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Black History Spotlight – Kidd and Tatum Maintained Gospel Radio Legacy
By By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Religion Editor and Quaford Coleman, Contributing Writer
Published February 26, 2020

          Paul Kidd, Jr. (Courtesy photo)

Paul E. R. Kidd, Jr.

Paul Edward Ramson Kidd Jr. ruled the gospel music airwaves for more than 50 years. Based in Los Angeles, his show aired locally as well as on the Armed Forces Radio Network (AFRN), which comprised 400 radio stations located in 28 countries.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Kidd was born into a devout Christian family. His father was an AME itinerant elder who served as pastor of First AME Church in San Francisco in Walker Temple AME Church in Los Angeles.

Kidd came to L.A. in 1956 following his honorable discharge from the military the previous year. In 1962, he joined KGFJ and worked under the legendary Jim Maddox and later became gospel program director as well as on-air personality. He also served as a broadcaster at KNOB, KFWB, KDAY, KACE and KMAX.

In addition, Kidd’s show on AFRN, “Amen Corner,” exposed gospel music to thousands of enlisted men and women around the world.

He eventually amassed an extensive gospel music collection, which he donated to 102.3 FM Radio Free KJLH. Kidd’s catalogue became the foundation for the station’s “Spread the Word” gospel music program hosted by Aundrae Russell.

Currently, Kidd documenting and archiving his extensive radio programming memorabilia, along with his taped programs and collectible gospel music.

               Edna Tatum (Courtesy photo)

Nationally known as ‘The Voice,’ Edna Tatum was a popular emcee and gospel broadcaster for more than 30 years. Her ministry spanned several decades of hosting concerts and narrating for gospel legends such as the Rev. James Cleveland, The Fourth of Mary, the Rev. Daryl Coley, Albertina Walker, and Kurt Carr.

Tatum began her public speaking career as a church announcer during Sunday services and special programs. As a young adult, she became a member of the Gospel Music Workshop of America and was selected by Rev. James Cleveland to introduce him and the Southern California Community Choir at several events as well as narrate on many of his recording projects.

She went on to host the Gospel Music Academy Awards at the Apollo Theatre in New York and became the only artist to narrate a gospel music concert at the Sultan’s Pool in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In a 2011 Sentinel interview, she shared some of the most memorable moments in her career.

“I will always treasure learning and growing in Christ during my time with the great Rev. James Cleveland.  Then, never will I forget performing live narration for Rev. Cleveland at Carnegie Hall, at three McDonald’s Gospel Festivals and continuing to be a guest host each year at the Chicago Gospel Festival which attracts more than 200,000 people,” recalled Tatum.

“Equally memorable is being able to record a CD with the famous Billy Preston.  Our song, ‘Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow,’ was a wonderful and unforgettable collaboration,” she said.

Tatum’s reputation grew internationally through her “Gospel Classics” broadcast on KPFK-FM, which was also streamed live on kpfk.org. Tatum passed away at the age of 70 on March 14, 2014 after experiencing health complications from a heart attack suffered in October 2013.

 

Categories: Religion
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