As the Tom Joyner Cruise sailed along the Caribbean Sea in the direction of the Cayman Islands, Tom Joyner and I shared laughs with Salt-N-Pepa and a few other celebrities late one night, when I was suddenly struck by a sad premonition: this party will soon come to an end.
Little did I know that the end of a legendary, unforgettable and trailblazing career in radio would come so soon thereafter for Hall of Famer Tom Joyner.
But with an announcement on his Twitter account, Joyner, 67, made the end of his remarkable journey official.
After nearly 25 years on the aiir, the man who became known as the Fly Jock says he’ll transition off of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” over the next two years.
He also says he’ll be celebrating each day until he officially drops the mic, welcoming more guests on the show until his final day.
Joyner, the son of a military secretary mother and a Tuskegee Airman father, first got into radio during the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955. He and others staged their version, the Tuskegee Boycott, at a radio station demanding a local radio station play urban music. When the radio owner relented and asked for someone to host the show, Joyner nominated himself, and it’s a good thing he did. He soon graduated from famed HBCU Tuskegee University in Alabama. A natural at radio and blessed with a booming baritone that’s instantly recognizable, Joyner quickly became a regional radio star. Soon, he was doing morning radio shows in Dallas and would get on a plane and fly to Chicago that same day to do afternoon shows, then fly back to Dallas to do it all over again for seven consecutive years. Thus, the moniker “Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio” were born and would follow him throughout his illustrious career.
On his Facebook account, Joyner elaborated on his thoughts about putting the finishing touches on a brilliant, iconic career that inspired a generation of radio personalities:
Every one who’s been on this ride with the Tom Joyner Morning Show for the last close to 25 years knows I like to do things Big.
We started big from day one with a live in-house band (Uncle Butchie and the Live House) led by the late Morris “Butch” Stewart and our inaugural guest Luther Vandross, a groundbreaking soap opera “It’s Your World”, and we grew from there.
We kicked off some signature, never been done before campaigns and events like the national Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day, Sky Shows and the Fantastic Voyage Cruise. We’ve never wavered from our original goal..to entertain, to empower and inform and for the next two years we’ll continue to fight the good fight for the causes important to our audiences…voter registration, policies that impact our community, and raising more than $65 million and counting for my beloved Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
As we take things to the next level, personally and professionally, we’ll be in celebration mode with more guests, more parties, and more opportunities to Meet Every Listener. We’ve touched a lot of lives and we love and appreciate the millions of people who are part of the TJMS family. So much has happened since we went on the air in 1994…good and bad…and we all went through it together.
Well, the Party with a Purpose isn’t over, there’s still so much to do and I couldn’t do it without you. Do me a favor and be thinking of the acts and groups you’d like to see perform live, the guests you’d like us to book, the events you’d like us to cover and even the issues you’d like for us to address. Most importantly, send me your favorite moments and memories from the TJMS and we’ll try to go the vault and find them. We want to hear your TJMS stories. We might air them or include them in a blog. Extra points if you send photos or video.
Here’s my promise to you: We will continue to be reachable, relevant and ready to super serve our audience in true Tom Joyner Morning Show fashion. The celebration will be epic as we remember the guests, the laughs, the tears, the bits, the unforgettable moments we’ve shared together…and, of course we’ll be making new memories along the way.
When we go off the air each morning, I never say goodbye…and I’m not saying it now! Here’s to much more good radio!