominence as the unlikely co-host of The Howard Stern Show. Working alongside the most controversial man in radio got her to the Radio Hall of Fame, but the journey wasn’t without adversity, controversy, and even hate from the African-American community. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11 | Big Boy

11 | Big Boy

2023-11-1533:09

Born Kurt Alexander, Big Boy went from working as a bodyguard for the Pharcyde to the leading voice of hip-hop radio in Los Angeles. Once he was hired at Power 106 as a nighttime and afternoon DJ, he was unstoppable. And he was loved–by guests and listeners alike. He’s a husband, a father, a son, an inductee into the Radio Hall of Fame, his name is immortalized in a star on Hollywood Boulevard – and he survived an epic battle to become the King of the Los Angeles airwaves. Big Boy is the embodiment of will and determination, a man who from the very beginning had to do what he had to do to survive, and then thrived. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12 | Sway Calloway

12 | Sway Calloway

2023-11-2232:36

The Bay Area’s own Sway Calloway began his career as a rapper but all that changed when he landed his first radio gig co-hosting a show on San Francisco’s KMEL. At the time, the Oakland music scene was bubbling up with acts like E-40 and Too Shoot gaining local acclaim. But the scene was constantly overshadowed by Los Angeles and New York City. Sway brought the Bay to the USA. And not just to the airwaves, but as a news correspondent on MTV – a move that opened doors and landed Sway some of the biggest interviews any disc or video jockey has ever seen. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13 | Wendy Williams

13 | Wendy Williams

2023-11-2932:06

Today we know her as an iconic TV host, business woman, writer, comedian, and actress. But Wendy Williams first rose to prominence as New York City’s #1 “Shock Jocktress.” Her journey was filled with hurdles and obstacles. From being one of the few Black people in her neighborhood growing up in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to graduating almost last academically in high school, Wendy never gave up. Listeners will learn more about how through many personal and professional trials and tribulations, Wendy persevered to achieve new heights and land in the National Radio Hall of Fame. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Born Lenard McKelvey in the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, Charlamagne tha God has become one of the most important people in the history of radio and TV. His journey wasn’t easy. In this episode we’ll learn how being fired from The Wendy Williams Show, and then being fired from his own show in Philadelphia, propelled him to the top of the media world as one third of the World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show, The Breakfast Club. Tune in to hear the unprecedented journey of Charlemagne and how it landed him to the Radio Hall of Fame. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This bonus episode features a conversation between AMPLIFY COLOR host Ryan Cameron and Allan Coye, SVP, Digital Strategy & Business Development and GM of Interval Presents at Warner Music Group. Learn all about a life in radio as Ryan reminisces about his journey on the airwaves, the people he’s met and things he’s learned, and also what the future of the medium holds and how Black voices will continue to shape it.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Comments (1)

Tanna Owens

Thanks for the information... https://www.mycvshr.website/

Oct 4th
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