Tom Joyner earned the nickname “The Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio” by working long hours and flying between his morning job (in Dallas, Texas) and afternoon job (in Chicago, Illinois) every weekday for eight years, collecting over 7 million frequent flyer miles.

Tom Joyner grew up in the town of Tuskegee, Alabama. He is one of two sons. His mother was a secretary for the military and his father served as a Tuskegee Airman. His beginnings were very much like many young blacks in the south.

During the Montgomery Boycott, there was the “Tuskegee Boycott”. Tom and many others fought for their civil rights. They took their protests to the streets weekly to try and effect change. One such protest was taken to a local radio station that refused to play “black” music. Eventually the station manager relented and Tom (naturally) nominated himself for the position.

Tom Joyner graduated from Tuskegee Institute in his hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama in 1970. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and immediately began his career in radio. He started at WRMA (an AM station in Montgomery, Alabama). After breaking onto the airwaves there, he worked his magic at WLOK (an AM station in Memphis, Tennessee), KWK (an AM station in St. Louis, Missouri), and KKDA (an FM station in Dallas, Texas).

Eventually, he moved to Chicago – the Windy City. He blew through the Windy City on radio stations WJPC (FM), WGCI (FM), WVON (AM) and WBMX (FM) and caused a whirlwind of excitement on urban radio. Never before had listeners experienced such energy, humor and vitality.

Opportunity came knocking in the mid 1980’s. Tom’s upbeat style and comedic antics put him in an awkward position. His contract was about to expire and it was decision time. He was offered the MORNING drive time position at KKDA (Dallas, Texas) by one company and the AFTERNOON Disc Jockey position at WGCI (Chicago, Illinois). Any normal human would have chosen one position or the other – Tom Joyner chose to do BOTH! His plan was to fly thousands of miles everyday by airplane each day between Dallas and Chicago. He spent so much time in the air that he received the name “The Fly Jock”. This commute and his rich on air style gained him national publicity and high ratings.

In 1994, Tom Joyner took his show to a new level. He knew that if he wanted to reach a broader audience, more “Fly Jockeying” would not do the trick, so he convinced ABC Radio Networks that his show could work in syndication. ABC, impressed with his determination, credentials and following gave it a try. In 1994, The Tom Joyner Morning Show started with Tom Joyner at the helm.

The show is beamed to radio stations across the country each weekday. Over 8 million ears tune into the show from their favorite local radio station. It is very well known that Tom Joyner likes to have a good time. He says, “First we get people laughing, then we get ’em to listen. If you can get people to listen, then they begin to think, and that’s when they start making a difference”.

Tom takes radio to a whole new level. Never before have African Americans been able to wake up to such an upbeat, entertaining and positive show. His accomplishments have not gone un-noticed. Tom Joyner was elected into the Radio Hall of Fame. He has received Impact Magazine’s “Joe Loris Award” for Excellence in Broadcasting. He has received Billboard’s “Best Urban Contemporary Air Personality” award. Impact Magazine’s “Best DJ of the Year Award” was renamed “The Tom Joyner Award” because he received it so many times.

Tom did not forget his roots when he signed onto the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He setup a foundation that earmarks dollars for students and schools that have run out of money. The Tom Joyner Foundation has raised more than $60 million to help keep students in historically black colleges and universities. The Foundation, just like the morning show, his website, events and his other endeavors, exists to “super serve” the African American community.

The Morning Show with co-hosts Sybil Wilkes, also features Roland Martin as well as “Inside Her Story” with Jacque Reid. Sherri Shepherd, Kym Whitley, Guy Torry and Damon Williams are special co-host weekly.

Joyner’s website receives 1 million unique visitors on a monthly basis; with exclusive content from the top radio shows in urban radio along with news, entertainment, and lifestyle reports relevant to the black community.

70 thoughts on “Tom Joyner

  1. Ros Stephens on said:


    I am a federal employee that has to work during this government shutdown. Since you are the “fly jock” perhaps your corporate sponsors can do something for the TSA employees (the single moms) that are impacted by this shut down.

  2. Chandra Baker on said:

    I was listening to the show this morning and I heard the segment on Cyntoia Brown. I wanted to correct a statement that was made that was incorrect. Sybill asked why the US Supreme Court’s decision regarding juvenile defendants not being given life sentences without the possibility of parole did not apply to Cyntoia. The response was that the decision was not retroactive. I am a prosecutor in Michigan for Wayne County and I can tell you that the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision was retroactive, otherwise the law would not have the authority to right the wrongs. Here in Wayne County after the decision, all the prosecutors were given files of the “juvenile lifers” we were asked to review their cases and then their behavior and accomplishments since being incarcerated. Subsequently, we made recommendations to the prosecutor for a term of years, which means they would parole or to continue their life sentences. Those cases are still being argued in the Court. I’m not sure what happened in Ms. Brown’s state. Maybe they have not taken the time to right the wrong but our prosecutor, Kym Worthy did that.

  3. Nikita C. Hughes 1st on said:

    Mr. Joyner; I hear interviews from time to time regarding Authors discussing books they have recently published. I would like to know if you have a book club and if so, how could I get my novel reviewed. I have written a trilogy entitled “A Taste of Forbidden Fruit.” The series is discribed as “a love story on steroids!” If there is a club, could someone reach out to me to let me know where I can forward a copy? The book can be partially reviewed on Amazon or Amazon Prime. You time and consideration is greatly appreciated. I would also like to apologize in advance if I have posted this in the wrong location. Be blessed.

  4. Merlie Phlegm on said:

    Helo TOM!. NOW I know who, why where and what you were doing to help me, all those years ago…44. I emailed you of having to fight to hear our music on your show with the postal carriers at 3110 townsend Blvd, in Ft. Worth. Every time I’d turn yo KKDA, the White mules would turn to their beer drinking…music. I even bargained with the boss, and he agreed that every other day would be my day. They would not respect our deal and the third morning out of my mouth came a song,COUNTRY Western . ” I never heard that song before in my life, ” They said and it was ,the prettiest song they’d ever heard. I Was THINKING IT WHILE i WAS SINGING IT,” replied. “Now turn this MF off! ” From then on,I sang,sang and sang and you Tom I was told by the WHOLE SPIRITS were living up to your name,, AS thee ,JOINER.” Like the tommyhawk of an INDIAN. So it’s taken us 45 years to perfect what I kept seeing and singing. If I didn’t sing it, you’d play it. Asak ROLAND MARTIN, to let you read his comment from me yesterday. I grew up in the country and BLAck martins always sang>NEWS” see? So, I am inviting you to come visit us…personally, here in my you can see what we have done, before the SHIT GETS STARTED, here at 19023 Jodywood Dr, Humble, Texas 774345. (The news media kraze). I have lived up to my name…Merlie. I may tell you a lie to get you to listen to our TRUTHS,but I always…do it Merrily…to thee i am singing. lso my middle name Jean, as Jeanisez, No one even has ro rub me, just make a wish and say my name…Biblically…GENESIS.

  5. Frederick S. Bowers on said:

    when will someone investigate the members of the republican congress to find out how many of them have been paid to protect this criminal president? Someone should suggest that to the special counsel.Follow the money and maybe it will lead too the Russians.

  6. Arnold Dorsey on said:

    Aug 18, 2018 at 8:36 PM
    Long live the Queen
    Long live the Queen who reigned supreme, she was the cream of our crop, that did not stop to consider the anti-chauvinistic lyrics dropped, that hit the spot… “Respect”, it made everyone reflect, on how women were being treated. Then she said “a little prayer” for us (men) because she ain’t “never loved a man”, and “Dr. feel good” was in the house, although there “ain’t no way” to walk across a “bridge over troubled waters”, unless you confess your sins like she did in a church where Aretha was reared, geared, appeared to spearhead a musical revolution in our American experience, her endurance gave us unspeakable joy! she employed us with pride and boost our self-esteem, allowing our people to dream the impossible dream of this nation’s mission statement, sentiments not interment-during the hour of black power movement. She offered to pay Angela Davis’ bail to get her out of jail, but the Queen left the country on a touring engagement, and Angela wailed as her ship to freedom sailed, nevertheless, Angela prevailed—- We’ve got mail!! from our Night-in-gail a song waffed from the western gale ” Oh me oh my” long live the queen of soul, her story will be told just like her native counter-part the godfather of soul , strong, black and bold, who encouraged us to say it loud, I’m black and i’m proud! now they both are wrapped in a shroud high above a cloud, but we still can stay in touch cus she said “call me” the moment, the minute, the hour we get there, because somebody has to meet and greet us on those winding stairs, if they really care, so we can “rock steady” to her 18 grammy awards-oh how we adored watching Ms. Franklin receive the presidential medal of freedom in the aftermath of antibellum, got her hair did in the white house without a spouse, and lift her voice at our lifetime president Barrack Obama’s inauguration-a jubilation, an affirmation to our dedication to rise above the obstacles we face as a race, we’ll never erase her memory because she was “a natural woman”, and if by chance we fall back to sleep at midnight we will hear somebody climbing up the pipes, singing ” i’m gonna knock on your window”, make you rise from your pillow, and she’s gonna say “hey baby lets get away lets go somewhere far” so you can “Think”, about ” who’s zoomin who”.

    lil arnold.

  7. Every time I turn on the Tom Joyner show I hear mostly white/ black racist comments, in fact I think the show revolves around it when I listen, so much i was thinking maybe they should throw in something for asians now and then, or pacific islanders, perhaps, to diversify… (a joke) most comments are geared towards white people, of course, but some are definitely geared towards blacks, like “dear black people, if you’re going to call the cops on white people, make sure you don’t have an outstanding warrant.” then there was a comment, no a few, about how it is incredibly offensive that white people blow their noses in a restaurant. and what should i do if my nose is running and i am sneezing, let it drip down my face? that’s some uptight, old fashioned, stuck up nonsense. yes, white people being racist is old, and more should have been done to heal the wounds from slavery and Jim Crow, etc, and white people should be disciplined when they are racist and mean. However, despite the remaining issues, it is not Jim Crow or slavery times, not at all. On the Tom Joyner Show I listen to well paid people complain like they are being oppressed, as if they can’t get a job and it is a bunch of nonsense. Black people can be just as annoying as white people, and oppressive, I once had a coupon and a hispanic man wouldn’t let me use it, it was perfectly valid, and he accused me of saying he couldn’t read or understand english when i tried to tell him it was obviously valid. he was a jerk and i get annoyed thinking of it.

    • coupon issue related to coupon issue they have been discussing on radio, the cops weren’t called but i thought of when it happened to me, and how i asked to speak to a manager and he was the manager, he said. how convenient, and not so great for mcdonald’s losing business. i bought coffee there for someone since then as a favor, but i will not choose to spend money there again. the lady didn’t deserve cops at cvs, i am sure the cops did nothing to the lady when called, thank goodness. her coupon did look odd to be honest.

  8. Derrick on said:

    Tom Joyner why do you allow racist idiots and supremacists to comment so viciously on just about every article posted on your site?

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