June 29th 2009 NYC Last Thursday after the announcement of Michael Jackson’s untimely death, 107.5 WBLS remembered the music icon, by celebrating his life and accomplishments.
WBLS preempted the “Quiet Storm and opened the phone lines. April Woodward, sitting in for Wendy Williams and Imhotep Gary Byrd fielded calls for eleven hours from listeners sharing their Michael moments. Former BLS staffers like Champaine and Ken “Spider” Webb shared their Jackson stories on air with the tri state listeners. For Champaine, it was answering a call as Frankie Crocker’s assistant when a little voice called saying Michael was calling for Frankie and her asking Michael who? And for Ken it was him giving advice to a kid just starting out it show business. And while a string of special guests like R & B’s Michael Bevins, former Michael Jackson Attorney, Rev Al Sharpton and Cynthia Horner, founder of Right On Magazine and longtime friend called in, WBLS went to the archives from their 35 years of broadcasting to rebroadcast a Michael Jackson/Frankie Crocker interview. Legendary Hal Jackson commented, “I have known Michael Jackson since he burst on the entertainment scene in the 1960s. Berry Gordy called and told me about a fantastic group of brothers that he wanted me to see. I immediately confirmed to have them as a guest on the Miss Black America television show – making that appearance their first time on television. Over the years Michael and I became very close.
We also took the tribute viral, with a tribute to Michael on WBLS.com. We honored him with a history of his life and music, photos of Michael Jackson with members of the WBLS family, podcasts featuring Michael’s music and memories from those who knew him.
Tonight, WBLS will be on hand for the free Michael Jackson Memorial at the World’s Famous Apollo Theater featuring a video tribute, a moment of silence led by Rev. Al Sharpton and DJ’s mixing music from Michael Jackson extensive music catalog.
1190 WLIB and 107.5WBLS are subsidiaries of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation founded by the honorable Percy E. Sutton and fellow African-American investors in 1971. ICBC’s 1190 WLIB is New York’s first Black owned radio station and WBLS is New York’s only black-owned FM radio station. Stations WLIB and WBLS were purchased by parent company ICBC in 1972 and 1974 respectively.