Washington Post reporter Lonnae O’Neal has a really good article about the return of Donnie Simpson to radio.
The most eagerly anticipated hour in Washington radio memory (if not history) began Monday to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” then morphed into the theme from “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
Well the names have all changed since you hung around
But those dreams have remained and they’re turned around
Who’d have thought they’d lead ya (Who’d have thought they’d lead ya)
Back here where we need ya (Back here where we need ya) . . .
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back
[Donnie Simpson returns to D.C. radio after a five-year absence]
Finally came the voice of Donnie Simpson: “Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way. I’m back!” said Simpson, 61, sounding like an old friend. For weeks, Simpson’s return on Radio One’s Majic 102.3 FM after a five-year retirement has had D.C. buzzing. Not official Washington, mind you, or new-transplant Washington (read: young, white). But old-school D.C.
Can you dig it, CC?
Don’t worry if you don’t get the reference. Donnie will catch you up.
Simpson — loved, especially by the ladies, who took ardent notice of his green-eyed soul — had been a constant companion and cultural translator for 33 years as a radio and television host.
“I think he’s going to bring old-school and class back to radio,” gushed Marsha Thomas, a Maryland Public Television producer stopping by the “Donnie’s back” tent outside the radio station’s studio in Silver Spring, Md. “No one is more DMV than Donnie Simpson.”
He also hopes to be back on TV, hosting a show on Radio One’s cable channel, TV One.
Check out the entire article at the Washington Post.
Today was Donnie Simpson Day on News Channel 8. For two hours this morning it was all Donnie Simpson as he took over Good Morning Washington. He was visited by his family and friends. Since today was my day off I was able to watch Donnie being interviewed by the GMW hosts.
It was nice to hear Donnie’s voice back on the radio today. He’s on Majic 102.3 from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. And I listened the entire four hours. That’s unusual for me to listen to the radio at home for that long. The theme song to Welcome Back Kotter got things started to welcome Donnie back to radio. He then kicked off his show with the Chuck Brown classic Go Go Swing.
One of the visitors that came to the Majic 102.3 studio was Tony Perkins.
They use to work together on WKYS. It was great to hear them together again.
Welcome back Donnie Simpson 🙂
For the past couple of weeks radio station Majic 102.3 has been talking about a big surprise announcement coming up on August 3. Well the big announcement was Donnie Simpson coming back to radio. Yessssssssss!!! The #DMV is happy.
(Silver Spring, MD…August 3, 2015) – When Donnie Simpson left the Washington D.C. radio airways in 2010 culminating a 41 year media career in radio, television and movies, the biggest question asked was, “What’s next for Donnie?” It is five years later and Donnie is returning to his first love, radio and television.
Media conglomerate, Radio One, Inc., the only African-American owned and targeted diversified media company in the country, tapped its radio broadcast company and its cable network, TV One, to bring Donnie Simpson out of retirement and back on-air in DC on WMMJ MAJIC 102.3 FM and as the newest TV One talent.
The multi-year agreement for both radio and television include Donnie hosting The Donnie Simpson Show afternoons (3p – 7p) on MAJIC 102.3 as of Monday, August 17th, and a collaboration between TV One and Donnie Simpson Productions to create programs that will have Donnie back on TV by the fourth quarter of this year.
I was on my way home on the subway this afternoon checking out Twitter when I saw a news item that Donnie was coming back to radio. But the announcement wasn’t officially made on 102.3 until 5:00pm. I got home just in time to hear it and listen to Donnie for about an hour. Man I love hearing his voice. I use to listen to Donnie on WKYS during the 1980’s where he worked with Tony Perkins who’s now on D.C.’s Fox5 News.
I eventually followed him to WPGC and I watched him on BET’s Video Soul. I stopped listening to WPGC after a while, switched to Smooth Jazz 105.9, WHUR and now Majic 102.3. I’ll admit that I don’t listen to radio as much as I use to. I listen to SiriusXM The Groove along with a few other channels in my car and at home (I have a tabletop satellite radio). At work I switch back and forth between listening to Majic 102.3 and my ipod. Since Donnie is back I will be listening to 102.3 more often. He starts on Monday August 17 and he’ll be on the air from 3:00pm to 7:00pm along with Huggy Lowdown.
Not only will Donnie be back on radio. He will also be on TVOne by the end of the year. Alright now 🙂
Like I mentioned he stayed on the air for about an hour today after the announcement and played some really good music. If what I heard in that one hour is any indication of what he will be playing well I’m looking forward to it. The last song he played before he went off the air was one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs, The Lady In My Life. Love that song. Donnie dedicated the song to his wife Pam. When Donnie was on WKYS the last song he would play before his show was over was The Commodores’s Jesus Is Love.
Check out this article from the Washington Post when Donnie left WPGC back in 2010.
Welcome back to radio and tv Donnie Simpson 🙂
Yesterday’s Washington Post had a really good article on radio announcer Donnie Simpson. The article, Top Of The Morning, talks about Donnie’s career from his early days including working at WKYS to the present. He’s celebrating thirty years on the radio.
Top of the Morning
Donnie Simpson Has Talked His Way Into 30 Years On the Air
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
The toughest thing Donnie Simpson ever had to learn in radio was how to be Donnie Simpson. It took years of effort, he says, to figure out how to sound the way he does — which is to say, effortless.
That is quite a disclosure, because Simpson has long come across as the smoothest, most relaxed and most natural guy on Washington’s airwaves. Morning after weekday morning, he’s like your friendly next-door neighbor, if your next-door neighbor were able to make pleasant and amusing conversation, along with some music and commercial breaks, for four straight hours during drive time. And in a voice that seems handed down from the Hall of Radio Gods.
Needless to say, Simpson, a fixture on WPGC (95.5 FM), figured it out. So well, in fact, that he’s about to hit a milestone few have reached: his 30th anniversary as an on-air personality in Washington.
Tonight at the Warner Theatre, family, friends and a few stars (LL Cool J, the O’Jays, Yolanda Adams) will acknowledge the milestone and pay tribute to the man who has been waking up Washington since the Carter administration. (The event is also a fundraiser for the college scholarship fund that Simpson and his wife, Pam, operate.)
Explaining to those unfamiliar with the show why Simpson, 53, has stayed at the top so long — he’s usually among the region’s top-three-rated programs month after month — can be a little tricky. He’s never done “shock” material, never raved or crusaded, and never does canned bits or shtick. But something about Simpson’s warm, friendly persona has connected with generations of listeners.
I use to listen to Donnie faithfully from the 80’s through the early 90’s on WKYS. I really enjoyed listening to him and Tony Perkins. But during the early 90’s he left WKYS for WPGC.
But radio remained Simpson’s first love. The love was returned when WPGC lured Simpson away from WKYS in 1993. The six-year deal paid Simpson almost $1 million annually, making him the nation’s first African American personality to make that much for a local radio show.
Simpson also can take credit for launching the career of another local TV personality: Channel 5’s Tony Perkins. Simpson hired Perkins, a former stand-up comic, as his radio producer in 1985, then put him on the air as his sidekick. When Simpson left WKYS, Perkins was hired to doing the morning weather on Channel 5; he then made the leap to network television as “Good Morning America’s” weatherman.
I wasn’t too fond of WPGC’s music format so I didn’t follow him there. I really missed hearing his voice. I did watch him during his early days on BET’s Video Soul but I got sick of BET after a while and well you know my feelings on that cable channel.
I eventually stopped listening to WKYS after they changed their format to something I wasn’t interested in and switched over to a couple of other radio stations. Now I listen to Smooth Jazz 105.9, 94.7 The Globe and Magic 102.3.