Herb Kent was a high school student on Chicagos South Side
when he began his radio career hosting a classical music program
for WBEZ/Chicago. In the late 1940s, Kent divided his time between
playing records at WGRY/Gary and acting in radio dramas for Chicagos
NBC affiliate, WMAQ.
In 1952, Kent left WMAQ for WGES, Chicagos largest black-oriented
station. Here he worked with and learned from African-American radio
pioneers Sam Evans and Al Benson. From 1955 to 1960, Kent was heard
on WBEE/Chicago, where he developed a show devoted to a format he
called dusty records.
Ken worked at WJOB/Hammond and WHFC/Chicago until 1962, when he
joined WVON/Chicago. During his eight years at WVON, Kent established
a huge following in the citys growing African-American community.
He was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement and devoted
15 minutes of every show to his Stay in the Schools
Known as "The Cool Gent," Kent has served as an inspiration
to a number of aspiring African-American broadcasters. Since 1988,
Kent has been part of WVAZ/Chicago, where he currently hosts the
Saturday Morning Wake-Up Club.
Herb Kent was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
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