B.J. Murphy: A Radio Legend
Since 1984, B.J. Murphy has been behind the microphone.
His lifelong aspiration has been to talk to people, entertain them and educate them in his own unique way.
B.J. is a beloved resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, and well-respected broadcaster in the radio industry.
A young man with a vision develops a voice
Born and raised in Goldsboro, N.C., from the 10th grade he knew he wanted a career in radio. At his home he built a makeshift radio station in his bedroom, where he would lock himself in for hours practicing on how to become a disc jockey. From there he attended Shaw University after high school graduation in 1983 and majored in Radio and Television.
While in college he worked at 3 radio stations at the same time and became popular in the Raleigh-Durham market winning several awards. B.J. always saw himself as a big-time morning deejay working in the big city. “I always saw myself as living and working in Chicago or New York and talking to millions of people in the morning. That was my drive.”
B.J. has been on air in small to medium to major markets during his 40-year career.
Those cities include Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Columbia, S. Carolina; Greensboro, N.C., Baltimore, Md., Kansas City, Missouri; Charlotte, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Ill.
“One of the greatest highlights early in my career was filling in for my iconic hero Donnie Simpson on WPGC 95.5 in Washington D.C. When Donnie and I both worked for CBS Radio, I would fill in for Donnie while he was on vacation. I was in Charlotte and got to come to Washington and sit in his seat,” he says.
A high quality, committed radio voice
B.J. is known in the industry as one of the Elite Morning Men of Urban Radio. The late Jerry Boulding always placed B.J. in the ranks of radio’s “Top Urban Morning talent.”
Here is an excerpt: “Making Mornings Work One is of the on-going axioms of our industry is ‘as mornings go, so goes the station.’ Yet while most formats have developed either a local or syndicated morning show, the blueprint or personality archetype for urban radio is still developing. In other words, we have not yet developed a complete system for developing strong local morning shows for the future. Like those in other formats, urban programmers continue to say things like, ‘The music is really the product. We'll get the music right and let it do the talking. We can hire or import a morning show and we'll be all right.’ That philosophy and attitude in a world with no competition might have been able to generate some numbers in the past, but for those of us dealing with the real world where there are strong, well financed stations hammering at us from all sides, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you got to have a ‘killer’ morning show to be competitive. And not all morning shows work in all markets. There's really no question about the power of a strong morning show on urban radio, though. But what changed this year was the recognition that morning humor really comes from character. Nationally syndicated morning shows from Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, Russ Parr, B.J. Murphy and now Steve Harvey have proven this.
B.J. Murphy spent the greatest amount of his radio career in Charlotte. N.C., for 9 years producing one of the most lucrative shows in the station’s history.
“At one point we were helping the station generate $1 million a month in revenue before the market dropped around the time of ‘9-11.’ Radio and Records Magazine in 2002 named his show the No. 1 up and coming Urban Morning Show in America.
B.J. has also done morning syndication under the brand “B.J. in the Morning” with Syndicator SupeRadio back in 2005. In 2004, a poll was done among Urban programmers and they were asked which morning show they felt would be the next successful show in syndication? Thus the B.J. in the morning show was launched in 2005 out of Dallas, Texas.
“We were poised to be the younger version of what Tom Joyner was doing in morning syndication. If it were not for the 800-pound Gorilla in the form of Steve Harvey, I am confident that we would be on in 30 or more cities across the US Today.”
B.J. has a strong work ethic in preparing for his daily show and has been known to arrive at the station at 3am to do his 6 a.m. morning show. His passion for helping the community is well noted, particularly working with young Black males. B.J. is caring and sincere in his efforts to make a positive change wherever he goes. B.J. has given up his income tax checks to help people stay in their homes and countless other acts of kindness with those less fortunate in our community.
“I am a servant DJ for the people of God, to serve them is to serve him. I believe when you put good before you, it always comes back,” says B.J. B.J. is also a recipient of the Tom Joyner Personality of the year award. The National Black Programmers Personality of the year Award. Billboard Magazines #1 Up and Coming Urban Morning Show. B.J. has been written off in numerous trade publications and has been a featured panelist at many radio industry events.
B.J. Murphy will be officially placed in the National Black Radio Hall of Fame 2023 during an induction ceremony in Atlanta on Oct 7, 2023.