Herb Kent

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Battle of the Best
Herb Kent

Saturdays – 8am-noonSundays – Noon-7pmDeep Dusty – Monday-Fridays – 1:20pm• As a young teen, Herb became involved in drama workshops and studied classical music at Hyde Park High School.• In 1944, at age 16, Herb gave an on-air theatrical performance on Chicago's WBEZ and his passion for radio was ignited.• As a young high school graduate, Herb worked in the mailroom at WMAQ. • Herb’s first paid announcer position was in 1949 at WGRY radio in Gary, Indiana.• Over the next two decades Herb hosted radio shows on several stations in Chicago, settling at WVON.• In the fifties, Herb’s fan club was formed with the nickname, Cool Gent, and Kent also coined the term, “dusty records.”• At WVON, Herb enthusiastic support helped to launch the careers of such R&B artists as The Temptations, Minnie Riperton, Curtis Mayfield, and Smokey Robinson.• During the turbulent ‘60s, Herb became a prominent Civil Rights activist using his broadcast platform, not only to entertain, but to spotlight the lack of social and economic equality in in Chicago. He also devoted 15 minutes of each program to his “Stay in School” campaign.• In 1967, Herb hosted a program with Stevie Wonder for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last visit to Chicago. • Following Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, Herb took to the airwaves to calm rioters on Chicago’s west side.• Herb was a mentor of former WVON announcer and Soul Train creator, Don Cornelius.• In 1995, Herb was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Also that year, Herb hosted the TV dance party, “Steppin’ at Club 7” on ABC7.• East 67th Street on the south side was named “Herb Kent Drive” in is honor in 1996.• Herb penned his autobiography, The Cool Gent: The Nine Lives of Radio Legend Herb Kent, in 2009• That same year, Herb broke the Guinness World Record for Longest Serving Radio DJ.• Former Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois general assembly declared December 5, 2009 as "Herb Kent Day" in Illinois. • Noting his expansive career, Herb will soon be presented an honorary doctorate from Chicago State University.

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