If you’re in the DC area, then you know that Donnie Simpson’s last day on the airwaves is today. He will be signing off after 30 years on television and radio. Since I wasn’t born in DC, I never really got to know Donnie on radio as much as I did while he was the host of BET television show Video Soul.
Video Soul was a nightly staple in our household. Every day at 7PM, my sister and I would be planted in front of the television, watching the latest videos of the day, then getting mad when they would roll credits over the last video and cut it off in the middle (which was notoriously done during the number 1 video of the Friday Top 20 Countdown.)
Minor annoyances aside, Video Soul was one of the best shows on television back in the day, and in a time when urban music was still fighting for recognition on the airwaves, Donnie gave a platform to such artists as Take 6 that would’ve never made it onto MTV.
Unfortunately, times changed. The popularity of R&B and urban contemporary sounds waned during the 90s, and after a few format changes, Donnie Simpson signed off of Video Soul in 1996. Flash forward to today, where most “music” channels rarely even play music videos, and you will notice that Video Soul was more than ahead of its time.
Mariah Carey 1990 – First TV Interview? (Part One/Part 2 Here)
En Vogue – Interview w/ Donnie Simpson 1992 (Part 1/Part 2 Here)
“Take 6” on Video Soul