The Urban Buzz Top Ten

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The Urban Buzz Top Ten Radio Jocks of All-Time  

 Ok, before you start complaining, this is my personal list of radio personalities I listened to as a young man. These folks had a profound impression on me and my idea of good urban radio. I grew up in Minneapolis, went to college in Atlanta and the bulk of my professional career has been spent in Los Angeles. I never actually heard iconic radio legends like Jack “The Rapper, Hank Spann, Martha Jean “The Queen”, Georgie Woods, Don Cornelius, or Hal Jackson in his prime, although I did work for Chairman Jackson at Inner City Broadcasting. Here’s my list…


Thornton Jones

Thornton “Pharaoh Black” Jones and friend Judith Baker

 Thornton Jones, pka Pharaoh Black, “the Fox in the box, that’s rocks your soul, the funky, funky Pharaoh” is the man I listened to everyday as a kid in north Minneapolis. He helped shape my desire to learn radio and pursue it as a career. Thanks TJ!


Perri Johnson

Dr. Perri Johnson

Life imitating art. When I first met Perri Johnson back in the 80’s he was a top WDAS-Philly Jock with a hit record with Hamilton Bohannon (“Let’s Start The Dance”). Perri was a very cool brother, with a smooth style. It was a dream to bring him to LA and with work with me at KGFJ. Who knew the good doctor would go on to become a REAL doctor! “Shimmy, shimmy co-co-pop, you’re rockin’ with the Doc!”


JJ Johnson Book

JJ Johnson

JJ is a super talent. He’s worked Pop, Rock and Urban radio in Cleveland, Houston, San Francisco, LA and other cities successfully. I first heard JJ when he was on KDAY-LA and wow he was good! We worked together at KACE and KRBV in LA as told in his book, “Aircheck: Life in Music Radio” pick it up at


Shirley Hayes1

Shirley Hayes

One of the coolest and smoothest personalities I every had the pleasure of hearing and working with is Shirley Hayes. From Chicago’s V103 to LA’s former V100, you could always count on your co-worker for the best music and water-cooler conversation.


Myke Julius2

Myke Julius

Google smooth, sexy night-time radio personality and up pops Myke Julius. With stops in Chicago, DC, Dallas, LA and now Atlanta Myke has built an impressive resume with lots more to come. At the end of the day, Myke is one of the best UAC night personalities in the game!



Melvin Lindsey

This man created the “Quiet Storm” at WHUR-DC and was smooth as silk!


Vaughn Harper

Vaughn Harper

Vaughn Harper wasn’t just one of the best ever at night jockin’, he did it with class, style and grace. Vaughn is such a gentleman and a good dude. I have the highest respect for Vaughn, he’s in a class by himself.


BK Kirkland with Stephanie Mills

BK Kirkland & Stephanie Mills

BK Kirkland is the master of consistency. Always prepared, always professional. Always the man!


Donnie Simpson3

Donnie Simpson

The natural. From radio to Video Soul and back again. Donnie Simpson is a star. He has “it”, whatever it is and everybody loves it.


Frankie Crocker1

Frankie Crocker

The chief rocker, Frankie Crocker. The baddest man to ever dawn a pair of headphones. He captivated New York City in the 70’s & 80’s with his charm, whit and slickness. He was PD at WBLS, MC’d shows at the Apollo Theater, was one of the first VJ’s at VH1, appeared in several movies, promoted concerts at Madison Square Garden and more.  If Frankie Crocker wasn’t on your radio, your radio wasn’t on. God Bless Frankie Crocker.

Honorable Mention to: Gary Byrd, Pat Prescott, Doug Banks, Traci LaTrelle, Pam Robinson, Johnny Morris, Marsha Robinson, Pam Wells, EZ Wiggins, Frankie Ross, Greg Mack, Geoff Gill, Rick Nuhn, Gillian Harris, Lisa Canning, Fred Buggs, G. Keith Alexander, Gerry Bledsoe ,Larry Tinsley, Kenny Webb, Bobby O’Jay,  Dr. Feelgood, Sunny Taylor, Marco Spoon, Tricsina Grey, Frank Ski, Carol Blackmon, SiMan Alexander, Sean Andre and others including the overwhelmingly popular and successful Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey, Ricky Smiley, Doug Banks and the like.

Frankie and friends

Got a Top Ten of your own? Share it with us, if we use it in The Buzz we’ll send you a great CD from the Concord Music Group. Submit your Top Ten list to [email protected].

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A look at today’s Adult R&B music scene, as well as a look back at all the things that make the Old School cool! Find it all on Top 10 Now & Then… The Most Unique Countdown Show on the Radio Today.

3 Responses

  1. Frank

    Tom Reed was a great wit at KGFJ in Los Angeles during my youth in the mid-sixties. His show started with his great rant: This is the show that’s bound to more dips in your hips; more stride in your glide and more strut in your cut. If you can’t dig it, you’ve got a hole in your soul and you don’t eat chicken on Sunday!… this dude was too cool.

  2. Rafael

    You guys forgot about Cliff Winston, Frankie Ross, Lon McQ, all from the KJLH family.