Title: Novella Smith recounts the close relationship between Black deejays, Black artists, and music industry personnel
Creator: Smithsonian Productions
Date Created: 1996-01-04
Physical Dimensions: WAV
Transcript: So we were in the league of the stars. And when I say the league of the stars, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, James Brown. We used to hang together. We were very good friends. We visited one another when we were in each others' cities. Unlike what radio is today. Most announcers don't even know the artists. The Jerry Butlers. Now I do have lots of pictures. I do that. And the stars in those years. The Dukes of Earl, the Gene Chandlers, and the Ernie K-does, and the Dionne Warwicks. You know? The Maxine Browns. We knew each other. The Berry Gordys.
Berry Gordy and I would sit in restaurants together. As a matter of fact, he still owes me ten dollars. And I love to say that because I lent him ten dollars years, and years, and years, and years ago. And he forgot to pay me back. And I can say well Berry owes me ten dollars. And people say, "Berry Gordy?" Well, we associated with each other on a regular basis. We talked to one another on the telephone because we were connected.
The separation that radio and artists have today I don't understand. Because I think if I made the stars today that I made yesterday - and we were star makers - we were the pace setters. If we didn't play the records, they didn't get the exposure. If they didn't get it on Black radio, White radio could never pick it up.
Special collection number: SC 39
Special collection name: Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was