THE ICON: Vernon “Doctor Daddy-O” Winslow
THE LEGACY: When he was hired in the late 1940s by New Orleans radio station WJMR, Vernon Winslow had strict instructions. With “race” records gaining traction, he was to help pick R&B platters to spin and to coach the station’s all-white deejay crew how to sound hip. As a black man, however, he wasn’t to go on the air himself. Late one night in 1949, he did it anyway and was promptly fired. But that was just the start of his radio career, not the end. Within six months, Jax Brewery — which wanted to expand its outreach in the black community — hired him to host his own weekly show on rival station WWEZ, billing him as “New Orleans’ first sepia disc jockey.” The legendary on-air persona Dr. Daddy-O was born, and with it a new era in New Orleans radio.
THE ARTIST: Jeremy Paten
THE INSPIRATION: “It was like the Berlin Wall. He broke down the walls.” — legendary New Orleans recording engineer Cosimo Matassa, on Vernon Winslow