Bobby O’Jay, veteran Memphis radio personality, dies

One of the iconic voices of Memphis broadcasting, Bobby O’Jay, has died. The Tennessee Radio Hall of Famer and WDIA DJ and program director was 68. 

WDIA’s parent company iHeartRadio announced the news of his passing Tuesday afternoon. No cause of death was given. O’Jay had been on the air Tuesday hosting his morning show.

In a career that spanned six decades, O’Jay interviewed top Black celebrities from James Brown to Kevin Hart, took on politicians, preachers and police, talked openly about his own life experiences and, in the process, became synonymous with radio in Memphis.

“Bobby was steady, he was steadfast,” said his friend Fred Jones, founder of the Southern Heritage Classic. “The people in this community respected Bobby. No matter where you’d go, you’d hear people ask: ‘Did you hear what Bobby O’Jay said this morning?’ His reach was strong across the whole breadth of the community. Few can maintain that kind of impact in the radio world, which is always changing and evolving.”