The LLF honors those unsung heroes whose efforts might otherwise go unnoticed. The LLF exists because of a need to recognize and promote the achievements of those members of the radio, music and entertainment industries and to help secure their place in history.

About us

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History

The Living Legends Foundation (LLF) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization first founded in Los Angeles in 1991 and incorporated in 1992, by record industry icon Ray Harris, record executives Barbara Lewis and C.C. Evans and radio programming legend Jerry Boulding. The organization has been funded primarily with corporate contributions and individual donations. Initial funding was provided from the sale of tickets to the first annual Living Legends Dinner, which was held on April 22, 1993 at the site of the Impact Conference at The Bally's Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The original purpose of The Living Legends Foundation was to recognize and honor legendary music and radio industry figures who have distinguished themselves by their contributions as trailblazers, trendsetters, teachers and/or mentors. The Living Legends Foundation is an organization dedicated to recognizing those members of the entertainment industry whose efforts and contributions have paved the way for many in the entertainment industry, especially, minorities and women. Many of those opportunities are in the areas of recorded music, radio broadcasting and retail (record stores).

The Mission Statement

The Living Legends Foundation is dedicated to preserving the rich legacy of those who shape America’s broadcast and recording industries. The LLF honors those unsung heroes whose efforts might otherwise go unnoticed.

The LLF exists because of a need to recognize and promote the achievements of those members of the radio, music and entertainment industries and to help secure their place in history.

The Foundation Today

Over the years the LLF has expanded its mission from just recognizing the achievements of the trailblazers of yesterday but today's new trailblazers who are breaking glass ceilings and achieving professional heights once thought impossible.

Since its inception, the LLF has provided assistance to those in need and reviews those requests on a case by case basis. Recipients must have made his/her primary livelihood as a member of the industry (active or inactive) and provide proof of need to be considered for assistance.

Unfortunately, unlike today with corporate pension plans and 401K options many of the early pioneers were left without healthcare, life insurance, retirement funds and other benefits to sustain them when their careers were over. However, despite the corporate perks available today, the volatile nature of the industry can cause anyone to become unemployed without notice. Over the years the LLF has provided more than $100,000 in assistance to those in need. The foundation has become a “Bridge over troubled waters” for many.

Another area of expansion is the area of Education and Mentoring. Members of the Foundation’s board participate in school “Career Days”. The Foundation is also a resource of knowledge for today’s younger music executives seeking guidance in their careers.

The Foundation has also hosts a Celebrity Golf Tournament as an alternative fundraiser featuring players from the NFL, NBA and music entertainers.

Founders

Ray Harris is the Founding Chairman of The Living Legends Foundation.  He created the organization and helped to draft its original By-Laws as well as getting the organization incorporated in 1991. He served as Chairman until 1997. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Foundation.

Mr. Harris held the position of RCA Division Vice President Black Music from 1980-1982. He had total P&L responsibility for his division, which included A&R, Promotion, Marketing, Sales and Publicity, and overall administration. This was a rare position for anyone of color in the early 80’s. During his tenure at RCA he worked with superstar and established artists such as Nina Simone, Diana Ross, Friends of Distinction, Main Ingredient, New Birth, George Clinton, Edwin Starr, The Tymes, Hall & Oates, Ahmad Jamal, and Whispers. Under his supervision, RCA “broke” new artists such as Evelyn “Champagne” King, Brainstorm, DJ Rogers, Odyssey, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, John Lucien, Instant Funk, Skyy, Hues Corporation, Stephanie Mills, Chocolate Milk, Memphis Horns, Carl Carlton, Vicki Sue Robinson, Silver Convention, Shalamar, Lakeside, Midnight Starr, Dynasty, Carrie Lucas, Salsoul Orchestra, amongst others.

In 1982 Mr. Harris relocated to Los Angeles to accept a position as President of Solar Records and continued working on the successes of The Whispers, Lakeside, Midnight Starr, and established Klymaxx and the Deele. In 1985 he left Solar Records to form his own consulting and production company. It was during a stint as consultant to Avant Garde Management in 1988 that he accepted a position as Vice President of Black Music Promotion for Warner Bros. Records. In 1990 he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Black Music & Jazz Marketing & Promotion for Warner and Reprise Records. During his tenure at Warner/Reprise Records he worked with superstar and established artists such as Prince, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Miles Davis, George Duke, Sheila E., Earth, Wind, & Fire, Cameo, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Michael Franks, Little Jimmy Scott, Roger Troutman & Zapp, Frankie Beverly, Morris Day, The Time and Hiroshima. The company “broke” new artists such as Karyn White, Tevin Campbell, Keith Washington, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Take 6, Biz Markie, amongst others.

In 1995 he left Warner Bros./Reprise Records and joined Epic Records in January 1996 in the position of Sr. Vice President Black Music, working with such superstar acts as Michael Jackson, Babyface, and Luther Vandross, as well as working with Brownstone and breaking and establishing Ginuwine. He left Epic Records in 1997.

Ray, whose motto is “Each one Teach one”,  has won every major industry award given including induction into the BELSA (Black Entertainment And Sports Lawyers Association) Hall Of Fame and was by honored by his native Harlem, NY by receiving the Adam Clayton Powell Award by the Adam Clayton Powell Foundation. He was awarded the Impact Music Publication’s “Record Executive of The Year Award” for a record breaking 5 consecutive years (1990-94). The award was later renamed the “Ray Harris Award” for deserving executives.  Ray has received over 75 Platinum & Gold awards for the artists he’s represented over the years.


Ray Harris

The late Jerry Boulding was a former air-talent, production director and broadcaster who had programmed 16 radio stations in markets that included New York, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco.

Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Boulding developed "Heart & Soul," the first Urban format for satellite delivery, managed the Black Music division of MCA Records, co-founded BRE (a trade publication), founded Urban Network Magazine, and served as Sr. VP/Entertainment Programming for American Urban Radio Networks.

Prior to his death in 2014, the "Doctor," as he is known in the industry, was the Urban Editor for All Access and managed his own consultancy company, specializing in Arbitron diary analyses which measure audiences listening patterns.


Jerry Boulding

A member of the LLF since its inception, this veteran has held senior management positions at CBS (Sony Music), MCA (Universal Music Group) and Capitol Records, where she served as Vice President. Ms. Lewis is among the first women to hold such esteemed positions in the male-dominated music industry. Artists who have benefited from her expertise read like a who's who: Patti LaBelle, Earth Wind & Fire, MC Hammer, BB King, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Johnny Mathis, Master P, George Michael and BeBe and Ce Ce Winans.

Today, she runs B&B Productions providing consultation to both major and independent record labels.


Barbara Lewis

A 25-year veteran whose career includes positions at Warner Bros., EMI, DreamWorks and Capitol Records, Ms. Evans, or "CC," as she is called, has worked with some of the biggest executives and artists in the business. Rising from an administrative assistant to the position of Operations Manager R&B Music at Capitol Records, when looking for someone to keep their departments on course, many have turned to CC. Currently, Ms. Evans holds a position at Fox Studios.


Cecelia 'C.C.' Evans

Officers

In a career spanning over 20 years, encompassing both the radio broadcasting and the music industry, Mr. Linton’s career started as an on air talent, moving up the ranks to Program Director and later General Manager. He also established his leadership skills in the music industry holding positions as regional director at Warner Bros. Records, eventually to National Director. He has held Vice President and Senior Vice President positions at Arista Records and Capitol Records respectively.

As Vice President Promotions, he catapulted the careers of many artists including Salt N Pepa, resulting in the first multi-platinum album by a female rap group. During his career he has contributed to over 90 million albums sold for such artists as Whitney Houston, P-Diddy and the late Notorious BIG, Prince, Toni Braxton, Outkast, and Usher, among others.

Mr. Linton received his M.A. in Media Marketing from North Carolina Central University, Durham N.C. and his B.A. at Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C. Prior to his career in the music industry, Mr. Linton created the Communications Dept. at Elizabeth City State University, including its 40,000 watt FM station WRVS-FM. Today he provides consulting to both independent and major labels and artists through his company Not Nil Entertainment. He also serves as EVP Urban at CO5 Music, LLC.


David C. Linton

This Temple University graduate, known as VJ to those in the industry, has enjoyed an illustrious career serving in many senior management capacities. Mr. Johnson has held a variety of senior management positions at EMI (Capitol and Manhattan/Blue Note Records), Universal Music Group (Island Records) and BMG (Jive Records). During his tenure in the EMI Records family he was chosen to serve as Vice President for the new label Manhattan/Blue Note Records (now the home of Norah Jones.) resulting in Bobby McFerren's classic "Don't Worry Be Happy."

It was Mr. Johnson's sense for talent that led him as Vice President Artist & Repertoire/ Promotion to sign such Platinum artists as Freddie Jackson, Tina Turner, George Clinton and Ashford & Simpson. He was among the first minority executives to have the power to sign acts and create and execute the marketing plans for those acts. His work with Frankie Beverly and Maze led to the landmark recording "Frankie Beverly & Maze Live in New Orleans" and his strategies help transform Tina Turner from a R&B star to an international pop star.

During his tenure as Senior Vice President at Jive Records, R. Kelly, The Fresh Prince (Will Smith) & Jazzy Jeff and the late Aaliyah all got their first taste of success due to Mr. Johnson's efforts. At Island, in a similar capacity, he helped sign and re-tool the image of the legendary Isley Brothers, introducing them to a new legion of fans especially their front man Ron Isley, known to today's audiences as "Mr. Big." Today, Mr. Johnson manages his own Junes Entertainment Company, still providing his expertise to many of today's leading music companies.


Varnell Johnson

Jacqueline “Jackie” Rhinehart, is an executive who has reached the pinnacle of success in two important areas of the music industry, Marketing and Publicity.  As the first Sr. Vice-President of Marketing at Universal Records, (Universal Music Group), which encompasses the legendary Motown Records, she directed multi-million dollar advertising and media campaigns, as well as developed successful cross-promotional ventures among Universal/Motown artists with blue-chip companies such as Coca-Cola, Seagram, Budweiser and Viacom- owned BET & MTV among others. Artists like Nelly, Erykah Badu, Cash Money, Boyz II Men and Sean “P-Diddy” Comb’s highly successful Bad Boy Entertainment have all benefited from this brilliant and “go get ‘em” executive.

A masterful omni-media strategist, Ms. Rhinehart creates packages for all media outlets, including music videos, the internet, print, television and radio for her artists.  Prior to her long tenure at Universal, she served as Sr. Director of Publicity at Arista Records under the leadership of legendary music impresario Clive Davis.  Overseeing the Urban Publicity Department, she developed campaigns for a wide variety of artists that included Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, TLC, Lisa Stansfield, Kenny G. and the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. During her tenure at Mercury Records, it was Ms. Rhinehart who helped transform a former Miss America, Vanessa Williams, into a gold and platinum selling artist.

Ms. Rhinehart is also a published journalist and this South Carolina native once served as Director of the South Carolina’s Governor’s Mansion, planning and directing all the public and legislative events at the residence and coordinating the First Lady’s itinerary and official schedule.


Jacqueline “Jackie” Rhinehart

Patricia Shields is a partner in Black Dot LLC, a multi-service entertainment company providing services in marketing, corporate and consumer promotions and event production. Ms. Shields recently produced the StarQuest Stage at the Taste Of Soul Festival and was on the Production and Activation teams for the ‘On The Vine’ 3-day music festival in Martha’s Vineyard and the BET Experience Genius Talks.

Prior to joining Black Dot, Ms. Shields was Vice-President, Marketing for the Black Music Division of Warner Bros. Records. A graduate of CCNY, she held positions at WNEW Radio, Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and consulted at DreamWorks Records.

Ms. Shields was previously Vice-President of the New York Chapter of the Black Music Association, Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Black Parenting, and was one of the founding members of the Warner Bros Records Mentoring Program. She is a recipient of a Black Woman Of Achievement medal from the Legal Defense Fund.


Patricia Shields

A 25-year veteran whose career includes positions at Warner Bros., EMI, DreamWorks and Capitol Records, Ms. Evans, or "CC," as she is called, has worked with some of the biggest executives and artists in the business. Rising from an administrative assistant to the position of Operations Manager R&B Music at Capitol Records, when looking for someone to keep their departments on course, many have turned to CC. Currently, Ms. Evans holds a position at Fox Studios.


Cecelia 'C.C.' Evans

An alum of Cornell University (B.A.) and Cornell University School of Law (J.D.), Mr. Minter is an internationally renowned entertainment attorney with over 35 years of experience. He established Minter & Associates, LLC., a boutique law firm which represents a diverse international clientele in the areas of entertainment, corporate, intellectual property, sports and new media matters.

Mr. Minter is a co-founder and inaugural Executive Director of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) and currently serves on its Advisory Board. In addition to the Living Legends Foundation, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and is a former Chairman and currently Chairman Emeritus of that organization. Mr. Minter serves the artist community as a member of the Board of Sound Exchange. In the education community, Kendall is an Instructor in the School of Music at Georgia State University, where he teaches Copyright and Music Publishing and he has previously taught at Benjamin Cardoza School of Law as an Adjunct Professor.

Mr. Minter has been recognized in Who’s Who In Entertainment, Who’s Who In The East and Who’s Who Amongst Black Americans and has been inducted into the Knights of Malta, O.S.J. His clients include and have included world renowned artists, entertainers, celebrities, actors, politicians, religious leaders and churches, producers, songwriters, managers, production companies, executives and authors. A sampling of Mr. Minter's varied clients, past and present, includes Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Shabba Ranks, Lena Horne, Roy Ayers, Musiq Soulchild, Jermaine Dupri, Najee, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Third World, Bunny Wailer, The Government of Jamaica, The Backstreet Boys, Cassandra Wilson, Teddy Riley, Freddie Jackson, former WBO Heavyweight Champion Ray Mercer, Peter Tosh, Ashanti, M.C. Lyte, Heavy D & The Boyz, Mtume, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Juanita Bynum, Arrow Records (Dr. Creflo Dollar), Montell Jordan and Victory World Church and numerous others.


Kendall Minter, Esq.

Meet The Board

Board Members

A.D. Washington, or "A.D." as he is known, is a 25-year music veteran whose brilliant career has seen him move from a regional manager to senior management positions at MCA (Universal Music Group), Warner Bros. Records and Capitol Records. As Senior Vice President at MCA Records, AD led his staff to unprecedented success and ushered in the "New Jack Swing" era of popular music, which became the forerunner to today's Hip Hop explosion. While serving as Senior Vice President at MCA Records (Universal Music Group), his work with New Edition, Teddy Riley, Patti Labelle, Bobby Brown, Mary J.Blige, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Jody Watley, Guy, Jodeci and Heavy D. became the standard that every other label in the industry tried to match. AD and his staff counted up award after award at industry award ceremonies providing the platform for many of his staffers to move on to other senior positions in the industry. AD has received numerous awards over his career for his leadership. His management style and his vision, had kept AD a key player in the music business. Today he operates his own entertainment consulting company, AD Barak Corporation, which continues to make an impact on today's musical landscape.

A member of the LLF since its inception, this veteran has held senior management positions at CBS (Sony Music), MCA (Universal Music Group) and Capitol Records, where she served as Vice President. Ms. Lewis is among the first women to hold such esteemed positions in the male-dominated music industry. Artists who have benefited from her expertise read like a who's who: Patti LaBelle, Earth Wind & Fire, MC Hammer, BB King, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Johnny Mathis, Master P, George Michael and BeBe and Ce Ce Winans.

Today, she runs B&B Productions providing consultation to both major and independent record labels.

Colleen Wilson’s love for music led her to pursue a career in the music industry that has lasted almost 20 years. Her first position was with the Elektra Entertainment Group as a Regional Director of Promotions. Colleen’s energy and tenacity resulted in her being named promotion person the year, 5 times in her first 6 years. It also earned her a promotion to a National Director position.

During her time at Elektra, Colleen worked with Natalie Cole, En Vogue, Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Busta Rhymes, Yolanda Adams and Missy Elliott. After a successful stint at Elektra, Colleen accepted a National position with Atlantic Records working with artists Lupe Fiasco, Flo Rida, Sean Paul, Trey Songz and T.I.

Colleen next accepted the position of Vice President of Promotions at Universal Motown/ Republic Records working with artists including Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Erykah Badu, Kem and Melanie Fiona.

She brings that same energy and tenacity that has defined her career to assist the Living Legends Foundation in their worthy endeavors.

Gwendolyn Quinn is the founder and president of one of the nation’s leading independent publicity and public relations firms. Founded in 2002, GQ Media & Public Relations, Inc. (now Gwendolyn Quinn) is a full-service publicity and marketing firm that specializes in developing media strategies, coordinating special events and brand development for clients who span the worlds of music, theatre, corporate, not-for- profit, faith-based, and the visual/fine arts. Quinn’s roster has included a wide range of clients including Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Thelonious Sphere Monk, III (T.S. Monk), Isaac Hayes, Kirk Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Deborah Cox, Motown Gospel, Music World Entertainment, Music World Gospel, Andraé Crouch, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Fred Hammond, Karen Clark Sheard, Keke Wyatt, Regina Belle, Coca-Cola (Nu Classic Soul Campaign), The American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke Movement campaign, The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, Mandela Day Concert in New York City, the Museum of Moving Image Salutes Will Smith, Radio One’s 25 th Anniversary Gala and numerous others.

Her career encompasses stints as Vice President of Publicity at Capitol Records (two tenures at the label), senior director of publicity at Arista Records during legendary executive Clive Davis’ tenure, and senior director of publicity at Island Records. She has also held positions at Mercury/PolyGram Records, Flavor Unit Entertainment and ASCAP. Her work has paired her with some of the industry’s brightest stars, including Whitney Houston, Prince, Queen Latifah, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, the Isley Brothers, Monica, CeCe Winans, Rachelle Ferrell, Lisa Stansfield, Faith Evans, Notorious B.I.G., Vanessa Williams, Oleta Adams, Brian McKnight and countless others. In addition to her publicity and public relations work, Quinn founded the African-American Public Relations Collective (AAPRC), a national group of more than 1,000 public relations and communications specialists that provide professional support to their peers in the communications industry. In February, 2004, Quinn also launched The AAPRC Monthly (now titled Global Communicator), an e-publication for African-American public relations, marketing and communications professionals and journalists.

In 2015, Quinn was an honoree of the Inspired In Music Series. In 2014, she was a recipient of the International Black Broadcaster Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Earlier that year, she was the 2014 Stellar Women of Gospel Awards Honoree. In 2013, she was named one of the Top 20 Power Players in Roots magazine’s Annual Industry Stellar Gospel Music Awards Edition. In 2011, Black Enterprise magazine named her one of the Women In Black Music’s Top Women Executives Behind the Scene. In that same year, she was also named one of the nation’s top African American Public Relations Agents by the Atlanta Post. In 2010, Quinn was honored by the Talladega College Alumni Association of Greater New York on behalf of the African American Public Relations Collective. She is the recipient of the National Black Public Relations Society Network Award (2007). She has been honored by then Council Member Yvette D. Clarke (Brooklyn, New York) and the Council of the City of New York (2006) and on Capitol Hill by Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (2004) for her professional work and community service.

Quinn is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, the National Black Public Relations Society, the Museum of Television and Radio, the Museum of the Moving Image, the National Association of Black Journalists, a voting member of The Recording Academy (formerly the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) and others. She is a contributor to Souls Revealed and featured in Handle Your Entertainment Business books. Quinn is also a freelance writer, with various print and digital media outlets, and the author of “My Person of the Week” and “Inside Broadway” column for EURWEB.com.

Jon Platt is a powerhouse in the music industry and considered one of the most influential music publishers in the world.  Mr. Platt has earned a reputation for identifying talent.  With his sharp business acumen, his commitment to his craft has enabled him to negotiate deals that grow the careers of his writers, producers, and artists.  He was instrumental in redefining the role of a traditional music publisher with a full-service approach centered on educating and empowering his clients on the business of music.

Award-winning artists Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Usher, Drake, Ludacris, Mary Mary, Young Jeezy and Snoop Dogg, are just some of the talent that Jon signed personally at the onset of their careers. Jon began as a creative manager at EMI Music Publishing and his career ascent over 16 years led him to President, Creative, North America before his departure.  Under Jon’s guidance, EMI Music Publishing was named ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Publisher of the Year for 17 consecutive years and Billboard’s Publisher of the Year for 12 consecutive years.

Jon joined Warner Music Group in October 2012.  In his previous role serving as President, Creative, North America for Warner/Chappell Music, Jon was instrumental in the signings of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, producer Mike WiLL Made it, and the music publishing roster of entertainment company, Roc Nation, as well as the re-signing of Barry Gibb and Robby Robertson. In December 2013 Jon was promoted to President, North America, WCM taking on a newly expanded leadership role, overseeing teams across WCM’s offices in New York, Nashville, Miami, Toronto and the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

Miller London served as President of Urban Network Magazine for 9 years before acquiring it from Clear Channel Communications in 2003 and becoming its Publisher/CEO/Owner.

He served at the legendary A&M Records as Executive VP / GM of Urban Music Division working such major artists as Barry White, Lo-Key, Mint Condition, CeCe Peniston and Grammy Award-winning producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Miller held various positions at RCA Records from Vice President of product development to Vice President Sales and Marketing. His 21 years at Motown Records in various capacities including Senior VP /GM, has afforded him the vantage point of seeing the music business as few have, working closely with Motown Founder Berry Gordy.

Mr. Miller is the founder and publisher of Black Radio Exclusive (BRE), the first and oldest trade publication dedicated to highlighting and exploiting the world of urban music. Sidney started his career in music as a musician and a concert promoter while attending Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida. His classmates included famed musicians Nat and Cannonball Adderley. After serving his country in the U.S. Army, the former First Lieutenant eventually joined Capitol Records. While at Capitol Records, he managed the entire promotion department providing promotional strategies for such diverse acts such as Helen Reddy, the Fortunes and his former classmate Cannonball Adderley. Upon forming his own management and promotions company, Sidney created the marketing strategy for the landmark soundtrack to the movie "Car Wash", which became MCA Records largest selling soundtrack at that time.

In 1976, noting the lack of attention given to Black music, which accounted for over 60% of the $6 billion music industry, he launched BRE, which has grown from its initial 1,000 copies to an internationally read publication. His annual BRE Conventions brought together the "movers and shakers" of both the entertainment, civil rights and political worlds, where vital information has been shared in an effort to further advance the cause of Black music and those who create and market it. The highlight of each convention was the awards dinner where winners received the "Drummer Award," which was commissioned by the publisher to represent the African tradition of mass communication. Sidney has proven to be a visionary, which lead to his creation of the first syndicated satellite program "Hollywood Live," hosted by the late legendary radio programmer Frankie Crocker. Today satellite broadcasting is the norm but Sidney, as the saying goes, was "slightly ahead of his time." In addition to being on the LLF Board, Sidney is involved in The Recording Academy’s MusiCares Foundation, the Evander Holyfield Foundation, Washington D.C. Music Commission among others. He has received numerous awards including the prestigious NAACP Image Award.

Vinny Brown is a native New Yorker recognized and distinguished among the elite in Radio Programming. Vinny is an accomplished Radio Air Personality, Music Director, Program Director, Operations Manager and Station EVP. Brown’s unprecedented achievement in New York City Urban Radio remains unrivaled. As an NYC OM/PD he’s credited for leading two different radio stations, WRKS and WBLS respectively, to the top of the ratings more times repeatedly in America’s #1 radio market. Brown’s leadership and proven track record validates his ability to maximize performance and ascend radio stations to winning levels of competitiveness.

Vinny’s multi-format expertise specializes in Urban Mainstream, Urban AC and Smooth R&B & Classic Soul. Brown’s experience includes General Market Contemporary Hit Radio, Classic Rock, Country, News/Talk and Gospel, which offer an impressive range of versatility and diversity among his most respected credentials spanning from New York to LA.

Vinny has built a strong reputation for talent development through the years. It includes working with a number of high profile air personalities as well as training many celebrities to be on-air performers. Subsequently many have become most successful in major market radio, national syndication and satellite radio. Brown has been responsible for the creation of network programming for national radio syndication and the development of international shows for FM stations in Kobe’ and Tokyo Bay Japan. His imaging marketing background includes voicing nationally aired radio spots and producing TV commercials marketing radio stations. Vinny also has appeared as himself on TV sitcom “Martin” and was a contributing consultant to the movie “Juice.”

Brown has received numerous awards and prestigious recognition for excellence and outstanding achievement within the radio industry and community service. Brown currently serves as EVP/Consultant to KJLH Radio Los Angeles and on the Board of Directors of the Living Legends Foundation.

Advisory Board

Mr. Johnston has more than four decades of progressive experience in all aspects of music product development, licensing, sales, promotion and distribution for national and international markets.

Mr. Johnston has worked for Ariola Records, EMI America, Stax Records and Arista Records in a staff position. He has also worked for Capitol Records, Sony, Warner Bros. Records, Island Records, Mercury Records and a host of Independent labels as an Independent Marketing Specialist and Promotion person.

For a period of over ten years he was co-owner of Joeyboy Records, J.R. Records, On Top Records, American Faith Records, Joeyboy Publishing BMI, Beam of Light Publishing ASCAP, Too Soon To Tell Publishing SESAC, and Bazooka Filmworks.

He has held the position of Director of Urban sales for the K-Tel Corporation, Simitar & associated labels, Vice President of sales for Mind Seed Corporation and Southeast regional director of promotion for Arista, EMI, Ariola and Fantasy Records. Allen consults new and existing entertainment businesses, increasing their revenue - streams while making them technically astute. He develops international licensing and sub-publishing agreements. Mr. Johnston is an accomplished speaker and has lectured for numerous conferences, the American Bar Association and the Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee Bar Associations Continuing Legal Education Divisions.

MUSIC SPECIALIST is one of the oldest music information websites in existence (www.asha.com).

Winston Willis, better known as 'Buzzy' has been a true innovator and industry pioneer for all of his over 25 years in the music industry. Born and raised in Harlem, Buzz thrived on the creative and cultural energy that surrounded him. He attended De Witt Clinton High School and was a member of The Solitaires, a high school doo-wop group that was later inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. After school he worked as a stock boy for Royal Roost/Roulette Records before going away to Case Weston University in Cleveland, Ohio, on a basketball and scholastic scholarship. Back from college, he didn't miss a "note" but continued his career in music doing local promotion for MGM/Verve Records.

Mr. Willis then joined the staff of RCA Records in New York and proved he had the "Midas touch." With a string of gold records to his credit, his ride to the top was in meteoric style. He holds the distinction of being the youngest Vice President of that company, and for creating the first Black Music Division for the label. It was under his guidance the careers of Jose Feliciano, The Main Ingredient and Hues Corporation were nurtured. Buzzy Willis still found the time to pursue his graduate studies at Pace University in marketing.

His astute business savvy did not go unnoticed and he was soon recruited by Phillips Electronics Corporation (parent company of Polydor/Polygram Records) to be the Senior Vice President of all American Operations. Always rising to the challenge, Mr. Willis proved that he could conquer the context of corporate politics by being instrumental in the acquisition of Mercury and Verve Records by Phillips. In his capacity as Senior Vice President, he was responsible for the marketing strategies for such world renowned artists as James Brown, Joe Simon and Millie Jackson. A true trailblazer, it was time for Mr. Willis to conquer new territory, so he accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of CTI Records, the largest jazz record label in the world. Once again, it was the innovative marketing skills, industry acumen and innate creativity of Willis that propelled the successes of jazz greats Grover Washington Jr., George Benson, and Esther Phillips. Mr. Willis was personally responsible for the music industry's first platinum jazz album - "Mr. Magic" by Grover Washington, Jr. Respected by many as a marketing genius, he created the blue prints of success for such artists as the multi-platinum Kool & The Gang, Sister Sledge and Alexander O'Neal.

In May 1996, Mr. Willis launched One World Entertainment, Ltd. in partnership with The Sanctuary Group (UK), one of the largest management firms in Europe. OWE, Ltd. boasts on impressive roster that includes the likes of Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Wasp and Halloween. The Sanctuary Group is partners with the BBC, producing three specials a year for the network.

OWE, Ltd. provides a myriad of services such as artist management, tour direction, record production, contract negotiations, video production and concert tour promotion. As President and CEO of OWE, Ltd., Mr. Willis and his partners, Robert "Kool" Bell and industry veteran Cecil Holmes, have assembled a collection of talent that is on the cutting edge and represents today's hottest sounds. Unlike so many of his contemporaries that are confined to the parameters of a specific category, Mr. Willis has proven that his abilities transcend the barriers of musical genres. OWE Ltd., in union with 89 5th Records, Inc., will feature contemporary music crossing all musical genres and also provide manufacturing and distribution services for new labels.

An active community leader, Willis has been recognized for his personal as well as professional contributions. He has been named Young Businessman of the Year by the New York Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women. Listed in the "Who's Who in America," he was appointed Minority Market Consultant for the Department of Defense under the Carter Administration, Entertainment Consultant to the United Nations' 50th Anniversary and named Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Commission of Jersey City, New Jersey. Winston "Buzzy" Willis remains one of the most influential movers in the music industry.

Known as the "Godfather" of independent retailers, George's Music Room, based on Chicago's southside, has become legendary and a must stop for any Urban artists looking to sell records in Chicago. What was once called a "Mom and Pop" store has grown to multiple locations including Chicago's Midway Airport with a location soon to open in Chicago's busiest travel center, O'Hare Airport.

Mr. Daniels has provided leadership to independent retailers, breaking into ranks once reserved for only the chains or mega-stores. Artists have sought his advice from the legendary Isley Brothers to Chicago's own R. Kelly. Mr. Daniels has appeared in numerous videos by today's hottest artists and has hosted shows for BET. George Daniels is a living legend.

Irene Johnson-Ware's illustrious career in Gospel radio started in 1961 at WGOK-Mobile as the host of The Mandy Show, now known as "The Brighter Day." There she rose to the level of General Manager and enjoyed an unprecedented 38 1/2 year tenure. Affectionately known as "Miss Ware," Irene Ware has exemplified the terms empowerment, mentoring and networking, by positively impacting the lives and careers of many people in the entertainment industry.

Mrs. Ware's stellar career is evidenced by her numerous appointments and awards including: Who's Who Among Black Americans; Gospel Music Workshop of America's Gospel Announcer of The Year Award; NBPC Gospel Announcer of The Year Award; Urban Network's Living Legend Award and many more.

In 1992, Mrs. Ware was elected president of the YBPC, Young Black Programmers Coalition, later renamed the National Black Programmers Coalition. Under her direction, the NBPC grew in industry visibility, membership and financial stability. A devoted wife and mother of two, Darryl and the late Ronnie Johnson, Mrs. Ware always has words of inspiration and encouragement for everyone she encounters and continues to inspire with her unrelenting drive to improve opportunities for African Americans in the music and entertainment industry.

Tony Gray is the President/CEO of Gray Communications, a Chicago-based programming consultancy formed in January 1990. Today, Gray Communications clients form many of the most successful Urban Contemporary, Urban AC and Hip Hop radio stations in the country with a business model that is geared specifically to his vast programming experience in the nation's most competitive markets.

On a monthly basis, Gray Communications conducts comprehensive market monitors of client station and all direct competitors, talent critiques and a thorough Advertising/Promotions analysis. Additionally, his firm provides an overview on potential modifications and adjustments that programmers should consider, as well as detailed marketing and promotional strategies requiring execution to boost ratings and brand extension. 

Once per quarter, Mr. Gray’s firm provides a written review of music programming, based on supplied music logs from the stations, reviews and evaluates a station's music – reviewing key factors such as familiarity, flow, balance, demographic and gender appeal and offers a written analysis of all direct competitors.

Monica Alexander is founder and president of PR Wizzzz Entertainment, whose impressive award-winning career includes media relations/communications experience in personal and entertainment public relations, special event management, brand marketing and lifestyle PR. Prior to establishing the firm, she was Senior Director of Publicity and Senior Account Executive with MCA Records and Rogers & Cowan.

Having worked with talent from every level in the entertainment industry has given Ms. Alexander the broad experience necessary to plan and execute media campaigns tailored to the client's specific needs. This has led her to working with an exceptional roster of clients including Chris Tucker, Tony Rock, Boyz II Men, Lionel Richie, K-Ci & JoJo, Jodeci, Chante Moore, Steve Harvey, Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, Fox Music Group, The Robert Horry Foundation (Former NBA Player), Grant Irons (Oakland Raiders), Magic Johnson Music, Grahamwhit Marketing Group, Roshanak Filmswork, Haute Face Cosmetics, The Power Player Lifestyle Magazine and the Black Baseball Players Association.

Additionally, she has handled special events and projects for Don Cornelius Productions, Chris Webber Foundation, Russell Simmons/Phat Farm Fashions (VIP Gifting Lounge), The Recording Academy, including the organization’s GRAMMY In The Schools and GRAMMY Foundation programs and MusiCares “Person of the Year” Tributes & Concerts. Ms. Alexander has extensive expertise in supervising award shows, including The GRAMMY, BET Awards, Soul Train Music Awards and Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards among many others. She is a highly accomplished publicity executive and her achievements have garnered recognition from a variety of prestigious public relations organizations, including Public Communicators of Los Angeles, Public Relations Advertising Marketing Excellence (P.R.A.M.E.), and the Excel Award from Webber Shandwick (Rogers & Cowan).

In addition to the Living Legends Foundation, Ms. Alexander maintains a number of professional memberships in media communications, including The Recording Academy, NAACP, Women In PR, Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment, and Cambridge’s Who Who’s Women in Business.

A graduate of University of Phoenix, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Management along with an Associate in Arts degree in Law/Legal Studies with a focus on Entertainment Law from Los Angeles City College.

Ray Harris is the Founding Chairman of The Living Legends Foundation.  He created the organization and helped to draft its original By-Laws as well as getting the organization incorporated in 1991. He served as Chairman until 1997. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Foundation.

Mr. Harris held the position of RCA Division Vice President Black Music from 1980-1982. He had total P&L responsibility for his division, which included A&R, Promotion, Marketing, Sales and Publicity, and overall administration. This was a rare position for anyone of color in the early 80’s. During his tenure at RCA he worked with superstar and established artists such as Nina Simone, Diana Ross, Friends of Distinction, Main Ingredient, New Birth, George Clinton, Edwin Starr, The Tymes, Hall & Oates, Ahmad Jamal, and Whispers. Under his supervision, RCA “broke” new artists such as Evelyn “Champagne” King, Brainstorm, DJ Rogers, Odyssey, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, John Lucien, Instant Funk, Skyy, Hues Corporation, Stephanie Mills, Chocolate Milk, Memphis Horns, Carl Carlton, Vicki Sue Robinson, Silver Convention, Shalamar, Lakeside, Midnight Starr, Dynasty, Carrie Lucas, Salsoul Orchestra, amongst others. In 1982 Mr. Harris relocated to Los Angeles to accept a position as President of Solar Records and continued working on the successes of The Whispers, Lakeside, Midnight Starr, and established Klymaxx and the Deele. In 1985 he left Solar Records to form his own consulting and production company. It was during a stint as consultant to Avant Garde Management in 1988 that he accepted a position as Vice President of Black Music Promotion for Warner Bros. Records. In 1990 he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Black Music & Jazz Marketing & Promotion for Warner and Reprise Records. During his tenure at Warner/Reprise Records he worked with superstar and established artists such as Prince, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Miles Davis, George Duke, Sheila E., Earth, Wind, & Fire, Cameo, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Michael Franks, Little Jimmy Scott, Roger Troutman & Zapp, Frankie Beverly, Morris Day, The Time and Hiroshima. The company “broke” new artists such as Karyn White, Tevin Campbell, Keith Washington, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Take 6, Biz Markie, amongst others.

In 1995 he left Warner Bros./Reprise Records and joined Epic Records in January 1996 in the position of Sr. Vice President Black Music, working with such superstar acts as Michael Jackson, Babyface, and Luther Vandross, as well as working with Brownstone and breaking and establishing Ginuwine. He left Epic Records in 1997.

Ray, whose motto is “Each one Teach one”,  has won every major industry award given including induction into the BELSA (Black Entertainment And Sports Lawyers Association) Hall Of Fame and was by honored by his native Harlem, NY by receiving the Adam Clayton Powell Award by the Adam Clayton Powell Foundation. He was awarded the Impact Music Publication’s “Record Executive of The Year Award” for a record breaking 5 consecutive years (1990-94). The award was later renamed the “Ray Harris Award” for deserving executives.  Ray has received over 75 Platinum & Gold awards for the artists he’s represented over the years.

Tony Gray is the President/CEO of Gray Communications, a Chicago-based programming consultancy formed in January 1990. Today, Gray Communications clients form many of the most successful Urban Contemporary, Urban AC and Hip Hop radio stations in the country with a business model that is geared specifically to his vast programming experience in the nation's most competitive markets.

On a monthly basis, Gray Communications conducts comprehensive market monitors of client station and all direct competitors, talent critiques and a thorough Advertising/Promotions analysis. Additionally, his firm provides an overview on potential modifications and adjustments that programmers should consider, as well as detailed marketing and promotional strategies requiring execution to boost ratings and brand extension. 

Once per quarter, Mr. Gray’s firm provides a written review of music programming, based on supplied music logs from the stations, reviews and evaluates a station's music – reviewing key factors such as familiarity, flow, balance, demographic and gender appeal and offers a written analysis of all direct competitors.

TC Thompkins is a renowned and seasoned Music Executive with some 42 years of experience. He is the founder and owner of Thompkins Marketing, Thompkins’ Media Group, and Plum Jam Music, BMI. His career began in 1972 at Stax Records.

Mr. Thompkins served as Vice President, Epic Records and worked with such notable Labels as Philly International, Tabu, Teaneck, Bang Records, Love Unlimited, Portrait and George Clinton.

He joined GR Productions as COO and served as liaison to MCA, Motown and Virgin Records. During his career, he served as Vice President of Quality Records and Regional Director at Stax, ABC, Capitol, and CBS. He has worked with music icons Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Granny White, Dave Clark, Al Bell and Clarence Avant. Mr. Thompkins served as consultant to Stereo Fame, earning J Dash a platinum single “WOP” and Red Star, earning George Tandy’s,” March “, a Top 10 UAC single.

His career has been featured on all major networks, NBC, FOX, CBS TV and Radio and BET. Articles have appeared in BRE, Houston Business Journal, Who’s Who in Black America, A King Size View and Billboard.

He has garnered dozens of platinum and gold record awards from artists such as Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, Isley Brothers, Mtume, SOS Band, Maze, Teena Marie, Teddy Pendergrass, Patti Labelle, Guy, George Duke, Johnny Taylor, The Clash, Heatwave, The O’Jays, Isaac Hayes, Bill Withers, The Dramatics and Natalie Cole, to name a few.

Mr. Thompkins attended Bishop College for Business and Management, CBS School of Management for Administration and Business and studied Business Administration while in the U.S. Army. During his 3 years in the military, he served with the First Air Cavalry in Vietnam.

Tony Gray is the President/CEO of Gray Communications, a Chicago-based programming consultancy formed in January 1990. Today, Gray Communications clients form many of the most successful Urban Contemporary, Urban AC and Hip Hop radio stations in the country with a business model that is geared specifically to his vast programming experience in the nation's most competitive markets.

On a monthly basis, Gray Communications conducts comprehensive market monitors of client station and all direct competitors, talent critiques and a thorough Advertising/Promotions analysis. Additionally, his firm provides an overview on potential modifications and adjustments that programmers should consider, as well as detailed marketing and promotional strategies requiring execution to boost ratings and brand extension. 

Once per quarter, Mr. Gray’s firm provides a written review of music programming, based on supplied music logs from the stations, reviews and evaluates a station's music – reviewing key factors such as familiarity, flow, balance, demographic and gender appeal and offers a written analysis of all direct competitors.