Mark Allen Celebrates 50th Birthday Of WVON And His Personal Part Of The WVON Legacy

Mark Allen Celebrates 50th Birthday Of WVON And His Personal Part Of The WVON Legacy

On today I am certainly humbled to know that I can celebrate with so many others in being a real part of the April 1, 1963 on air date - 50 year history of legendary Chicago radio station WVON. Around 14 or 15 years old I was allowed to be a teenaged intern around the station and worked around the legends like Wesley South, Pervis Spann, Herb Kent, Richard Pegue and others then to work around management like Ernest L. James, Abe Thompson, Velma Brazleton, Hoyett Owens and others, then one of the official HS Teen DJ's who worked the other jocks like Lynn Tolliver, Jim Raggs, Richard Steele, Bobby Ojay. And even in high school I had learned enough to get on the official station payroll as an Assistant Producer for The HOTLINE night-time talk show under host Renee Prewitt.
Then because of my experience with WVON and a major referral letter from Abe Thompson, I was able to make broadcast history at WIU by becoming the first Freshman to be a news anchor and DJ on WIUM-FM, and WHEN-AM and then have my own awarding winning radio show in Prime Time known as "The SOUL of Macomb" and with Richard Pegue's permission my oldies show was called "The Best Music Of Your Life," and then I went on to make more broadcast history at WIU when I became the first Program Director for the new WIU radio station WIUS-FM and fought for a standard and legacy for other Blacks to follow me for experiences in radio etc, and then I came back home to the legendary WVON and became a community news source proving regular commentary on shows with hosts like John Daye, Morgan Carter, Lu Palmer and others.
And of course , how could anyone associated with WVON not remember the role we all played with the station in the historic election of Chicago's first Black Mayor Harold Washington.  I will never forget the celebrity status I gained as a major youth activist that the various WVON hosts gave me to give many the grassroots  activities of the youth movement on behalf or organizing thousands of young people on behalf of the 1983 and 1987 campaigns of Mayor Harold Washington.
Then it was 1988 when I was a national youth coordinator and field organizer for the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Presidential Campaign and again the WVON hosts made me the unofficial analyst reporting from the field giving the grassroots report directly from the sites I traveled with The Jackson campaign. All these experiences helped to build my rapport with the larger WVON community as a growing legitmate young leader in the present and the future.
Then I was able to make more broadcast history when around 1989 I was chosen to be the first youth host for the night-time "On Target" talk show line-up with people like Dr. Conrad Worrill, Dr. Bob Starks, and the legendary Lu Palmer. I have even more WVON experiences that will be posting later, but this is enough to show that for more than 35 years, I have been a part of the WVON Family and glad to help celebrate this April 1st 50th Birthday and legacy of WVON

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