Miss Opal ... the First Lady ... Mamma ... however you address her, she is loved and respected by all!
Opal J. Shaw is a life-long resident of West Tennessee. Born in Fayette County on September 9, 1945 to Walter and Sallie Johnson, who were both pillars in their communities. She is the youngest of ten children, and the mother of three: Reginald aka R.E. Shaw, Back in the Church House; Rhonda aka Dr. Shaw of Doctor to Doctor; and Tracy aka Baby Jock and Jeremy.
According to her mother, she began singing in church as soon as she could speak. After marrying Johnny in 1963, they combined her talents and became known as the world renowned Shaw Singers. Reading a newspaper article stating that one could record their music for $400, Opal gathered the music she had written and traveled to Memphis, TN, where the Shaw Singers recorded their debut singles in 1967. A former disc jockey by the name of Bro. Wade at WDIA AM in Memphis took some of their recordings on consignment and played one, "This Old Life Will Soon Be Over". It was then that the duo's singing career took flight. The Shaw Singers recorded a total of 33 singles, along with two albums. The First Lady wrote and arranged the vast majority of all recording. "Special Prayer", a solo done by Opal, still lives on the airways to this day. Her music has taken her all over the world, including tours in Germany and France.
In 2000, Opal became the first African American female to hold the office of County Commissioner in Hardeman County, TN.
From the days of “The Mighty Brown Eyed Johnny Honey Shaw,” playing rhythm and blues in the late 70’s to 80’s to hosting one of the best morning shows currently running on radio, Bro. John has made his place in broadcasting for the past 60 years. Johnny W. Shaw is truly a product of humble beginnings, growing up in Laconia, TN, the youngest of 11, and one that has exhibited ambition and drive beyond comprehension. He started his journey in broadcasting after having served as custodian for a local AM station, WBOL, which he now owns. It was during this time that he recognized his love for radio, and after being afforded an opportunity by the then owner, Bolivar Broadcasting, he acted as one of the DJ’s for many years.
During his time as DJ, Johnny met many challenges, but his adherence to the concept of attitude determining altitude is how he was able to navigate through those challenges. He often recounts a time when he was told by the station manager that his recorded production for a local business couldn’t be played over the air, because the sponsor didn’t want “a black voice” producing his commercials. It was in this instance that he decided he should become owner of a radio station, in which his voice could represent in whatever manner he chose. A few years thereafter, that same manager came to Shaw to inform him that the very station he’d been working for was for sale. Shaw drafted a one-page business plan and went to the bank and was immediately approved for a $60K loan to purchase his first station, WBOL. Because WBOL was only a daytime station, it was impossible to accommodate all of the required inventory. Shaw attempted to extend the station’s hours to a twenty-four-hour format but met opposition by the FCC. However, during this time of research, he and his wife did find that they could build an FM station. An FM station would also be eligible for a twenty-four-hour format, which would allow for the accommodation of all inventory, as well as serve as a second station/business for the Shaw’s in Bolivar, TN. Because of the FCC’s leniency towards Black Females, it was Mrs. Shaw that submitted an application for the FM station, and the Shaw’s were granted favor to start an FM Station. This time, however, the amount needed to fund the project was half a million dollars and getting approved for this amount would not be as simple as before. Shaw was able to get a meeting with the board members of the Merchants & Planters Bank in Bolivar, TN. Shaw put on his only suit at the time and a borrowed shirt and walked into a meeting with the aforementioned board members and was able to convince them that he wasn’t there to just get a loan, but he was there to make them money as well. For if they would buy-in to his idea of starting this FM Station, they would be advancing opportunities for all of the other businesses that they were funding, who would now be advertising on his station. Not only that, but he also pointed out that the focused audience for Black Gospel Music would be the ones buying all the products and services that the bank finances. The conclusion of that meeting became the beginning of 94.7 FM WOJG. Even more ironically, the building where WBOL and WOJG are housed is the same building that once housed the Hardeman County Savings Bank. A bank that refused Shaw a $200 loan stating, “you look like a good guy, but we can’t let you have it.” Shaw has a constant reminder of that incident, as his now office is the same office where he was turned down for that loan. Shaw has received many awards and honors as an owner in broadcasting, as well as being one of the prominent announcers in radio:
2021 Legislator of the Year – Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association
2020 Hardeman County Commissioners named Highway 64 the Rep. Johnny W. Shaw Highway
2020 Tennessee Education Association – Presidential Award for Meritorious Service
2016 Legislator of the Year, TN Forestry Association
2014 Media History Maker– (The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection): Recognized for the Innovative Programing and Coverage The Provide in Radio and Television
2013 Legislator of the Year, NBCSL, Corporate Roundtable Benjamin Ruffin Award
2012 Tennessee Association of Broadcasters - Distinguished Service Award
Southeast Association of Area Agencies on Aging - 2012 Aging Impact Award
2008 Big Brothers, Big Sisters Appreciation and Service Award
2005 West Tennessee African American Entrepreneurs, C.A. Rawls Bridge Builder Award
2004 William Henry Miles Outstanding Community Service Award
2003 Jackson Affordable Housing's Jo Helen Imani Award
2002 Legislator of the Year, Tennessee Development District Association
2000 West Tennessee Black Business Association Chairman's Award
National History Maker in Archives of Washington, DC
CEO of Diversified Radio of Tennessee representing Black Owned Radio Stations of Tennessee
No doubt, he is one of the greatest to ever open a mic!
Johnny Shaw has also been in the Tennessee House of Representatives for the past twenty years. He has served as Pastor of the St. John Baptist Church for over forty years.
Dewayne ... D ... Double D ... Dickerson is one of WOJG's most loved radio personalities. Double D joined Shaw's Broadcasting in August of 1990, over 30 years ago, as an on-air personality of our AM station WBOL 1560. He was quickly promoted to Station Manger of WOJG FM 94.7, and after more hard work and determination was elevated to Operations Manager where he has served since 2010.
Tracy Rondell Shaw ... T. Shaw ... Baby Jock is the youngest son of the owners of this great radio station, our beloved hometown celebrity and host of our weekend morning show.
Baby Jock began his career at Shaw's Broadcasting at the age of 15 as a part time DJ after school and on weekends. In 1989, Tracy attended college at Tennessee State University in Nashville TN majoring in Business Administration. After graduating Baby Jock returned home to serve as General Manager of Shaw's Broadcasting from 2005 until May 2014. In 2020 Tracy rejoined the team as a weekend DJ to do the thing he loves the most; being passionate behind the mic @ WOJG 94.7 FM .
Tracy is the father of three amazing children Shania, age 22, Makayla, age 18, and JJ, age 11.
A huge sports fan, Tracy is an ardent supporter of the Tennessee Titans , University of Memphis basketball, and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Please join him each weekend at your #1 Gospel station where he plays the best in Gospel music !