The Urban Buzz sends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Irene Johnson Ware, who recently passed away after a long illness.  Ms. Irene’s long-standing career in Gospel radio started in 1961 in Mobile, AL at WGOK as the host of The Mandy Show, now known as “The Brighter Day.” There she rose to the level of General Manager and enjoyed an unprecedented thirty-seven and a half year tenure. 

In 1992, she was inducted into the Living Legends Foundation Hall of Fame and was a long-serving member of their Board Of Directors. The same year, she was elected president of the struggling YBPC, Young Black Programmers Coalition, later renamed NBPC, National Black Programmers Coalition. Under her direction, the NBPC’s growth in industry visibility, membership and financial status was extraordinary. Known for her “always put God first” lifestyle, Ms. Irene was a faithful member of the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church in Mobile, AL.

She was the popular host of the WDLT-AM midday Gospel program, A Brighter Day and a devoted mother of two sons, Darryl and the late Ronnie Johnson, who was Sr. Vice President of R&B Promotion, Atlantic Records, at the time of his death.

Ms. Irene always has words of inspiration and encouragement for all she encountered and will be missed.   We’ll keep you posted on any virtual celebration that is planned, since the family can only have a graveside service for 5 people, due to COVID-19 virus.

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