Former Radio Executive Icon Ernie Jackson shared his American success story in print

By Lenny Moon

Renowned radio executive Ernest “Ernie” Jackson was called home back on April 30, 2021, having passed at 78 years of age. Prior to his departure, the upstate New York native compiled a comprehensive trek on his impressive professional career that encompassed his passion for community service. From the time that he accepted the position of General Manager at Houston’s top two urban radio stations KMJQ-Majic 102 FM (R&B) and KBXX-97.9 FM (Hip-Hop) he instantly became one of the most influential figures in town. Both stations (under the same roof) were going through challenging times upon his arrival and when Jackson retired in 2001, the two Houston-based stations were deemed “Top Urban Contemporary Radio Stations in America as Ernie was tabbed among the “Top Ten Radio GMs in America” by Radio Ink Magazine.

Jackson’s book entitled “Health, Heart and Pocketbook” can be purchased online at AMAZON (https://www.amazon.com) and BARNES AND NOBLES retail outlets or online (https://www.barnesand nobles.com). Below is an overview of the author’s recently released publication.

For decades, black radio was the second most powerful communication medium in the African American community. Driving the nation’s civil rights movement, radio was their primary and most trusted source for news and information, creating social and political awareness among listeners. But in 1996, a shot was fired… killing black radio!

Shocking and revealing, Ernest Jackson, Jr. exposes who killed black radio in his story, Health, Heart, and Pocketbook. The culprit neutralized the progressive impact of black radio, transforming it from a fountain of critical content and community service to a mere jukebox where news and information became unimportant.

Named one of the top 25 African Americans in broadcasting, Jackson was present for the rise and fall of it all. He shares his memories, beginning from the first time he hosted a local radio station for communication students, progressing into a 28-year influential broadcaster.

Using humor and warmth, Jackson merges the unpleasant faces of racism, failed relationships, and life’s chaos, with that of fond childhood memories of his mother, indulging in sweet cherries, and his love for photography.

EDITORIAL

My friend and colleague Ernie Jackson returned to the world of radio in 2014 when he accepted the position of General Manager of KPVU-91.3 FM. Although keenly aware of his status while he was engineering the ship at Majic 102 and the 97.9 The Boxx, I did not actually cross direct paths with him until his arrival at KPVU. At that time I performed the duties of radio voice for the program’s football and basketball teams. I quickly discovered his affinity for photography (see samples above) and soon afterwards his knowledge of sports. Being a seasoned sports journalist, it’s not difficult to determine if the conversation is exchanged with a novice or one with vastly more depth. Well Ernie possessed a package of a genuine “sports geek”, and I certainly say that in the utmost respectful manner. Being somewhat of a sports historian myself, EJ (my moniker for him) was a refreshing “go to” for a coherent conversation of great athletes and memorable sporting events of days gone by. We had actually developed a syndicated sports radio show model along with former Tennessee Titans star linebacker Eddie Robinson Jr. Both EJ and “ERob” were outstanding while I performed the duties of moderator. ERob would go on to become the head football coach of his alma mater at Alabama State where he was once an All-American on the field as well as Academic All-American in the classroom.

It did not stop there with EJ. He served as my sideline reporter for Prairie View A&M football where once again, performed brilliantly. As the play-by-play announcer, I always felt totally confident that I could drop in at any time of the contest, throw it down to Ernie where he was always ready to exhibit his preparation each and every game. That bonding would carry over to taking in the local Houston Texans games from the pressbox on Sundays when we were not on the road. As I mentioned during his services as one of the speakers, we had sports-related phone conversations 2-3 times per week. Talking about a “homer”, there was no bigger Astros, Rockets to go along with the Texans fan than EJ. Guys like Ernie Jackson depart in the flesh only. I’m sure I’m speaking for the thousands of others that came in direct or indirect contact with EJ that his impact is permanent.

Big George strikes again on the Big Screen

By Lenny Moon

It was only a matter of time before Hollywood reconciled that one of the most fascinating American success stories was lingering right under their noses the whole time. It conceivably could have been that even the brilliant creative minds that consistently produce content for public consumption were not capable of devising a story the likes of Big George Foreman. Born in Marshall, Texas and raised in Houston, the hard-hitting pugilist’s story could easily be appraised as falling under the category of “Least Likely to Succeed”. Attempting to survive in his city’s gritty Fifth Ward as a poor misguided juvenile, trouble was an entity that was never difficult to encounter whether one sought or it simply accommodated your presence just for breathing the oxygen in that radius. Sure there have been any number of success stories attached to individuals that rose above their humble beginnings to attain what many would assess an “Only in America” rewarding destination. What makes Big George’s story so compelling is that his professional boxing career came in two parts as the Heavyweight Champion of the World; a decade apart. Who could have written this script?

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Having closely witnessed George’s second trek toward capturing the heavyweight championship inspired the article written and published here on lennymoonsports.com back on September 18, 2018. As a tribute to the release for the big screen of the champ’s life story on April 28th, we chose to re-publish an epic moment of Foreman’s comeback vs then-title holder Evander Holyfield that legitimized his comeback prior to his eventual historical match vs undisputed champion Michael Moorer (see “Battle of the Ages” continued reading below)

Article originally published on September 18 2018 by lennymoonsports.com

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Lloyd Wells, the first full time African American scout in pro football, talks with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about the fierce competition between the AFL and NFL to secure premium talent from the collegiate ranks. This instance speaks to the ultra-talented wide receiver Otis Taylor who had starred for Prairie View A&M and coveted by both leagues during the 1965 draft. Wells was instrumental in providing the Chiefs with a liaison to the then largely untapped talent being produced by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Aggressive tactics were at play during this era in the battle to procure the best talent being amplified by the upstart AFL. Taylor would go on to lead the Chiefs to 23-7 victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl IV.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive Director Joe Horrigan talks with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon (see above video) about the festivities surrounding the 2018 Hall of Fame ceremonies slated for August 2-6 in Canton, Ohio. Inducted into the “Class of 2018” will be Bobby Bethard, Robert Brazile, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Terrell Owens and Brian Dawkins

 

Pro Football Hall of Fame member Michael Strahan talks with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about his college football playing days while a student-athlete at Texas Southern University in Houston, Tx. Strahan would go on to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 after spending his entire NFL career with the New York Giants. Moon was on the TSU football broadcasting team during Strahan’s development into a star not only in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, but all of college football specializing in pressuring the quarterback.

 

Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater talks with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about blocking for two of the greatest running backs ever. Slater led the way for Walter Payton while the two were playing at Jackson State. “Sweetness” would go on to become the 4th player selected in the 1975 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Slater, who played his entire 20-year career with the Rams, would later block for Eric “Pony Express” Dickerson who still holds the single season record for rushing yards. All three of the aforementioned are Pro Football Hall of Famers. (See video link above)

James Shack Harris talks with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about his struggle to overcome the stereotype and become the first regular starting Black signal caller in the NFL. Harris would go on to become the first Black QB to earn All-Pro status and embellish that feat by being the first Black quarterback to walk away with the NFL Pro Bowl MVP award. (See video link above)

Veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon talks with Black College Football Hall of Fame founders James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams about their partnership with the NFL about procuring permanent housing within the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio (See video link above)

John Wooten, Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, discusses with Lenny Moon his organization’s position on former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The FPA was formulated in 2003 for the purposes of increased access and opportunity for minorities interested in coaching, front office and scouting positions in the NFL. Wooten is a former Pro Bowl offensive guard for Cleveland and Washington from 1958-68. Following his playing career, the Colorado University alum became Director of Scouting with the Dallas Cowboys from 1975-1991. He also served as VP/Player Personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and Assistant Director of Pro/College scouting for the Baltimore Ravens until his retirement in 1998. Kaepernick has not been offered another QB job in the NFL since his silent protest addressing unjust treatment of minorities. (See video link above)

Thomas Hollywood Henderson talks with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about the origin of his controversial assessment of Pittsburgh Steelers star QB Terry Bradshaw. The versatile Langston University product was recently inducted into the Black Colege Football Hall of Fame. (See video link above)

Dusty Baker talks with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about the tumultuous home run chase of teammate Henry Aaron back in the 70’s. The two were middle of the lineup sluggers for the Atlanta Braves where the senior Aaron became Baker’s mentor. Known as “The Hammer” during his active career, Aaron would go on to break Babe Ruth’s existing standard of 714 round trippers in 1974 with Baker on deck at the time of his historic clout. Baker discusses the death threats and other challenges faced when “The Hammer” closed in on the prestigous record that many “did not” want to see a Black man own. (See video link above)

Basketball icon Michael Jordan sat down with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon back during the 1991-92 NBA campaign. The Chicago Bulls were making their only appearance in H-Town where the defending champs were preparing to take on the homestanding Houston Rockets led by Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. MJ discusses the maturation of team’s 1987 Draft mates Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant. (See video link above)

Veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon talks with CBS Sports college basketball personality Clark Kellogg about his distinctive delivery of the sport of roundball. The Cleveland OH native played collegiately at Ohio State and professionally with the Indiana Pacers where he was drafted with the 8th pick of the 1st round of the 1982 NBA Draft. (See video link above)

 

Kenny “Jet” Smith reflects with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about the Houston Rockets back to back NBA Championships of 1994 & 95. The Rockets defeated the New York Knicks in their first conquest and the Orlando Magic the next campaign. The “Clutch City” contingent was led by low post star Hakeem Olajuwon, Jet Smith, Vern Maxwell, Otis Thorpe, Robert Horry, Sam Cassell and Mario Elie. The following campaign, Houston native Clyde “Glide” Drexler was added to surplant Thorpe to sweep Shaq O’Neal and the Magic (See video link above)

Pro Football Hall of Fame selection Robert “Dr Doom” Brazile chats with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about his trek to becoming a Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Class of 2018. The former Houston Oilers star will be officially inducted in August of 2018. (See video link above)

Mike Wilborn chats with veteran sports broadcaster Lenny Moon about the early success of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” aka PTI (circa 2004). The show first aired on Oct 2001 and nearly 17 years later, still going strong. (See video link above)

NBA Finals 2018, Warriors Favored to Repeat

The 2018 NBA Finals pitting the defending champ Golden State Warriors vs the Cleveland Cavaliers are shaping up for the most part in predictable fashion. The Bay Area group is spearheaded by four all-stars in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Solid complimentary entities such as Shaun Livingston, David West and Andre Iguodala give coach Steve Kerr the versatility to execute the league’s best high-powered offense with the ultimate efficiency.

On the other hand, Cavs superstar LeBron James continue to defy father time by enjoying perhaps his best all around season in 2017-18 and has doubled-down in the playoffs with his ability to play all five positions at a high level. James has not received the dependable from any of his teammates forcing the Akron Ohio native to over-extend at times, mostly being the only threat on his side of the floor.

Former NFL fleet WR Harold Jackson featured on H-Town Sports Talk with Lenny Moon 2-3 pm cst www.sportsradioamerica.com

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Five-time NFL pro bowler Harold Jackson is profiled today on H-Town Sports Talk with Lenny Moon, airing on Sports Radio America (www.sportsradioamerica.com) from 2:00 – 3:00 pm cst. The 16-year veteran wide receiver amassed over 10,000 recieving yards, with a career average per catch of 17.9 and scored 76 touchdowns.