New York radio personality Imhotep Gary Byrd received high accolades last month when he was listed among the city’s Black media legends.
The acclaimed radio host who broadcasts weekly talk-shows at three reputed radio stations – WBLS-FM, WBAI-FM and WLIB-AM – received the distinguished honor from fast foods giants, McDonald’s which has been listing prominent achievers for almost a decade.
In addition to a plaque, the annual Black History Month honor enables patrons to share the accomplishment with a commemorative poster offer featuring the legends. Now available until supplies last in the 650 restaurants throughout the tri-state area, color images of the legends provide educational poster-sized biographies on the city’s acclaimed print, radio and television journalists as well as media technicians who aid in reporting news.
Byrd has been associated with radio for more than 40 years. Known to many as “the radio griot” he first started working in his upstate birthplace of Buffalo, but left soon after to join probably the most prominent team of Black radio disc jockeys at then national, flagship WWRL-AM. His innovations in radio throughout the years found him producing, hosting and creating shows first establishing his namesake theme of GBE — Gary Byrd Experience.
Now a staple to millions of fans with spin-offs — The Global Black Experience, a culturally enlightening talk/interview presentation; and The Global Beat Experience, which explores the full dimension of music across the globe, the popular Imhotep also pens a weekly column in the New York Amsterdam News — he named the GBE Guide to Black entertainment.
Currently Byrd offers radio audiences an opportunity to respond to topics he introduces, which are usually selected from the news week. The two-hour “Express Yourself” simultaneously transmits on both the WLIB-AM and WBLS-FM stations. However, each Sunday, the Byrd experience extends WLIB listeners to “Night Flight” for added information after the WBLS broadcast ends.
Other honorees this year include Sade Baderinwa, WABC-TV; Lewis Dodley, NY1; Janice Huff, WNBC; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Craig Treadway, WPIX; and Fred “Bugsy” Buggs, KISS-FM (and a mentee of Byrd’s).
McDonald’s Black History Month campaign is a successful yearly event and is designed to honor Black history makers throughout the New York area.
D-Tech Alums Spring Into Party Mode
Maroon and gold dominated the rainbow of alumni colors dominant throughout Florida when past students of 75-year-old Dinthill Technical High School in St. Catherine, Jamaica donned their colors in celebration of the 9th annual spring ball recently.
Dressed to the nines, former students of the Linstead, St. Catherine institution boasted their “facta non verba” motto during a three-day celebration in the Sunshine state. “Deeds not words” translate their Latin mantra and a meet and greet kicked off a Friday event that spoke volumes on the dedication of graduates. At this event, former students mingled and reacquainted with colleagues who arrived from various cities to share in the reunion gala. A picnic closed out three separate opportunities to mix and mingle with old acquaintances. Undeniably, the ball garnered the best opportunity to reunite with the most guests. There, a message from consul general Sandra Grant-Griffiths delivered greetings from the island-nation. Recognitions and presentations to supporters dominated much of the after-dinner formalities that preceded the anticipated dance session. Although the gala heralded alums and their achievements, Winsome Charlton, a Hampton graduate took the spotlight to accept a beautifully carved horse she accepted for ‘outstanding community service.’ Bruce Palmer, vice president of the organization said Charlton had never written a check to benefit the organization. However, “her support counts higher than the biggest check written.”
The wooden, animal showpiece was artfully created to replicate the animal Charlton seems to be affected due to her years of association with equestrian events. Charlton seemed elated by the generous gesture which tangibly reflected her early years accompanying her father Cecil, who owned thoroughbred racehorses. She thanked the organization but could barely lift the heavy sentiment.
For the record, the Florida contingent contributed US$7,870 to their alma mater. They also claim commitment to assisting in the recovery of Patricia Hall, a former 10th grade economics student at the school who is now in rehab after suffering a broken neck in a car accident in 2004. On learning of Hall’s dilemma, graduate Tony Blair gifted her with a television set. Other individual alums have contributed to the bed-ridden former student who resides in Mickleton, Jamaica. Hall was featured in the 34-page journal. The next D-Tech fete is slated for Oct. 1 when the NY chapter hosts their 20th anniversary gala at Floral Terrace at Jericho Turnpike in Long Island.
Catch You On The Inside!