You could feel the electricity at 2123 West Broadway, the home of FM89.9 KMOJ Radio station. The evening of Sunday, Nov. 15 would be the conclusion of a 21-year run of Ray Richardson hosting the popular oldie’s music show called “Back In the Day.”
During his tenure, Richardson created an old school music juggernaut of a format, complete with favorites like Battle of the Bands, trivia queries, music history, and plenty of participation from his army of call-in participants, who on his last show, expressed their sadness and appreciation.
There was a constant flow of former and current KMOJ DJs and community standouts who came to the station masked-up and ready to pay their respects to the “King of the Dusties.”
DJs Derrick Delite Stevens, Disco Tee, Ms. Georgia, Freddy Bell, Spyder J, Hamilton, Q Bear, and Smoke, to name a few, got on the air to share stories, laughter, and goodwill.
Well-known community activists Spike Moss and Tyrone Terrill also stopped by bearing gifts and well-wishes.
Although Richardson has been known as a radio DJ who specializes in Chicago Steppers’ music for the past two decades, it was sports that brought Richardson to Minnesota. For 24 years, from 1990 to 2014, he wrote a sports column at the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper where he also retired.
During his time at KMOJ, he has interviewed dozens of celebrities and promoters. When asked about his favorite interviews and songs he gave the MSR two of his many coveted lists.
Ray Richardson’s top five interviews:
Ray Richardson’s top ten songs of all-time:
Temptations – “My Girl”
Spinners – “I’ll Be Around”
Earth, Wind, and Fire – “Fantasy”
Marvin Gaye – “Distant Lover”
Barry White – “Ecstasy”
Jacksons – “Can You Feel It”
Kool and the Gang – “Summer Madness”
Miracles – “I Can’t Stand to See You Cry”
Stylistics – “Payback Is A Dog”
Elton John – “Bennie and the Jets”
Why is Richardson leaving KMOJ Radio and Minnesota? He optimistically explained that he wanted to be closer to his mother and other family members who live in Inglewood and other parts of the Los Angeles California area. But Richardson is by no means ready to retire and looks forward to the opportunity to finish the radio career he started while in Minnesota.
For those wondering about the future of the “Back in the Day Radio Show,” Richarson assured that the show rests in good hands. “Glamlife Kim will be taking over the show,” he confirmed.
“She’s a radio veteran who knows her music and will add her twist to keep the program exciting. The Twin Cities are in great hands when it comes to the Oldies back in the day,” he said.
Travis Lee is a contributing photographer and writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.com.