WDIA’s Bev John­son headed to Ten­nessee Ra­dio Hall of Fame

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page - Bob Mehr Mem­phis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

Mem­phis broad­caster Bev John­son is headed to the Hall of Fame.

John­son, the veteran WDIA host and per­son­al­ity, is among mem­bers of the 2019 class that will be in­ducted into the Ten­nessee Ra­dio Hall of Fame.

The 65-year-old John­son will be the first African-Amer­i­can woman in­ducted into the hall.

The Mem­phis-born John­son grad­u­ated from Rust Col­lege in Holly Springs, Mis­sis­sippi. She be­gan her ca­reer at WJSU Ra­dio in Jack­son, Mis­sis­sippi, in 1976. She would spend the next five years work­ing in the mar­ket as a disc jockey, pro­gram­ming as­sis­tant, pub­lic af­fairs di­rec­tor and news di­rec­tor. In 1981, John­son re­turned to her home­town of Mem­phis work­ing at WLOK, WMQM and WWEE/WLVS, even­tu­ally land­ing at his­toric sta­tion WDIA where she’s been a sta­ple of the pro­gram­ming for four decades, in­clud­ing more than 30 years as host of “The Bev John­son Show.”

John­son has pre­vi­ously been rec­og­nized with awards from the Na­tional Black Pro­gram­mers Coali­tion, Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Broad­cast­ers and Bill­board mag­a­zine. She has also been hon­ored by the Ten­nessee House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Mem­phis City Coun­cil and the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for her work in ra­dio.

The Ten­nessee Ra­dio Hall of Fame was founded 2011 and be­gan in­duct­ing mem­bers in 2012. John­son will join a pres­ti­gious group of Bluff City ra­dio icons — in­clud­ing Ru­fus Thomas, Nat D. Wil­liams, Dewey Phillips, Ge­orge Klein and oth­ers — who al­ready have been en­shrined.

In­duc­tion cer­e­monies for the 2019 Ten­nessee Ra­dio Hall of Fame will take place Aug. 3 in Murfrees­boro.


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