Paging Doctor Jerry Boulding
December 4, 2013
Jerry was all about connection and touch. No one was a stranger around him; he was always there with an ear to listen and a kind word of encouragement. He made us happy, was timeless, and always in the now. He was never "old school" or "new school" ... he was just school. He was a historical figure not just in black radio, but our industry as a whole. If he had asked for an agent fee from all of us he helped, he would've made millions.
One of the most fitting tributes to Jerry is to share some of the countless stories and thoughts from those he helped with their careers. The following is a collection of stories from social media, e-mails, texts and phone calls. Knowing when to stop writing was the hardest part of doing this piece on the Doctor. There are so many things I could tell you about Jerry; unfortunately there is not enough column space or time to mention all the ways he touched our lives.
He loved word alliteration; Jerry had some one-liners he would throw at you at just the right moment. I had the pleasure of hearing him repeat many of them at various times, half the fun was seeing the pleasure he got telling them. Here are a few of his gems:
"I hear what you're saying, but I know you didn't say what I'm hearing"
"Like the Russian said, 'I hate to leave, but I Moscow'"
"I hear you hummin' but I ain't comin'"
"In the hallways as always"
"Fever in the Funk-house"
Whether it was a radio contest or the Urban Network convention, Jerry loved themes, like his War College, the Yen to Win contest at KDIA in Oakland, and the Superstar Super Car contest at WJPC. He always would say "Weave, you have to have a hook and word it just right." Jerry was all radio even in death; he left us on Thanksgiving, a Thursday, the first day for Arbitron diarykeepers.
I learned a lot of things from Jerry but there are two things I still live by -- always leave others in a defensible position; and even when something is right, it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do or the right time to do it.
Jerry loved to share so I thought it would be good for all of us to hear some of the Jerry stories and thoughts expressed towards his life. The one thing that stands out to me in all these stories is that although we all knew Jerry talked to many people and had many friends, he made us feel like we were the only one. He let us know that The Doctor was always on call. I am truly going to miss him.
Tom Joyner - The Tom Joyner Morning Show, TJMS Reach Media Inc
(From Tom's little-known Black History Facts): Jerry hired me from Texas to come to WVON to replace a legend, Jumping Joe Cobb -- remember the Soul Train announcer who said in a high-pitched voice, "The Soul Train?" It was a big step; everything was going along well and then the station got sold. And when the station got sold, they fired everybody ... everybody. One of the legends there was E. Rodney Jones. He was like the station manager and Jerry was the PD.
They fired me! I went to Rodney and said, "Rodney, they fired me." He said, "Oh yeah, Youngblood, they fired you?" And then here comes Jerry and he says, "Rodney, Rodney, they fired the Doctor, the Doctor of Radio. I had the patient on the operating table I had him open, wasn't' even using anesthesia, and they fired me." Rodney said, "They did? Wait a minute." Rodney picks up the phone, dials, and says into the phone, "Thelma, is he up there? Tell him I'm coming up." Rodney headed on up to the office to see the new manager.
So while we was waiting for Rodney to come back, Jerry is just pacing and pacing and mumbling, "They fired the Doctor, the Doctor of Radio, I had the patient on the operating table, wide open, no anesthesia." He is just pacing. Rodney comes back to the room and Jerry says, "Rodney, Rodney, Rodney, what happened?" And Rodney says, "They fired me, too, Jerry!" Jerry Boulding ... he turned my career around, and I thank you, Jerry.
Tom offered more recollections on his morning show, which can be heard courtesy of BlackAmericaWeb.com here. http://blackamericaweb.com/191495/little-known-black-history-fact-jerry-boulding/
Skip Dillard – OM, WBLS-WLIB/New York
My best memories of Jerry were the SUPER panels he organized at the early Urban Network and industry conventions. While Black Radio was "suspicious" of Rhythmic and Churban-leaning stations moving more into "Urban" territory, Jerry saw the increased interest in Black music and lifestyles as an opportunity. His diverse panels included industry pros with varied backgrounds including both Urban and Top 40. These panels played a major part in encouraging me to explore multiple formats, which eventually led me to my interest in programming. Jerry was like that. He really pushed you to look for the road signs that were just out of sight in your career journey. I really hope he was proud of the many people he positively impacted (including me) along the way!
Larry Khan – SVP/Urban Promotions, Interscope
I will always remember the Doctor's passion for radio. He spoke about radio the way Steve Jobs spoke about the iPhone. It didn't matter whether he was moderating a panel or just paying a friendly visit. Jerry was radio and he so wanted to pass the science other formats possessed to Urban. The true Urban radio technician.
Elroy R. C. Smith – OM, WRNB/WPPZ and Inspiration Format Dir./Philadelphia - Radio One, Inc.
Here are 10 memorable qualities of Jerry Boulding I will always remember:
1. He always looked out for his fellow broadcaster.
2. He was a mentor to so many of us.
3. He always inquired about one's family.
4. He had an astute understanding of how to interpret ratings.
5. He wanted all of us to learn as much about Arbitron/Nielsen as we could.
6. When he programmed WWRL-A/New York in the '70s, I was in school learning about broadcasting in New York and I was enamored by the way he programmed that radio station. By studying WWRL from afar, I became even more thrilled to go after radio because of what I was hearing through the speakers of WWRL -- and a lot it had to do with the skills and talent of Jerry Boulding.
7. He was an encyclopedia for Urban radio.
8. He was someone who always found hope in what may have looked hopeless.
9. When someone lost their job in radio, one would think that Jerry Boulding was hired to be their agent, because he would be one of the first people to call and offer suggestions on new opportunities or reached out to potential employers on one's behalf
10. He was a pro, a gentleman and a person who I and many others are honored to say we knew.
Daniel Anstandig - Founder/CEO, LDR Interactive
Jerry Boulding was a kind and generous man who took a genuine personal interest in seeing others succeed. I first met Jerry while we served together on the board of directors for The Conclave. Jerry always brought levity to our meetings, and when he had something to say, people listened. Usually, his commentary would start with a careful placement of his glasses on the table, a presidential facial expression, and a sound-bite that the rest of us would quote all day. We've kept in touch in the years since The Conclave, and I always looked forward to seeing him and sharing a laugh. Jerry loved the radio business, but even more, he loved being a part of serving and developing people. Our business is a better one because of the Doctor. I'll miss him.
Mike Love - Sr. Dir./Programming, Urban, Cumulus Media/Dallas
As a 30-year vet of radio and being mentored by you most of my radio life, I am truly saddened by your passing. As you knew, we loved you, Jerry, and your radio family is very large and extremely loyal. Your insight, valued comments and positive reinforcement of excellence in character will be missed. You taught us all to hold our heads up, take no prisoners and be proud broadcasters no matter what format we favored. We miss you already, Doc; may God bless and keep you safe in his loving arms.
Maxx Myrick – Dir./Operations/PD, WHUR /Washington DC
I just spoke to Jerry two Fridays ago, two days before he went into the hospital. I know it's true but it's hard to accept that Jerry won't be calling anymore to ask about music, or radio, or giving up the latest scoop. He won't be pitching the latest jingle package or syndicated show. He won't be on a panel at NABOB or the Conclave. I've been in this business since 1977 and Jerry has been a presence the whole time, always "The Doctor," always moving forward. I'm going to miss his intellect, his drive and that laugh.
Man ... when I think of the Dr., I envision a picture of a headmaster presiding over a sea of programmers and air talent whose faces include many if not all of my friends and colleagues over the years in this business. I remember the conversations we had about not just programming mechanics and Arbitron methodology, but about programming philosophy. The talks we had about how important it is for a program director to teach and coach and to be able to explain to a staff "the method behind the madness." Jerry also had the ability to make declarative statements more eloquently than anybody I know. The idea that "Too many stations play down to a price and not up to a standard" explains the state of radio today so clearly that I don't think it can be said any better.
Bob Shannon, Executive Director of the Conclave/Minneapolis
Jerry was my friend. He was always wise, always supportive, and always willing to laugh at me and tell me why I should laugh at myself. When I became Executive Director of the Conclave he was one of the first to call and to offer his services. "Joel and I want to do all we can to make you and the Conclave successful. We believe." Like many who've written in this space I feel a void already.
Bob wrote "Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996." Here is an excerpt from a chapter where Jerry talks about his beginnings in radio.
In the early '50s, Pittsburgh radio was interesting enough, but it was the late night signals - the big AMs from far away - that grabbed young Boulding's ears. "I listened to WLAC/Nashville, when the skip patterns took over and heard 'Hoss Man' Bill Allen and John R, two white guys, playing rhythm and blues." He also listened to artists like Ruth Brown, Lloyd Price, and The Drifters and songs that, for the most part, weren't being played on radio stations in western Pennsylvania.
"I went to where the music was," says Boulding. "The color of the guys presenting it wasn't important."
Although few and far between there were some full-time black radio stations on the air back in the day. "But," Boulding explains, "they were mostly in the south, in cities with heavy black populations: Birmingham, Mobile, Miami, Atlanta, and Macon. But, in a lot of markets black programming just didn't exist, except for rhythm and blues shows on weekends."
WILY-AM/Pittsburgh made its money selling time to preachers and it was there, on a daytime only signal, that Boulding got his radio start. "The station needed someone to run the (preacher's) tapes and I was lucky if I opened the microphone three times. Still, I knew if I stuck around long enough my time would come."
Boulding had already decided the [Pittsburgh] mills were a bad idea. So, when he graduated from high school, he went on to college, earning a bachelor's degree at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University. "I did it so I could have some career options."
When I asked Boulding about the future of radio, he wasn't quick to answer. "I'd like to think about that answer before I give it to you," he said. After a moment, he spoke. "I believe in what radio is and what I know it can be."
"And, that's the short version," says the good Doctor.
Dave Hurricane Smith - OM/PD, Radio One/Atlanta
RIP to one of the best whoever did it, The Dr. Jerry Boulding. He taught all of us at black radio about "Phantom Cume" and numerous other strategies and techniques that weren't even being talked about on our side of the business. I consider you a friend and a mentor. God bless you on your journey.
Gary Bernstein – Pres./Programming, Syndication One Radio Network
I truly considered him a special friend. When I started in the business, he always made me feel like I was part of a group, even when I did not know many of the people in the room. His introductions to a panel were something I always looked forward to as they were filled with wisdom, wit humor, and utter brilliance. It was almost like some of the classic Johnny Carson monologues. That utterly brilliant!
He would always take the extra time and teach, but do it in a way with a humor and texture that was just legendary. He was a legend. My first experience working with him was doing a live broadcast with Frankie Crocker at the Urban Network. Jerry was always there for me through the years. When I needed advice, he would give it, always with a special doctor's certification, as he was truly the doctor of radio.
Last year at the All Access Music Conference the doctor asked me to participate on a panel. Before the panel began, a young broadcaster claimed there was a haunted floor at the Roosevelt Hotel. I went up the elevator with her to the 9th floor and experienced some rather weird occurrences. When I got down to the lobby, Jerry saw the look on my face and was curious enough to want to take the next elevator to the 9th floor. Though he didn't find anything extraterrestrial, I will never forget the kid's look on his face as he went up to explore something mysterious. He lived with passion and class, and was always eager to learn and teach. He was the one kind person who was truly out of this world!
David C. Linton - Music Industry Consultant/Atlanta
My first encounter with Jerry Boulding was as a kid growing up in New York City listening to WWRL Super Soul 16 where he was an on-air personality known as "Jolly Jerry B." I first met Jerry in 1981 at my first Music Industry Convention where I was standing close enough to overhear a conversation of a group of PDs far enough not to be an intrusion. After the conversation I approached Jerry and asked if he was Jolly Jerry B from WWRL back in the day. He said yes, and like a radio groupie I started reciting things the jocks would say or mention programming things the station did that stuck with me; that began an association which turned into a friendship.
Jerry, in that short conversation (if there was ever was a short one with Jerry when it came to radio) told me about clocks, A & B stacks, quarter-hours, so much to absorb in such a short time. He gave me his information and thus I became a patient of the Radio Doctor. He would later educate me about contesting, quarter-hours and that Thursday was the most important day of the week in radio terms.
I never thought my career path would put me in a position to become a colleague and friend in this crazy business. He would call on me to sit on panels he moderated. Although, he's known as the "Doctor," who can forget his "War College" sessions at his Urban Network Conferences where he entered the room in army fatigues and beret. Only Jerry, only the Doctor!
I'm now the Chairman of the Living Legends Foundation which Jerry co-founded with Ray Harris & Barbara Lewis. Jerry was serving as Vice President at the time of his transition. We had just talked earlier in the day prior to his hospitalization about foundation matters. Jerry will be missed but to hear his influence, just turn on the radio!
Roy Sampson - Broadcast Marketing, lbiquity Digital/Baltimore
I've known Jerry since his days as PD of WEBB radio in Baltimore. I will never forget our many programming conversations and talks about the industry. From the first time I spoke to him, the flow of knowledge began. Guy Brody mentioned on his Facebook post remembering how he and I as teenagers would drive to New York from Baltimore, park and listen to WWRL during Jerry's programming days there. I remember as teenagers and new broadcasters how Guy and I would talk about the perfect resonance in his voice and absolutely perfect diction. Whenever Guy and I would talk about radio, we would trade off Jerry impersonations, deepening our voice. Guy did it best!
Although Jerry moved during his radio days from the Mid-Atlantic, he never lost his love of Maryland seafood, particularly Maryland Blue Crabs. Not crabcakes! Jerry loved them steamed, opening them with some good old fashioned pounding and picking. He always credited me with finding his favorite restaurant for them here in Baltimore. I had lunch with him the last day of the NABOB conference last month. We planned to go to dinner when he would be back in town a month later for the Nielsen Audio conference. Yes, we were going to do some pounding and picking. I'll miss that hug and embrace whenever we got together and countless good times.
Michael L. Frisby, VP & Asst. General Counsel Music Affairs Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment/Los Angeles
I first became aware of Jerry Boulding in 1966 during my freshman year at Howard University. Jerry was a DJ on Washington's top R&B station, WOL. Being a country boy from Mississippi, I was fascinated and amazed at how good WOL sounded. I later became a DJ at WOL's crosstown competitor, WOOK. Once I went on the air, Jerry became my mentor. Even though we worked at competing stations, Jerry was always available to answer any of my dumb questions.
Later, in 1975, I called Jerry and asked him if he knew of any good job openings and he said that the then-current PD at WDIA/Memphis was leaving and that I should give them a call. I got the job. Then in 1978, I decided to leave radio and utilize my law degree. I only confided in one person about my plan. That person had worked in L.A. as a record company executive and had re-located to Memphis. I would not have known him if I wasn't living in Memphis. He sent my resume to a law firm in L.A., which offered me a job.
Therefore, Jerry Boulding, was not only directly responsible for me getting the PD job at WDIA but he was also indirectly responsible for me getting my first job as an attorney.
Walt Baby Love - Walt Baby Love Gospel Traxx Product of WestwoodOne/Los Angeles
First, I'd like to send my sincere condolences and prayers to his family. Jerry was always one of my biggest supporters in the radio industry. I first met him back in 1966 when I was still on active duty in the U.S. Army on my second tour of duty just back from Southeast Asia. I came to New York City at the invitation of one of my childhood friends, Alfred Jefferson; on-air talent name (Jeffery Troy) who was working for Jerry at WWRL-A/New York. Not knowing that one day I'd get the radio bug to become an on-air talent and this man would become one of my biggest supporters. As time moved on and I realized this was something I wanted to try, our paths crossed again when I sent one of my airchecks to Jeff and Jerry. His PD overheard it and asked, "Who's that guy?" Jeff told him, "It's the guy you met that I grew up with back in Pennsylvania who's still in the Army." He got my address and sent me an encouraging note to tell me to, "Keep it up!"
After my honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, I decided to try the radio world for "real" starting out in Houston at KYOK-A, and Jerry somehow kept up with my progress and career and was always keeping an eye on me, which was truly kind and thoughtful of him. I always let him know how appreciative I was of his encouragement because he didn't have to do it, but he did! I thank GOD for his life, his career and his positive influence on me as a talent. There's more I could say, but with limited space I'll end with something that used to make him laugh when we would see each other out someplace and he would say with that deep baritone voice, "Hey man! I know you're doin' alright!" And I'd always replay, "AIRBORNE ... ALL THE WAY!" He got a kick out of my disciplined military demeanor.
Lenore Williams – VP/Affiliate Operations, AURN/Pittsburgh
Really narrowing it down to one thing is so hard. But my favorite story has got to be when Jerry first met up with Joe "Butterball" Tamburo at WDAS. Actually, Butter told the story to me. Jerry happened to be calling when he was doing his consultant gig and told Butter, "I'm 'The Docto'" and I can help you make your radio station #1 in the market. YOU NEED ME!" Butter said he was wondering who the (and Butter turned to me and said, excuse my language, but who the @##%%#@ ) is this guy and what nerve, so he told him to fly in and meet with him. So the following week Jerry flew in to Philadelphia and came to the station dressed in scrubs, stethoscope, mask, the whole surgery get-up and announced to Butter, "The Doctor Is In." They became friends for life after that.
I have often thought you should have a dictionary with some of the words Jerry would use and I would have roasted him on that aspect. He was dramatic, expressive and passionate. He would break down the "mathematics" of any show, program or "Arbitron" numbers (PPM and diary) for programmers better than anyone I know. And he would take it to the base level so anyone could understand without making them feel small. Jerry was a mentor, a fighter and a friend.
Eric Faison - Affiliate Relations, Access 1 Communications/Super Radio Networks
A lot of our conversations revolved around me reminiscing about listening to WWRL when I was a kid. Even then I knew that there was something different about that station versus the other R&B station down the dial. It wasn't until years later that I found out that Jerry was the genius behind that sound and the programming techniques used to craft it. Jerry would listen to me as I thought back, tell some behind-the-scenes stories, and then I would ask him where the tapes were and when the book about his career was coming out. Not long ago James Alexander and I were on the phone and James was telling his own back in the day story and couldn't remember some detail so we called Jerry. When we got though two hours later it felt like I had taken a refresher course in Black Radio 101. Jerry steered me in the right direction during a personal crisis a few years ago. I thank him and I'll never forget that. There is a huge wisdom and knowledge void now ... who do we turn to?
Vinny Brown - Media Consultant/New York City
Jerry Boulding stories are many. However, they are difficult to tell without the benefit of respectfully doing our best impression of the Good Doctor (which most of us must admit have attempted to do from time to time) when sharing their Boulding experience with others.
Jerry was class personified. I remember him as a mentor who generously shared wisdom and advice and as motivator and supporter during challenging times. He was happy to cheer and write about the success of others. He was one of the great ones. The industry has lost a giant; most of us have lost a dear friend. However, his influence will continue to live through those who knew him or had the good fortune and opportunity to have worked with him.
I'll miss hearing him on our monthly conference calls for the "Living Legends Foundation" of which he was a founding member, along with missing his thoughts in "All Access."
We all know how Jerry loved analyzing Arbitron research, and through the years I always looked forward to joining him for our quarterly routine diary review; now ironically they both are gone. He will be missed. RIP, Dr. Jerry Boulding. Prayers for his family.
Tony Gray – Pres./CEO, Gray Communications/Chicago
In terms of my relationship with Jerry, it goes back many years. But among some of the most interesting and humorous times were regarding working at WJPC for Mr. John Johnson and GM Charles Mootry. Jerry had a wide ranging career covering many markets, but working there seemed to be influential for him. Working there on a day to day basis and observing Mr. Johnson's management style was something Jerry always expressed with high regard. And every time we talked he had a story concerning someone on that air staff; whether it was Tom Joyner, LaDonna Tittle, Bill Meyers, Bobby Brown, and of course you, Sam. Jerry was in a constant state of learning and laughing, I will miss our talks.
James Alexander - Internet Marketing & Broadcast Consultant
I have had many (nothing but positive) conversations, interactions, observations (and the like) with him over the years. If I were to "sum it up," it would be that he remained to the end "relevant and a contributor" to the industry that he loved and was able to express and share his passion. My story would be that I was able to express such "to him" and to "thank him."
Kathy Brown - Radio Executive/Washington, D.C.
Jerry was a mentor to me. He took time to always explain stuff. He said "KB, you know you're one of my favorite people and I don't say that to everybody." I would just smile as I heard him tell another programmer the same thing. But he made all of us feel special. He said, "KB you have to realize that many women have opened the door for you, but only a few women have the talent to walk through. When you do walk through, make sure you open the gate for other programmers." I know that I have. Thank you, Jerry, for your wisdom and guidance.
Tony D – Pres./CEO, Artist Connections Agency
It was rough day finding out my buddy Jerry Boulding who always believed in me passed away. I went back to read all the e-mails he sent me!
Shelly Dark - Radio Industry Veteran
We just spoke and caught up a few months ago on radio and family. As always, he spoke with six decades of industry wisdom, with youthful enthusiasm and in a caring, gentle voice that could cure all ills. He will be sorely missed and remembered, not only for his professional contributions to radio and records, but also for his dedication to and encouragement of others.
Bobby Holiday - PD/afternoons, WKJX 96.7/Elizabeth City, NC
There are many stories I can give you about The Doctor. My all-time favorite stories about Jerry dealt with his time programming in Chicago. Now, I am born and raised in the Windy City. Chi-town is where my radio education began. I was a WJPC listener. The Great AM 95 ... back when Tom Joyner did mornings, LaDonna Tittle in the middays, BBD The Banana in the afternoons and Janice "Gorgeous" Gordon on at night. I LOVED IT!!!
I met Jerry in 1996 at a BRE Convention in Atlanta. We became great friends in 1998. Jerry was very engaging with his stories. He had this uncanny ability to draw you in to his stories and make you feel like you are going through it. He would tell me stories about his days of programming WJPC ... AND I WAS HOOKED! He'd talk about how he would have to reign in BBD The Banana because he would say things, that at times, crossed the line into "shock." It would be funny...but nonetheless shocking. And that was tough for Jerry because he LOVED BBD and didn't want stifle his creativity. Every time Jerry would tell me a Chicago radio story I was glued to the phone. I had no idea that some of the great Chicago radio I had the pleasure and privilege of listening to, Mr. Boulding laid the groundwork behind the scenes. Who knew that Jerry Boulding was shaping my love for radio in the '70s long before our first meeting in 1996?
As I've said, I have many stories about The Doctor. His Chicago stories always held my attention because they were great to hear and I realized that his stories helped to shape the direction my life were to travel. Rest in peace, Jerry Boulding, your work on this planet is done and it is up to us mere mortals to carry on the great work you so proudly left for us!
Verna S. Green - Former VP/GM WJLB andWMXD/Detroit
I was fortunate to meet Jerry early in my career as GM of WJLB/ Detroit. I found out for myself why the industry referred to him as "the Doctor." At the time (the mid-to-late '80s) the station was market leader with teens and young adults -- with numbers strong enough to place #1 or 2 in 12+ ratings. One book surprised us when the numbers took a sudden and unexplainable drop. I contacted Jerry to do an official Arbitron diary review in Laurel, MD. I attended that day-long review and received my Arbitron diary real-world tutorial from The Doctor. Jerry meticulously vetted station slogans and credits and discovered that a local rock station with a close dial position (yes, this was before digital) was stealing credits that rightfully belonged to WJLB. We also discovered that another Urban station was not getting all of its credits -- but for different reasons. Jerry walked me through the process of challenging the process used to grant the Rock station the Time Spent Listening that rightfully belonged to WJLB. Jerry's counsel regarding ratings credit deflected the Rock station's subsequent efforts to gain at WJLB's expense. I will be forever grateful for Jerry's sharp eye and even sharper wits in helping WJLB defend and retain its ratings strength during the '80s and '90s. Even with today's updated technology with meters rather than diaries, I believe The Doctor could help stations maximize their stats. Rest in peace, Jerry. Thank you for a job well done!
Tom Kay – Dir. Emeritus, The Conclave/Minneapolis
About 20 years ago, the Conclave initiated a series of one-day air talent instruction called TalenTrak. Shortly after, Jerry joined the Conclave Board and attended each and every one as faculty. After witnessing Jerry's incredible propensity for selfless sharing, I asked him why he would take valuable weekends away from his family, dipping into his personal finances for his travel and hotel, just to instruct at TalenTrak. His response, "If we don't teach and inspire these upcoming talents, who will?" The industry is richer because of Jerry's answer, "I will!"
John Monds - Air personality, WMMJ/Washington, D.C.
I'm going to miss Jerry; he was responsible for my inclusion in several syndicated shows. While I haven't been in the business quite as long as Jerry was, we could both find the humor in how the business has changed. Jerry was not just a friend to me, but at times a counselor, an agent and best of all, a cheerleader, always with a positive outlook on life and the business. I will miss not being able to pick up the phone for a quick chat with my friend.
Sean Ross - Ross On Radio
WJPC/Chicago was one of my influential radio stations. When I programmed WGCI-A Chicago in the '90s, I was trying to tap into the history of WVON, but also Jerry's WJPC. When Jerry came to the station to do a "one-day" listen and said positive things, it meant a lot to me. There was also one announcer who'd worked with Jerry, who he'd been frustrated with, and he said, "Wow, you've gotten a lot out of him." That was one of the best things anybody could have said, especially Jerry.
Guy Black - Former KJLH air personality/Los Angeles
My heart is heavy today. I have lost my friend, mentor and one of the smartest men I knew in the radio business. God has taken his son Jerry Boulding away from us and brought him home.
When I was 15 years old, I met Jerry at WJPC in Chicago ... I asked him to give me a job on the air ... He laughed and sai, "Young man, you don't understand my Theory." We were friends ever since that day. Shortly after that he got me my first professional on-air break at a station in Milwaukee. I spend many hours, days, months and years learning and talking to Jerry about radio and life. He taught me the essence of being a great radio person. He often told me that he was proud of me and thought I was one of the best at what I did; in fact he told me that in our last conversation just days before he fell ill. I always said to him, "It's because of what you taught me. That's why I'm able to compete." He was the greatest! I will always cherish our time, whether it was an hour breakfast in Atlanta at Rob Neal's Conference or five minutes on the phone while he was working hard at All Access. I know there will never be another like him.
Pam Wells - ImpactRadio.com
Jerry and I used to meet every Thursday for sushi and sake when I lived in Chicago. He was a wonderful human being. The industry has truly lost one of its finest leaders.
Terry Bello - Sr. Exec., The International Soule Music Group
One of my mentors and a person I called a true friend. Always making me better and go a little harder...We had so many great convo's over the last 20 years -- Thank You, Doc! Rest in Peace Jerry 'The Doctor" Boulding. One of the best in the radio business and people biz, he paved the way for me and mentored so many. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. In the arms of the angel, fly away from here. I know you are in good hands now. Rest in Peace, Doc.
Brut Bailey - Radio and music veteran
Though the door may have closed ... closed between us and a friend in transition, may we remember with kind thoughts and a calming grace, one who has touched many. And in order for time with Jerry to stay alive, despite the dark weight of his passing, may we not lose him that we love, from the shelters of our hearts. Jerry imprinted us, made a good mark on us and gave much more than just a contribution to us all. Jerry was a wonderful man
Ray Harris - Former record executive, Sony, Epic, and WB
I have known Jerry nearly 40 years, one part of him being one of the greatest and knowledgeable programmers ever, and the other as my partner and co-founder in establishing The Living Legends Foundation. Jerry was a giver and humanitarian. He will be sorely missed.
Greg Johnson - Marketing Executive, KJLH/Los Angeles
I am sorrowful because Jerry Boulding was an inspiration to me for many reasons and many years. It was he who inspired me to pay attention to and learn the academic, statistical part if our profession. It was he who encouraged me to be the best. I treasure those conversations especially our most recent ones during the worldwide radio summit. I remember the War College, Urban Network, The Doctor is in and so much more. He is an icon and he will be missed.
Heather Jordan Martinez - Reporter/WK Anchor, WHO News 7/Des Moines
He was one of the nicest and most supportive guys I have been honored to work with in my 15+ years in this industry. Thank you, Jerry, for some great advice and my prayers go out to your family and the AllAccess.com family.
Jordan Brown (The Deadly Dr. Bobby Brown) - Editor/Publisher, Jordan Brown Jobs Report
In August 1982, Jerry Boulding met me at Chicago's O'Hara International Airport because he'd chosen me to be the new morning man at WJPC-A, which was owned by its founder John H. Johnson who had created his media empire in the early 1940s with a magazine called "Negro Digest." By 1982, Johnson Publishing had "Ebony" and "Jet" magazines, the Ebony Fashion Show and Fashion Fair Cosmetics. Jerry told me he knew I was nervous about taking over from Tom Joyner; he was transitioning to be the host of the company's latest project, Ebony Jet Celebrity Showcase, a syndicated television show.
Jerry and I had met years before. However, I was struck how he was able to tell me in detail about everything regarding my career. The point about Jerry that you loved was he was always excited like a kid about good radio. That's what kept "The Doctor" forever young.
Mr. Johnson treated his employees like movie stars, so Jerry had a Cadillac Seville, which is what all of Johnson's top managers drove. Getting a chance to work for Jerry and at WJPC was like dying and going to an All-Black Heaven. During the ride, he mentioned we were on our way to meet Mr. Johnson. I almost s##t myself, ha ha. If there was ever a Black man in America who could have been Batman if he wanted to, it was Mr. Johnson.
As he got up from his desk to meet us, Mr. Johnson's face broke out into a big smile, and with a voice higher than Mickey Mouse's, said "Mr. Brown, it's a pleasure to me you. Mr. Boulding's told me wonderful things about you." Jerry observed and did not join in the conversation, which lasted over an hour. My impression of the conversation was Mr. Johnson was a Black millionaire who still acted like one of the old guys in your barbershop or Head Deacon at your church. So, as we were leaving I said to Mr. Johnson, "I am proud to see with all your accomplishments, that you that you are still a regular N###er." Mr. Johnson paused, and then broke out laughing, "Yes I am." Doc wasn't sure if I had lost my mind along with both our jobs, ha ha. Our meeting with Mr. Johnson cemented my long friendship with Jerry.
Kelly Mac – Middays, 107.3 Jamz/Greenville, SC
Words can't explain how hurt I am to hear that we've lost you! You were a genuine, loving, radio passionate, caring soul who offered so much to not only me but this industry and I am going to miiiiiiiss you so much! We now have another angel looking over us and until we meet again, I love and appreciate you and all you've offered! I'll forever be grateful for the wisdom, knowledge, encouragement, love and push you've extended over the years! Gone but will never be forgotten.
Dana Hall - Former Exec. Dir., Radio-Info
Jerry called himself The Doctor -- and everyone knew him by that nickname. But I like to think of Jerry as the teacher. From my very first memory of Jerry at the early radio conventions I attended, Jerry was always there, whether on a panel or in the hallways talking to young radio programmers. In later years he would share his knowledge as a consultant and then as a journalist. For me personally, he was very generous and positive, always calling just to check in so we could exchange news tips and catch up on family and personal lives. Even when we worked at competing trades, Jerry was the one who always made a point of being the team player, sharing his knowledge with me. For me, it is something I will always try to emulate: to give back to those in the radio, the world he loved so deeply and knew so well.
Chris Malone - PD/afternoons, WBZJ/Raleigh, NC
He was very generous with his time and wisdom. I'll never forget when I randomly got a call to pick Jerry up from his hotel and join him and a friend for dinner, during one of his Memphis visits. We had never met before. I was just a 24-year-old stranger, who knew this was a rare opportunity. We listened to a ton of radio, we laughed, and he shared so many programming lessons in such a short time. I'm thankful for the many conversations that followed that moment. Doc was one of a kind.
Tony Richards - Air personality, WHUR/Washington, D.C.
May God rest the soul of one of the greatest men ever in radio, Dr. Jerry Boulding. I still remember the day, over 20 years ago, when I came home and heard his voice on my machine after sending him a demo tape. I thought I was dreaming. I played that message over and over just to hear his voice. For him to take the time to listen to my aircheck and call me was so big for my young career. I will never forget that! Thank you, Dr. Jerry Boulding, for being such an inspiration to me.
Kesha Monk - Air personality
Jerry e-mailed me before my cancer diagnosis. After I didn't get the job at WBLS, I fell into a depression. He told me, "Kesha, the reality is that the economy is bad and opportunities are limited - - even for someone as talented and qualified as you are. Get an agent. I will look out for you. Count on it. -- The Dr." And so, Jerry is now in heaven . . . and I am CONFIDENT that he will keep his word. I know that he will continue to look out for me. Life continues after death as long as you remember the meaning they brought to your life. He was an incredible mentor to me.
Jamon Perry - PD/afternoons, Streetz 94.5/Atlanta
This man did so much to push me into my career path. Jerry called me twice a week for a year, to inform me of opportunities he recommended me for and things that he thought I should work on. I always thanked him for the guidance, and I will truly miss him, and all that he has done for me.
Carol Ozemhoya – CEO, Cielo Entertainment/Atlanta
I was remembering when he was speaking at a music conference and he came in the room dressed in military camouflage with boots and everything! It like he was going to war for Black radio.
John W. Noble – Manager/Affiliate Sales, Cumulus Media Network/Greater Dallas Area
When I was with TM, I worked with the Doctor on a couple of jingle projects. He always wanted to use Sonovox on the package, and was adamant that the only memorable and successful jingle logos ended on an up note to propel into the music. I brought up to him the example of the WLS logo, which ends on a descending note, and is hugely successful. It's the musical logo for all of the KISS-FM jingles. I finally had him stumped, although he wouldn't admit it.
Carole Carper - Independent Events Services, Los Angeles
Our professional relationship spanned over 30 years and goes as far back as my St. Louis radio days in the late 1970s, when he nabbed me to do news at WVON/Chicago. That didn't happen because I took a job in Los Angeles instead where we eventually got to work together at Black Radio Exclusive Magazine. To work with Jerry was an entree into the history of black music, black radio and all the people who worked within. Jerry was eventually the force behind the founding of the Urban Network Magazine, which soon became the premier industry trade. He brought me on board and our first issue was February 1988. Like all families, we struggled, endured late nights, meeting publication deadlines and celebrated birthdays.
Hector Hannibal – VP/Radio Programming, Reach Media
Jerry was always encouraging to me. He made me understand the importance of visiting Arbitron to read diaries. He always had time to share his gift. Now I'm not sure how the name Doctor was assigned to him; I've heard a few versions...
Brion O' Brion - Former air personality, WKJX 96.7/Elizabeth City, NC
I am truly saddened. Dr. was a dear friend and ALWAYS gave me positive words whenever I was in a slump. He has guided me and has helped me be the better man that I am today. He was most recently my consultant at my former station WKJX/ 96.7 The Block in Elizabeth City, NC. He has helped me so much as a young programmer, and I will truly miss our weekly calls to one another. Jerry. I LOVE you my friend, and my GOD bless your soul. You are a GREAT man. I will see you when I get there my friend! — in Hampton, Virginia.
Mutter Evans - Media Consultant/Winston-Salem, NC
A gentleman and a scholar -- it was always a pleasure being in Jerry's company and hearing his laughter and his teaching. He shared his brilliance and experiences with hundreds over the decades in person, on panels, on-air, and through his writings ... He will be missed and his void is one that can't be filled. There's a legion of admirers and mentees waiting to greet him including Mark Raymond, Ac Stowe, Wayne K. Brown, and Butterball....
Lee Michaels - Founder and CEO, US TalkNetwork.com
For over 45 years, you have heard the name JERRY BOULDING, who was a radio professional, writer, publisher, radio personality, PD and a good friend. He lived for Radio JERRY BOULDING, we miss you already, man; your passion will be talked about forever and your deep rich voice will never be silent.
Doing great radio was not a job for JERRY; he loved radio, the people, the music, the artists and the many stations he programmed coast to coast.
Gregg Diggs - SiriusXM/Washington, D.C.
Jerry was one of the first industry people to call me to congratulate me on my first radio gig as Music Director at WKYS. He was always there for me with his advice and support. Thanks Jerry ... You will definitely be missed, my friend!
Mark E. Gunn – Owner/President, Mark Gunn Media/Louisville, KY
Jerry had a way of making you feel a little smarter after a conversation with him. I remember years ago sharing my theory about how I thought Old School Hip-Hop should be a mainstay on Black AC radio. Jerry always got really excited when you made a point he really agreed with. You could hear it in his voice and you could see it in his eyes. You knew you were validated when it got to that point. His energy was infectious and you couldn't help feeling it.
David Mitchell - Publisher Amalgamation Magazine/Los Angeles
Affectionately called "The Doctor," Jerry possessed a near-encyclopedic knowledge of radio, and made it his business to personally know every station owner, programmer, consultant and general manager at Urban radio (and many of the Pop stations) in the U.S. At the time I worked for him (1993), he was the President of Urban Network Magazine. I only worked with him for a year, but we interacted on a daily basis, and for many late hours, trying to get out that weekly trade publication. We shared many cool conversations. I learned a great deal from him, and I always marveled at the respect he drew from the music and radio industries at large.
Robyn Harvey - Former News Dir., Curtis Media Group
People ask me how I got into the big leagues in the industry -- probably because I'm from such a small town. I will never be able to tell Jerry Boulding how many dreams of mine he made come true. Honestly, my launch was a direct result of him and my mentor, Sam Weaver, who sent me to Los Angeles to a Power Jam Urban Network Conference, where I was the only female in the group of greats who still run the game, ie: BJ Murphy, Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, Guy Black and Doug Banks way back around 1990. Thank God for the lessons of Doc and for the theory that has sustained me in an industry for three decades. I love you, Sam Weaver, and I know you're hurting as is the industry, with the news of another great legend expiring #ripJB.
John Levay - Townson State University/Maryland
One of the great memories I have of Jerry is calling him and finding myself on a conference call when he picked up. He had so many people who wanted to talk to him that he would just add them to his conference. No privacy, but very Jerry! He made a real effort to be accessible to everyone.
Lebron Joseph - PD/mornings, KMEZ-KKND/New Orleans
Jerry was always able to take my machinations on my own situation and help me to see the big picture from the side of ownership and upper management. He tutored and taught so many of us and whenever I had a brilliant "new" idea, he reminded me of where it had been done before! Priceless giver!
Marthe Reynolds - Independent Record Promotions/New York City
Jerry Boulding gave great advice to this music biz rookie at the start of my career. His brilliant smile lit up any room. I will miss this amazing Statesman of the Music Industry.
Scott Baird - Sound On Sound Entertainment/West Palm Beach, FL
What can I say about the Doctor that hasn't been said a thousand plus times already. A true gentlemen and giving spirit. I was fortunate enough to meet The Doctor as a teenager through my father; we were actually next door neighbors in Queens, NY for a while. Our relationship continued throughout my career in the music industry. He was always more than happy to offer valuable advice to an eager rookie like me back in the '80s. Throughout the next 30 or so years, I always enjoyed the time we spent together, whether business related or a late night game of cards. He will be missed but well remembered.
Skip Finley - NOEPE Innovations/Martha's Vineyard
The Doctor and I always talked about influencing the Arbitron diary return. Jerry's best was "time shifting" when, to increase the quarter-hours, the DJ would give the time at 8:14a -- and say it was 8:17a. You'd get two quarter-hours out of that. We're going to miss that kind of innovation.
Shay Moore - Air personality, Q93/New Orleans
Jerry Boulding was a teacher by nature! I sent him an e-mail as a young radio personality asking him to critique my work. When he responded I was shocked because a) he didn't know me; and b) he was the Dr. and very well known in the industry! His response was two pages long, 10-point font. He really took the time to break down my aircheck in detail; I never forgot that. He's the first person who ever used the term "rhythmic calls" with me and I'm so glad that we developed a relationship over that e-mail! Rest in paradise, Dr.!
Michael Carter - Owner/Pres., Carter Broadcast Group/Kansas City
The first time I ever met Jerry was through Skip Finley at one of the first NABOBs I went to. What a great conversation we had about my grandfather and grandmother. He shared things about our company's beginnings that made me very proud. I always loved his energy; he always had an idea and knew his stuff. Jerry always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of what was going on. Anything new and exciting coming about like PPM, he was on top of it. He was always on the cutting edge of things and he knew everybody in radio. I will miss him. He was persistent to the umpteenth degree; it was hard to say no to the Doctor about anything he thought would improve something.
Johnny Morris – Asst. Engineer, KJLH and Engineer, Tavis Smiley Show/Los Angeles
I always had respect for Jerry; I can remember when he moved back to L.A. from Atlanta and we had lunch. That day I told him that when I was his MD at KDIA he was hard to work for and at the time I was young and had never encountered anyone with his work ethic. He agreed and we both had a good laugh about those days. However I revealed a secret that made him laugh so hard he couldn't stop. Whenever he would be out of town on weekends, I would disconnect the private dial-up listen line in engineering so he could not listen to my show. He and the chief engineer did not know I knew how to do that. On a couple of Mondays during our music meetings, the engineer popped his head in and asks, "Did you have any problems this weekend?" I always knew what they were talking about, and Jerry would say to him "You need to check it again." While telling Jerry the story, he was laughing so hard, folks were looking over at our table wondering what was going on.
Royce Stevenson - MD/afternoons, Power 93/Wichita, KS
One of the great things about Jerry was not just his knowledge of radio, but his knowledge on so many topics. I remember one conversation we had about Jerry being in the Army at Fort Riley, Kansas. He related what it was like living in Kansas and all the great experiences he had while he was there. Jerry did something for me, and quite a few others, that most people take for granted. He always took the time to talk radio with up-and-coming talent. No matter whether they were in market #1 or #200, if you reached out to him, he would respond and make sure that you stayed in touch with him. We would talk endlessly about his Urbanizing column in All Access, and he always wanted to know what I got out of it. He was always teaching and trying to make me better.
Ange Canessa, PD/air personality WBVX /Lexington, KY
Jerry has been in some of the most difficult situations as a programmer. In one of my most difficult programming stints, I remembered Jerry and got him on the phone. With literally no prompting from me, he read my situation like a book. He knew the owner, told me what to expect and gave me some great handles on how to make the best of it. I think that Jerry didn't get the name "Doc" just by fixing radio stations, but in radio psychology -- helping those in very challenging circumstances. You could always bend his ear. He was compassionate, insightful and thoughtful. Jerry never forgot where he came from. He was always rooting for me, even when the folks around me weren't.
Sherman Kizart, Managing Editor, Kizart Media Partners
My best memory of Jerry Boulding has to be his calls to me about how we in Urban Radio must band together and work with Arbitron to keep it accountable for the survival and success of Urban Radio.
He would start with, Sherman, this is serious business! (Then he would pump me up!) Only you can do it! You have what it takes to help Save Urban Radio. We have to start it today. I'm totally fired up now. Next thing, I'm placing calls and keeping the dialogue and initiatives going with Arbitron along with him and others in the community.
The Doctor had a special gift. He made you feel special, important, and convinced you that you could make a difference. He was Urban Radio biggest advocate and best friend.
Steve Mills, PD WZZO/Allentown Penn.
You know, when I first met Jerry, I wasn't sure what to think. He was a "real in your face" type of guy. I had the honor of working with him a couple of times, but not since the early 2000's, when he was the consultant of a radio station that I programmed in Nebraska. I remember that he really liked Sushi. When he would come into the market, we would take him to dinner and watch him eat the sushi and then we would take him to his hotel and my APD and I would go get McDonald's! LOL.
Good guy and his direction helped the radio station get to the top. Keep in mind, the radio station at the time was an Omaha RIM SHOT with a 200 Watt translator that really hurt the full power radio stations in the market.