The Black Business Association (BBA), the oldest ethnic business organization in the State of California, will host its Annual “Virtual Salute to Black Music Awards” on Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 7 PM on Facebook Live. The event is held in recognition of Black  Music Appreciation Month.

(Top l-r): Gail Mitchell, KJLH Radio and Dick Griffey
(Bottom l-r): Howard Hewett, Klymaxx and The Whispers

Special confirmed honorees are: Gail MitchellExecutive Director for Billboard R&B & Hip Hop receiving the Outstanding Excellence in Journalism Award, KJLH Radio Station, Owner Stevie Wonder, will receive the Historical Black-Owned Radio Station of Excellence Award and Dick Griffey, Founder, Solar Records, (Posthumously) receiving the Lifetime Legacy Award.

Special Guest Performances by Howard Hewett and Klymaxx, along with Guest Appearances by The Whispers, LA Reid, Leon Sylvers III, Reggie & Vincent Calloways, original members of Midnight Starr, Carrie Lucas-Griffey, Carolyn Griffey, Senator Holly J. Mitchell, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Virgil Roberts Esq, Dina Andrews, and Council Members Herb J. Wesson, Jr. and Curren D. Price, Jr. The show will be M.C. by Andre Ray, Former Lead Singer, LTD (Replacing Jeffrey Osborne), and Staff Writer Solar Records.

In keeping with the Event Theme, “The Business behind the Music”, the (BBA) recognizes the honorees for their contributions in the advancement of African-Americans in the music Industry. Now, more than ever the (BBA) recognizes that in light of the current Black Lives Matter Movement; there is an even greater imperative, to acknowledge those that help to propel Black Lives into success. Among past Honorees are Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Siedah Garrett, Janet Jackson, Clarence Avant, Valerie Ervin, and Jheryl Busby.


About the (BBA)

Celebrating 50 Years of service, the Black Business Association (BBA), was founded in 1970.  Headquartered in Los Angeles, the oldest active ethnic business organization in the State of California, has been committed to ensuring that African Americans and other diverse business owners benefit from (BBA) advocacy, efforts to impact, improve, and implement policy, that improves access to contracting and procurement opportunities with the public and private sector, in addition to providing access to financial resources. The (BBA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization www.BBALA.org

About Gail Mitchell

Gail Mitchell – Executive Director of R&B and Hip Hop for Billboard Magazine and Billboard.com.  During her 21 years at Billboard, Ms. Mitchell has interviewed or written about legends like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, John Legend, Chuck D and JayZ.  She has moderated panels for industry organizations such as ASCAP and BMI Publishing, The Recording Academy, and The Grammy Museum.  She has represented Billboard Magazine in stories and broadcast interviews for various media outlets including CNN, NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, ABC – E TV, TV Guide, BET, BBC – well, let’s just say if it’s about music, Gail Mitchell is the one they call. Mitchell is a  graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

About KJLH Radio Station

Kindness, Joy, Love, and Happiness; 102.3 KJLH, has enjoyed that moniker of their call letters for decades.  The oldest Black owned Radio Station on the West Coast, KJLH, was first owned by African American Businessman John Lamar Hill in 1965, a former member of the Black Business Association, and owner of Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles. In 1979, Stevie Wonder’s Taxi Productions purchased KJLH from Hill, and it became a great competitor to other stations in the market.  Now called “Radio Free, KJLH”, the station is still the home of Kindness, Joy, Love and Happiness with an Urban Contemporary format and expanded programming to include R&B, Hip-Hop, a little smooth jazz and gospel. KJLH links the diverse populations of Los Angeles not only through music; their programming includes the famous Townhall broadcasts, The Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, and the syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show.   Their Sunday lineup is a Gospel Experience with broadcasts of sermons from local churches, followed by Aundrae Russell’s “Spread The Word.” 

About Richard “Dick” Griffey

Richard Gilbert Griffey was born on November 16, 1938, in the housing projects of Nashville, Tennessee. After moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s, Griffey worked as a talent coordinator on Soul Train, the musical-variety show created by Don Cornelius, and together they established Soul Train Records in 1975. Griffey formed his own label, SOLAR RECORDS, an acronym for Sound of Los Angeles Records, in 1977. Leon Sylvers, from the Sylvers Family band of the ’70s, was hand-picked by Griffey to be the Solar House producer.  Solar artists included Shalamar – who released the hits “The Second Time Around” and “This Is For The Lover In You”, and The Whispers with Chart Toppers, “Lady”, “Rock Steady” and the classic, “And The Beat Goes On”.  And who doesn’t remember going on a fantastic voyage with Lakeside.  Other Solar acts include The Deele, Dynasty, Klymaxx, and Midnight Starr. Legendary singer, writer, producer, and businessman, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, who had been frustrated in his role as a background singer with The Deele, credits Griffey with encouraging him to step out on his own to pursue a solo career. He and former Deele member, Antonio “L A “ Reid started LaFace Records which produced a string of Grammy-winning megahits. In the early 1990s, Griffey had a hand in launching the rap label Death Row Records, which was co-founded by Dr. Dre and one-time bodyguard Suge Knight.  It was Griffey’s Solar Studios in which portions of Dr. Dre’s album, The Chronic was recorded. Dick Griffey traveled to Africa extensively and developed a beautiful love and affinity for the Motherland.  He created a Solar headquarters in Nigeria to distribute music throughout the continent, and to produce live performances. On September 24, 2010, Mr. Griffey made his transition at the age of 71.  Wherever he would go, he left a heart print.




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