James Brown, Godfather of Soul and Radio Station Owner, Among 2022 Radio Hall of Fame ‘Legends of Radio’ Inductees

James Brown was one of the 10 inaugural inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Now, he’s also a member of the Radio Hall of Fame.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago announced on Tuesday (Oct. 4) that Brown is among 10 “Legends of Radio” inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. The award recognizes “the talents and efforts of air personalities, programmers and operators who contributed with greatness to the radio industry and have since passed away.” 

Brown is honored as a radio station owner of WJBE in Knoxille, Tenn. He bought the station in the late ’60s, changing its name to WJBE. (The call letters stood for James Brown Enterprises). Brown died in Atlanta on Christmas Day 2005.


These 10 radio pros — eight men and two women — take their place in the Radio Hall of Fame immediately.

  • Doug Banks – nationally syndicated on-air personality
  • James Brown – R&B legend, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Bob Coburn – host of the syndicated Rockline show
  • Chick Hearn – play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers
  • Bernice Judis – owner and general manager, WNEW-AM, 1930s–1950s
  • Sid Mark – host of syndicated program Sounds of Sinatra for over 60 years
  • Bobby O’Jay – on-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis
  • Pervis Spann – on-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago
  • James Thompson – Group W Broadcasting president and president of the Broadcasters Foundation
  • Rosalie Trombley – music director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960s–1970s

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, co-chairman, Radio Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to see the nominating committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

Dennis Green, co-chairman, Radio Hall of Fame, added: “We are proud to honor these legendary figures who made an indelible impact on the radio industry. Their legacy lives on as Radio Hall of Fame inductees of this year’s Legends class.”

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees at an induction ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Acqua Hotel. Tickets are on sale at www.radiohalloffame.com. A portion of the ticket price is a tax-deductible charitable donation to the Museum of Broadcast Communications.  

The Radio Hall of Fame was founded by the Emerson Radio Corporation in 1988. The Museum of Broadcast Communications took over operations in 1991.

Paul Grein