KJLH has managed to stay on top as the community’s #1 radio-free station and a proud partner of Taste of Soul. Always bringing the best in R&B, gospel, funk, jazz and all-around talk shows like the Steve Harvey Morning Show, the station has managed to represent the people.
KJLH has brought many a talent to past Taste of Soul festivals including Eric Benet, Bebe Winans, and Mary Mary just to name a few. Local Sales Manager, Elston H. Butler and Bonita Dent, Station Manager, spoke to the Sentinel about what makes KJLH stay on top and special to the community.
“We talk to the community,” said Dent. “We’re ‘radio free,’ which means that we do more than just play music. It’s about the community… entertainment… education… politics… we try to cover it all.”
“It’s an extremely unique radio station,” said Butler. He stated that a lot of radio stations are ran by faceless stockholders and groups but KJLH has someone who’s present, live and cares for the station.
“Stevie Wonder… he really truly cares about individuals that work in that building,” said Butler. “[He’s] an owner that really cares.”
Wonder came on board KJLH in 1979, when he purchased the station from the original owner, John Lamar Hill. It became was one of five urban radio stations at a point in time that catered to the African-American community the others being KGFJ, KDAY, KACE and KUTE. Despite most of the stations being sold or falling off into obscurity, KJLH stayed on top.
“He could’ve sold it,” said Butler. “Stevie was approached by many companies but he chose not to sell.”
KLJH came on board with Taste of Soul in its second year and has been apart of the festival ever since. They look forward to being a part of its 6th year. The KJLH stage is sure to be the happening stage among many this year but can’t reveal much about the lineup yet.
“I can tell you it’s going to be a great show,” said Butler. “It’s going to be extremely entertaining [with] a lot of energy.”
“Our stage is going to be dynamic,” said Dent. “We will have more activities, seminars, and education going on down on our end of the street.
Butler also added about Taste of Soul, “It’s a big party for the community as a thank-you.”
“The festival is the greatest thing that has come to the city of L.A.,” said Dent. “We’re proud to be a participant in the festival.
“We just want everybody to come out and have a good time.”
So make sure you come to the 6th Annual Taste of Soul celebration and see your #1 radio station live! Thank you KJLH for being a part of this one-of-a-kind festival.
“We care, we are a part of the community,” said Dent. “We are you.”