May is shaping up to be quite a month for Jacquie Gales Webb.WHUR's Sunday Afternoon Gospel Hostess recently celebrated her daughter, Diana receiving a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Argentina. And now the fixture on Washington, D.C. radio airwaves is being honored by her college alma mater, WERS 88.9 FM (Emerson College’s student-run radio station. The distinctive-voiced announcer into its the WERS Hall of Fame.
Gales Webb will be inducted alongside Gary Krantz (President/CEO of Krantz Media Group); Florence Markoff (long-time radio personality on WEAN, WJAR, WICE and WLKW) and Chet Tart (Vice President/General Manager, WSVU).
“It’s such an honor to be recognized for something you love to do. God gave me the inspiration to use communications skills to benefit His people,” says Gales Webb. “WERS and Emerson College gave me what I needed to develop my skills.”
Many of her fans may not realize that she’s not a native Washingtonian. Before she came to the city in the late 70s, Gales Webb kicked off her stellar broadcasting career in Boston. New York native became a student DJ at WERS in 1974. At that time in Boston, the leading station in the Black community was WILD 1090 AM, a sunrise to sunset station. “Back in `74, when the sun went down, the Black community turned to the college stations to hear Black music...and did we deliver!” she adds. “We were playing the entire spectrum of African-American music from Miles Davis to James Brown.”
An executive at WILD heard Gales Webb on the air at WERS and recruited her to host a Sunday morning gospel program while she was still a college junior. After her stint there, Gales Webb became a late night rock DJ at WBCN. “BCN was called an album-oriented rock station,” she recalls. “I was playing Fleetwood Mac, J. Geils Band, Led Zeppelin and Kiss. Stations like BCN were the inspiration for the movie `FM’ and the TV sitcom `WKRP in Cincinnati.’”
In 1978, Gales Webb came to D.C. to become one of the original on-air personalities at the city’s first 24-hour Gospel music station, WYCB 1340 AM. By the 1980s, Gales Webb was firmly planted in the Washington market where she also worked as a producer at WUSA TV for six years.
For the last 24 years, she’s hosted the “Sunday Afternoon Gospel” program on WHUR 96.3 FM and recently began to host the “Gospel World” show on HUR Voices, Channel 141 on the XM/Sirius Satellite Radio Network. The National Convention of Gospel Choirs and choruses presented Ms. Webb with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for continuous service and support of Gospel music.
Gales Webb has been nominated for 14 regional Emmy Award nominations, won six local Emmys and produced the thirteen-part radio series, “Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was” (hosted by the late Lou Rawls), that earned The University of Georgia’s Peabody Award. She was also prominently featured in the critically acclaimed 2011 gospel music documentary film “Rejoice & Shout.”