*“It’s the slot I need to be in…late night,” said legendary DJ Donnie Simpson about his return from retirement to host a second season of TV One’s “Donnie After Dark” late night television show airing on Sundays at 11 p.m. Donnie is also hosting TV One’s WMMJ-Majic 102.3 FM radio show, “The Donnie Simpson Show,” airing Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. “I’m glad I did it. Now I have two shows – radio and television.”
Donnie, known for his deep voice and green eyes, told me it was at the urging of his wife, Pamela, after 5 ½ years of retirement to come back to the airwaves. She told him at 62 years old that he was too young to retire.
“I am blessed to have sat out for 5 ½ years,” Simpson said of his new career beginning. “I got my first check and didn’t know where to sign I hadn’t seen one in so long.”
Donnie was the first DJ personality of an Urban-format radio station to have a salary of over $1 million without syndication. His career started at the young age of 15. Because of his deep voice he was asked to sit-in for a regular DJ for a week, that week lasted for over seven years.
“I was watching him and I said, ‘I can do that.’ Three months later I was on the air,” Donnie informed me of his humble introduction into the life of a radio DJ. “I became very popular, a heavy voice and I’m just a kid. I couldn’t be live the straight 8 p.m. to 12 midnight because of the law (in Detroit).”
Donnie said he would air live from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. then go home and do his homework, while a prerecorded show airs. His voice changed to what we know now between the 7th and 8th grade.
“My voice changed over the summer. Before that I loved being in the choir. I was the only male in 1st soprano with the girls! After the summer break I was baritone,” he recounted. “My mother owned a record shop. She is celebrating her 50th anniversary…she still has a record store. People would say to me you sound like a radio DJ. I wanted to be a Baptist Minister.”
Donnie said his mother had an in-house live remote radio show and he was asked to record the promo-spots and as they say the rest is history. Before he was even 18 he was a professional DJ on WJLB in Detroit, Urban Contemporary, before relocating to Washington, DC to work at WRC –TV. From there he went on to host BET Network’s “Video Soul” and other network specials. In 1998 he was named “Billboard’s Air Personality of the Year.” He went on to host “The Donnie Simpson’s Morning Show” on WPGC-FM for 17 years until he retired in 2010. In 2015 he came out of retirement to host TV One’s Majic 102.3 FM weekday radio show.
The TV One “Donnie After Dark” television show launched on thanksgiving day and airs regularly on Sundays at 11 p.m. Upcoming shows for “Donnie After Dark” include visits by David Banner, comedian Lil Duval, Jermaine Dupri, LisaRaye McCoy, comedian Special K, 112, actress Naturi Naughton and Musiq Soulchild.
“James Brown, the sports caster and my mom say all the time, ‘you gonna be a minister,’” Donnie said when I mentioned that may be God was setting him up with a massive audience before giving him the “call” to preach.
Donnie has a twin brother Lonnie who is a Pastor in Detroit so you never know. In the mean time Donnie Simpson continues to be the country’s favorite east coast radio voice and personality to minister to us the best in music. TV One was launched in 2004 by Radio One and reaches over 60 million households. In 2008 it launched TV One High-Def reaching 14 million more households.
Learn more about TV One’s “Donnie After Dark” television show and “The Donnie Simpson Show” on MAJIC 102.3 FM by logging onto www.TVOne.tv or follow him @DonnieAfterDark and @DonnieSimpson on social media platforms.
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: 18th annual “Uplifting Minds II” Free Entertainment Conference (Baltimore in April and Los Angeles in October, 2017). Entertainment Business panel and national talent showcase competition (vocal, songwriting and dance) with over $10,000 in prizes. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.