10 Questions with ... BJ Murphy
September 16, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WSHA/Raleigh, WLLE/Raleigh, WQOK/Raleigh, WWDM/Columbia SC, WQMG/Greensboro, WXYV/Baltimore, KPRS/Kansas City, MO; WPEG/Charlotte, NC; KRNB/Dallas-Ft. Worth, morning syndication, Superadio/Dallas, WVAZ/Chicago, WGIV/Charlotte, NC.
1) Could you tell us one of your funny moments during your career?
Well, my morning show partner at WQMG, Jasmine James, took 100 listeners on a cruise to the Bahamas and we ended up getting into an argument on the ship in front of our listeners. It was crazy because half of them took sides with Jasmine and half took sides with me and all throughout the trip we were like rivals ... it was crazy but we all ended up coming together before the trip ended.
2) How did you get into radio?
Growing up in Goldsboro NC , I use to listen to WOKN 102.3 and record music, and found myself being captivated by the DJs. I started imitating them and would make tapes of myself and play them for my friends and they thought it was somebody else. In Kinston, NC WQDW 97.1 Tony Perry and Steve Lewis were my early influences, too. Then Donnie Simpson became my main role model, along with Tom Joyner, and I liked the swag of Tony Gray because I used to read about him all the time in the industry magazines.
3) What are the keys to doing a morning/entertainment show?
You must learn how to be yourself and not be afraid to express the inner you. That is your attraction power. Doesn't matter how much show prep you do, the inner you or your camera angle lens on life is what makes you interesting to listen to. Once you have broken that barrier, there will be nobody who can handle you. Your personal truth makes you funny, direct, witty and clever. All the things you want to be is in letting it go. If you have great teachers like I have been blessed to have, listen and be a good student.
4) So what does the future hold for you?
Sam, I am so excited about the future because the new digital delivery systems provide us with unlimited potential to reach more people than you can imagine -- if your content is engaging enough to draw a crowd. I am itching for another major shot in terrestrial and to win big. I have won big everywhere I have gone and today I feel more invincible than ever at what I can produce going forward. So yes,I am seeing a bright future as I finish off the next chapter in my career.
5) I know there is a list, but who are some of the people that have influenced and mentored your career?
The great Sam Weaver who was and is my master teacher in the subtleties of morning radio. BJ Johnson (my namesake), Jerry Boulding, Helen Little, Cash Michaels, Tony Gray, Vinny Brown another master in on-air formatics like Elroy Smith. Harry Lyles, Cathis Hall, David Linton, Skip Dillard, Tim Greene, Reggie Rouse, Derrick Brown, Valerie Geller, Armando Rivera, the late Wayne Brown, AC Stone, Jay Stevens, Donnie Simpson, Mike Love, my big brothers Jeff Foxx and Roy Sampson, my great coaches in Charlotte Andre Carson and Terri Avery, Frank Neely, Shylinne Cole, Gary B, Eric Faison, Ken Dowe & Hyman Childs, Tommy Kramer, Guy Black, Marc Ramsey , Jerry Del Caliano, the great Skip Murphy, Slack Johnson, Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, Michael Saunders, John Mason, Russ Parr, coach and friend Brian Carter, rest in peace..
6) How have you changed over the years?
I have learned to depend on God and God alone to supply my needs. He gave me this talent and if I keep bowing down to him, He will put me where He wants me to be.
7) Can you give us some of your career highlights?
Beginning my morning career in 1990 in Greensboro NC at WQMG, and getting my first big gig at V103 in Baltimore with Roy Sampson, coming to Charlotte to work with my ultimate morning show partner in radio, Keith Richards, at WPEG. Filling in for Donnie Simpson on WPGC/Washington, Working in Dallas at KRNB, linking back up with you, Sam and getting a shot at syndication. Working in Chicago with Elroy Smith, and to crack the mic for a couple of hours in 2007 on WBLS.
8) What advice do you have for those just starting out in broadcasting?
Be a good student and seek out people you admire to help you grow. I wanted to know everybody that was where I wanted to be. I would write Donnie Simpson and Tom Joyner and major cats in the industry because I wanted a shot to be like them. You have to study, practice, and be serious about your craft. I would stay in my dorm room in college and listen to tapes of my favorite DJs for hours and mimic them. Master the digital and become an expert in the new trends. All the jobs I have ever gotten throughout my career have been through relationships. You do the same and network.
9) How do you see the future for Urban Radio?
Well is this a trap question, Sam? LOL. All I know is that we better wake the hell up, because the digital space is where we need to pay some serious attention. I don't plan on being on the wrong side of history with this one. Terrestrial will always be here and we must perfect what we call Black radio and not let the PPM rating system take the soul out of what we do. There is something on the horizon that I don't think we are being serious enough. Clear Channel has proven what the possibilities are, with what they have done with iHeartRadio. They are telling people on the radio, to go download the app on their smartphones and listen to anything you want, to fit the mood you are in right now! They are driving people to the digital. Just look at the new shape of the Apple production facility and that will tell you where this thing is going. Black radio must fully engage with digital -- more specifically, mobile.
10) What profession would you have chosen had you not gone into radio?
You may laugh at me, but I would have been in the NBA playing for the Atlanta Hawks. I was the best 5'5 NBA talent in my mind in my prime. Seriously, I could have been in the NBA. Mugsey Bogues and I are friends here in Charlotte and he knows that!
What new challenges are you looking forward to?
Getting my morning show back on terrestrial and keep working to master the digital.
Are there some things about you that people would be surprised to know?
I like to write. I have 52 diaries that I have been writing in since my career began in 1984. I have an industry blog, too, called insideurbanmedia.com.
Could you give us some of the most important lessons you have learned along your career path?
Save your money. You will wish you did!