“I Can’t Live Without My Radio” by Angie Ange

angie ange

If you are ever in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia between the hours of 6p-10p and you happen to turn your radio on to 93.9wkys, you will hear my voice. I go by the name of “YOUR ROYAL HYPENESS ANGIE ANGE,” but you can just call me Ange.

I am a true radio girl! All my life I have listened to the radio and the jocks, wanting to be like them. At 25 it still amazes me that I have already worked at all the stations I grew up listening to and have worked with all the jocks I grew up adoring; Donnie Simpson, Russ Parr, Olivia Foxx, Tigger, Steph Lova, P-Stew, just to name a few! For me, radio history dates back to a time, when jocks were the star and the music they loved, we loved. Now that I have become a jock myself, I find that my higher ups want the focus to be solely on the music. Music is the star! That’s what one of my bosses always tells me, and although I agree with him to a certain extent, I personally feel that my listeners are the star and I am merely a reflection of them. So if I can make my listeners the star on my show, then I in turn will also be a star and so will the music I play! But I digress…

Black radio has such a rich history because of how influential it has been to the world’s ears. I was looking at www.urbanradionation.com and browsed through a timeline of Black radio achievement that reminded me of how long radio has impacted our people. Since 1948 when WDIA in Memphis became the first all black station, where all of the jocks were Black and the music was Black, there’s been no stopping us! Eventually black owned stations like WERD in Atlanta would emerge in 1949. Black radio was a source of information, empowerment and entertainment, and who better to deliver than amazing jocks! People like Jack “the rapper” Gibson aka “jockey” jack, Rufus Thomas, Jocko, etc., added their voices and personalities, becoming the face of these stations early on. One of my personal favorites that hopefully most of you have heard of, Peetey Greene who was from DC, goes down in black radio history as the first real shock jock. From prison to a microphone, Greene spoke his mind and was quite entertaining in doing so. In the late 60’s through the 70’s, he would rouse his audience up to take a stand, uplift them in bad times, and entertain them with his outlandish comedic style. All of these pioneers, from jocks, to owners, made it possible for someone like myself to use my voice on the radio to make a difference.

Although radio today is quite different from the way it was in the past, I still believe in its initial purposes. Black radio still brings attention to injustice, example being, Michael Basden going off about the Jena 6 so much so that thousands of people got on buses to protest. It is still in many ways the pulse of the people. I remember when Michael Jackson died. I was on the air when it happened and we put together a candlelight vigil in the parking lot of the radio station. We set up the WKYS tent, brought out all the trucks, and told anyone who was mourning for MJ to come through and celebrate his life with us. That is one of my proudest days working at 93.9wkys and being a jock. Hundreds of people came and we did everything from the electric slide, to every MJ dance he ever created outside in that parking lot. It made the people feel better. Strangers were hugging each other, parents brought their children out to witness it, and here I was at the forefront, standing on top of a WKYS truck on a microphone celebrating with my people. AMAZING MOMENT! Radio is rapidly changing and history is being made today, but we must never forget the many people and stations that came before us and paved the way for us to have our own voice.

Join the discussion with Angie Ange on twitter! @AngieAnge

Angie Ange
“It Must be Angie on The Miiiic!”
Founder/CEO of College Is Cool inc.
www.collegeiscool.org

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6 Comments

  • Sister Toldja

    Reply Reply February 22, 2010

    Nice work! I was a student at Howard when Angie was there and it’s been really great seeing her career take off.

  • Tammy

    Reply Reply February 25, 2010

    Great article and very informative. I will forward to my daughter to read.

    I did not know anything about Angie Ange, other than my daughter calls every night to shout out her school and her friends. Did not realize an HU alumni was on the Mic! HU!

  • Tonya Johnson

    Reply Reply February 26, 2010

    Dear Ange,

    Thank you for this piece. As a child raised by an overprotective mom, I spent many days and nights listening to the radio. The DJs were my companions and friends. I would call in during songs as a teenager, make requests, sometimes win contests and even talk to them. To this day I consider DJs a part of my extended family.

    I dislike the “McDonaldizing” of modern radio that has taken stations out of local ownership and control and nearly eliminated the power of the DJ to play songs, discover new artists and expose the audience to new voices. That’s how regional markets cultivate and develop a unique sound. Go Go comes to mind.

    Syndication has made the careers of many DJs and given them a national voice which is great to expose a national audience to these gifted professionals. But this happens often at the expense DJs in the local markets. However, despite corporate mandates, black DJs still manage to make their voices heard and reach out to the community. DJs are the connoisseurs of sound and a reflection of the communities they serve. We’ll always need your leadership to continue to take us the the next level.

  • Bo

    Reply Reply February 26, 2010

    I’ll cosign Tonya’s post. Radio today minimizes the on air personalities that are not syndicated are told what to play, which takes away the personality of the city. Until the 90s each city had its own style and personality (cable TV also has homogenized the culture). Keep doing your thing Ange! Love your style!

  • Tammie Gipson Chin

    Reply Reply February 26, 2010

    Thank you for the information. All that I can say is “I CAN”T LIVE WITHOUT MY RADIOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Love ya to the moon and back and around the universe!

  • bnice

    Reply Reply March 9, 2010

    wow, that chic in the back of the pic with Herb Ken got a donk! what year was that? I see you Herb.

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