WLIB radio engineer touted for excellence

For 17 years, Kathy Jordan Sharpton has been carefully, selecting women she believes should be celebrated for their excellence. That celebration has been marked by an award presentation of a plaque from Al Sharpton, a lavish luncheon and a gathering of family and friends who cheer the occasion.

This year’s ceremony at the Astoria Manor closed out Women’s History Month and also enabled WBLS-FM radio personality Ann Tripp to toast one of the honorees of the Women of Excellence Award.

She did not mince words in introducing long-time friend and colleague Sheila Edwards who was named during the National Action Network’s Women’s Auxiliary awards event.

“Believe me, our mikes weren’t on unless she put them on…and we didn’t know who we were talking to unless she told us,” Tripp said.

The broadcaster whose news reports are heard on the Steve Harvey Morning Show described the honoree as an “experienced communications professional with a long and varied career” that began when Edwards joined the staff at Inner City Broadcasting Corporation at a time Frankie Crocker established a career and reputation throughout the nation.

“She has engineered, produced and programmed Haitian, Hindu, Caribbean music and talk shows…and we broadcasted live from Barbados, Trinidad, Antigua and Jamaica…South Africa, and the West Indian Day Carnival and from the West Indian Day carnival, the place the world meets Brooklyn.”

The producer and board operator for WLIB-AM’s syndicated Yolanda Adams Morning Show began an association with the only, Black-owned radio station in the early 80’s. Throughout the decades she has worked on virtually every talk show and many of the music programs aired on both the AM and FM stations.

“Every show I have produced was to benefit the listener and the community,” Edwards said. “If any of the information heard over the airwaves saved someone from losing their home, helped someone to straighten out their immigration status, connected them to a good doctor or hospital and put a smile on their face and sway in their dance, then I have done my job and I’m happy to be of service,” Edwards said.


Nigerian, master drummer Babatunde Olatunji will be heralded on April 17 with a 10th anniversary tribute and benefit concert at the Peter North Symphony Space.

The benefit concert marks 10 years since the passing of the world-renowned musician and pioneer. Featuring performances from original members of The Drums of Passion Dancers & Drummers, Leon Mobley, Sikiru Adepoju, Sanga of the Valley, Morley, Kofo the Wonderman & The Daylight Stars, Francoise Brooks’ Harlem dance Leadership Company, saxophonist Bradford Hayes and special surprise guests who worked with Olatunji and were influenced by him.

Beginning at 6:00 p.m., the vent will be hosted by Terrance McKnight of WQXR and an alum of Olatunji’s alma mater Morehouse College.

Over the course of his life Olatunji worked with and maintained close friendships with luminaries: John Coltrane, Carlos Santana, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Max Roach, Aminata Mosata (Abbey Lincoln) and members of the super-group Grateful Dead.

Proceeds from the benefit concert will go towards charitable causes championed by Olatunji during his lifetime.

The location for the event is 2537 Broadway (at 95th St.).

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