Ray Charles On Sax With Ken Knight

March 1st, 2012, 11:22H · Topics: Famous And Not So..., Guys · Print

Ray Charles playing saxophone with Jacksonville promoter Ken Knight during a concert in 1960.  Everyone knows about Ray Charles’ Jacksonville connection, attending the School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine and hanging around the music clubs in Jacksonville’s La Villa neighborhood in his youth but Ken Knight has a prominent place in Jacksonville’s history as well.  Adrian Kenneth “Ken” Knight became the first black radio announcer in the South when he went to work for a radio station in Daytona Beach in 1947.  He moved to Jacksonville and produced the first black television program in Jacksonville, the Ken Knight Show which featured live gospel music on WJXT, TV-4. He continued working in radio and became the general manager of radio station WPDQ.  He is also credited as one of the founders of the National Association of Television and Radio Announcers.  Knight died in Jacksonville September 12, 1973 at the age of 64.

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  1. 1 Bob Stumpel March 1st, 2012 15:50H

    Can you add a date and/or a venue to this gig?
    And… are there more photos of the concert?

    See this page: http://raycharlesvideomuseum.blogspot.com/2010/08/ray-charles-is-in-town-chronology-1960.html.

  2. 2 Tina Williams June 30th, 2012 18:27H

    Do you have any clippings of Little Tina and The Latimore Singers on archive. We sung on the Ken Knight Show almost every week. I actually remember Ray Charles visiting when I was a little girl.

    • 3 Bob / Vintage Jacksonville July 3rd, 2012 11:05H

      What a great story. I understand that Ken Knight was quite a big deal in his day so you all must have been quite talented. I don’t recall seeing anything like that in the collection but I’ll keep my eye’s open in case I come across something.

  3. 4 George Martin August 13th, 2012 15:28H

    I graduated from Lee in ’60 & went away to college, but don’t remember Ken Knight ever being at WPDQ. He was the evening DJ on WOBS during the later 50s. His intro theme was the R&B classic, “Night Train” that still evokes fond Jacksonville memories. WOBS also had an afternoon DJ who was wildly popular during that period: “Jumpin’ Johnny Shaw – better known as Two-Gun Pete from Ashley Street”. Thanks for a quick trip down Memory Ln..

    • 5 Marsha George February 7th, 2015 22:49H

      Ken Knight (my Uncle) was working for WPDQ as a Consultant when he passed; he was with the several years in this capacity.

    • 6 Pete Prosser January 21st, 2017 8:54H

      Thats not exactly right.I was born in 1949 and grew up in jax listening to Johnny Shaw on WOBS. His handle was ” the devils son in law ” The radio station had an outlet on Davis Street where Mr. Shaw would do live broadcast. This outlet was just behind the Ritz theater. WOBS also had another popular DJ whose name I can’t remember but his handle was the ” Demon “. As far as Ken Knight goes during my childhood he broadcast over WRHC. In the 1950s Jacksonville ( culturally ) was one of the most segregated citys on the face of the earth.

      • 7 Jim Bracewell March 28th, 2021 17:32H

        I was also born in 1940. Moved to Jacksonville in1952. My sister’s and I (all white) often listened to J Shaw “The devils son in law” l remember him saying “put on your open toed high heels, we’re going to party tonight.” WOBS, a black radio station interviewed my older sister about the college scholarship she had won to Rollins. No white station bothered. It was a lesson I have never forgotten.

      • 8 Floyd L. Donald July 8th, 2022 18:54H

        Pete Prosser is correct. Johnny Shaw’s handle was “The Devil’s son in law.” I was inspired by both of these gents, Ken Knight and Johnny Shaw. I watched Shaw up close–and enjoyed how he treated young folk like me during his “live” broadcast. Today, I am a radio host—and have my own gospel television show. Although my late father, Rev. Shelton P. Donald, was a pastor, he allowed us the fancy to dream big about our aspirations. My father, by the way, pastored Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

      • 9 Marsha Washington George December 17th, 2022 22:13H

        Ken Knight worked with WRHC, WOBS, WERD and right before my Uncle passed he was a Radio Consultant for WPDQ, which was September 1973.

  4. 10 Marsha Washington George February 11th, 2013 15:54H

    When my Uncle passed he was working with WPDQ.

  5. 11 Khalisha mitchell January 3rd, 2014 13:30H

    Do you have any archives of the sons of jubilee. They were a gospel group that performed on the show regularly.

    • 12 Marsha George February 7th, 2015 22:51H

      I have a picture from the 1962 Florida Star with several groups on it. I can email to you.

  6. 13 bob February 10th, 2015 11:04H

    Marsha, I would love to see it. Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

    • 14 Jeremiah Kenneth Johnson May 13th, 2015 0:16H

      Ken Knight is my uncle too my name is Jeremiah Kenneth Johnson. My grandmother was Mrs Annie Knight of Dothan/Headland Alabama. I learned at a family reunion 5 years back that My great uncle and I have same middle name and are both in radio industry. I was working at hip hop station WTMG in Gainesville Fl. I am going back tomorrow for interview and was just browsing online because the coincidence is scary we live the same lifestyle I promote rappers at clubs and am considering using my middle name “Ken” on air this time around

      • 15 Sam "Face" Moses August 24th, 2015 21:59H

        Lol.Ken Knight is my grandfather. Jaqueline Knight Haddocks is my Grandmother which is Ken Knight daughter and only Child. We reside in Daytona. My mother is Kathleen Moses. Ken Knight and his wife Frenchie raised my mom for years until she ran away. My Mom use to sing on his live show on Sunday mornings. My name is Sam Moses a.k.a Face Moses. Contact info 702-712-3352 or 386-226-8947 respectfirst100@gmail.com

        • 16 Bernice Henderson June 12th, 2017 21:39H

          Mr. Moses, I grew in Jacksonville and was a member of Zion Hope Church, and would love to know if there are any way we could get a copy of the filmed show. we were scheduled to go on that week he passed away. we were on there all the time. He was such a nice man.

          • 17 bob July 18th, 2017 21:03H

            Bernice, I have no idea if such a recording exists but if it does, like you, I would love to see it. Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

          • 18 Floyd L. Donald July 8th, 2022 18:59H

            My father served as pastor of Zion Hope Church after the passing of Rev. E.R. Simpson

          • 19 BERNICE HENDERSON November 23rd, 2022 12:17H

            I new rev Donald well and i grew up in Grand park on Wylene St. with Carolyn Donald and Bow . I am sure if it was broadcast on tv that there has to be copies of the Sunday Morning Shows somewhere in some Archive. i will keep searching until i find an answer

      • 20 Marsha George September 15th, 2015 3:03H


        I am just seeing this because Sam reached out to me and told me he saw my post. You can find me on Facebook by Marsha Washington George.

  7. 21 Sam "Face" Moses August 24th, 2015 22:43H

    Sam Face Moses

  8. 22 Ken Carter February 9th, 2016 18:30H

    Ray Charles was the first person inducted into the rock n roll hall of fame

  9. 23 Michael Rothschild July 11th, 2019 12:07H

    I’m wondering if there is a recording available of Johnny Shaw’s closing theme song on WOBS: “Johnny Johnny won’t you come along with me…etc?

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More