Shirley Ellis Being Inducted into the National Black Radio Hall of Fame

by Pamela Berry-Johnson

Posted on Feb 01, 2021

Fort Valley State University's Television/Radio Station Manager Shirley Ellis is being inducted into the National Black Radio Hall of Fame (NBRHOF). Ellis has a lengthy career as a well-respected broadcaster who is known to Central Georgia radio listeners as Mama Mia.

Ellis called her induction one of the most significant recognition of her career.

"I was overwhelmed to learn that I was a nominee to receive this prestigious award," said Ellis. "To be nominated with some of the most talented people in radio industry, including Big George Threatt, the person who gave me my start in radio and who will be honored posthumously and Derrick Chatman, who played a significant role in developing my career, is breathtaking! I literally cried when I learned I would be receiving an award with him."

Ellis is the force behind WFVS, FVSU's radio station. After joining the university as its television station manager, Ellis spearheaded the effort to launch the radio station. WFVS-96.9 is a 6,000-watt FM station that can be heard throughout the Middle Georgia area.

Ellis, a Detroit, Michigan native, is a graduate of the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Art degree in Mass Communications. She has a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia College & State University. Ellis' radio career began in Macon, Ga. at WIBB. Her previous honors have included being inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2017-2018 and receiving the Black College Radio Station Manager of the Year Award. She was also nominated to serve as a Georgia Hall of Fame board member in December 2020.

Ellis said one of the most important parts of her legacy is giving back and teaching others like FVSU students what she's learned during her career.

"My ultimate goal has always been to pass on the knowledge I've gained during my career," she said.

NBRHOF is a nonprofit established in 2010 to recognize and acknowledge the countless contributions of personalities and pioneers to African-American radio on a national platform. The NBRHOF consists of a museum that showcases radio memorabilia, exhibits, and displays honoring personalities who nationally developed and shaped Black radio. It also offers an outreach component of educational and scholarship programs that connect communities to increased higher learning opportunities through radio's rich and dynamic past. The organization is located on the campus of Stowe State University in St. Louis, Mo. This year's Induction ceremony will be held via Zoom on Saturday, February 27, 2021, at 6 p.m. (EST).

This year, some other inductees include Bobby Rush, Radio/Music Career Artist of the Year; Tony Terry, Service Artist of the Year and Joe "The Black Eagle" Madison - The Joe Madison Show in the Lifetime Media Achievement Award category.

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