PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS3 is celebrating Philadelphia’s radio legends during Black History Month. We talked to three women who each have their own sound and style, inspiring, informing and entertaining.
Their voices are as much a part of the fabric of Philadelphia as cheesesteaks and Tastykakes.READ MORE: 25-Year-Old Woman Robbed After Offering $5 To Suspect Asking For Money In Fairmount, Philadelphia Police Say
“Ain’t no party like an old school party and we do it well,” Lady B said.
Classix 107.9’s Lady B and WDAS radio’s Patty Jackson and Mimi Brown have been in the homes of Philadelphia listeners for as many as four decades each.
“I remember my first day like yesterday. I didn’t think I would do so much, but I’ve been having so much fun,” Jackson said.
Jackson has been having fun and making radio look easy for years, saying it’s always been her destiny.
“I’ve been in front of a microphone all of my life. I was the little girl in church reading the poem for Easter Sunday. I was the basketball announcer. I was the high school announcer. Literally, God has just placed this destiny and I’ve just been walking in it ever since,” Jackson said.
The soothing sound of her voice is undeniably distinguishable, the celebrities she’s interviewed clutter the walls at WDAS.
“Knowing that you can touch someone and they’ve never seen you and they don’t know what you look like, but you’re able to touch them and they feel that they know you, it’s one of the most gratifying parts to me,” Jackson said.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Jackson, along with her friends and fellow radio legends, Lady B and Mimi Brown.
“This is hip hop,” Lady B said.READ MORE: Thieves Steal ATM From West Philadelphia Laundromat
Hip hop legend Lady B began her career as a rapper.
“I am the first female to do a hip hop song on WDAS. There was others who rapped before me but yes, first one to get a record deal,” Lady B said.
Lady B pivoted to radio, convincing stations early on to play rap music, helping to launch the career of Philly’s own Will Smith.
“Every decade has been different. Of course, the beginning was hip hop and breaking artists like Will Smith and the Public Enemy’s and the Run-D.M.C.s of the world. Just introducing them to a mass of people was truly an honor and a pleasure,” Lady B said.
While the music has changed over the years so have the times, with radio becoming a sounding board for social justice issues and community outreach.
“This has been a crazy year — the election, the protests, it’s been a very emotional ride and I’ve been riding it right here from home with my listeners and just trying to get us through this together,” Lady B said.
“For me, it’s all about sincerity. Can I come to you with love, can I come to you with honesty?” Brown said.
Brown is among her trail-blazing, glass-ceiling-shattering radio friends, starting out as one of the first female DJs in what was once a male-dominated world.
“I was the first female that I know of in the country or even the world that was doing the club scene,” she said.
These three Philly radio legends have etched an indelible mark on the city, leaving future broadcasters with this.MORE NEWS: A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Longwood Gardens' $250 Million Expansion Project That Gets Underway Today
“The power of the microphone comes with a deep responsibility,” Lady B said, “and once you say something, you can apologize for it, but you’ll never take it back.”