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The Local Take Welcomes The Living Legends Foundation Inc.


This week on The Local Take, we introduced a new underwriter, the Living Legends Foundation.

This organization is dedicated to recognizing and promoting the achievements of those behind the scenes in the radio, music, and entertainment industries. These unsung heroes in the music industry deserve to be acknowledged.  The organization also looks to the future by providing scholarships to young people entering the music industry.  Varnell Johnson, President of the Living Legends Foundation, joins us to share. 

I ask Johnson how he came to be involved in the music industry.  He speaks about working at A&L Distributors while a student at Temple University.  He explains that he learned about the music industry by working in a warehouse shipping out records. It was not a glamourous beginning.

Johnson shares how the Living Legends Foundation came into being with their founders CC Evans, Barbara Lewis, Jerry Bolding, and Ray Harris. They all had iconic careers in the music industry. From record companies to radio, they knew the stories and the people who deserved honor. He speaks about engineers, salespeople, writers, event planners, and more who made the music what it became.

The Living Legends Foundation website lists their annual honorees. A few are household names, but many are industry insiders.  I ask Johnson to share an anecdote about one of their lesser-known honorees. He speaks about Miller London, who was with Motown Records for over 25 years.

I ask Johnson, who has worked in the music industry for over thirty years if he could speak about some of the stars he came to know.  He speaks about Tina Turner, Natalie Cole, Freddie Jackson, and Frankie Beverly & MAZE. He shares the story of a Frankie Beverly live concert that music executives dismissed.  Johnson thought the live show would make a great album. Even though he didn’t have permission, he recorded the concert.  It became one of the biggest selling albums for Frankie Beverly and Maze.

For more information on the Living Legends Foundation