WHUR Radio Pioneer Joe Gorham Dies at 69



UpdateThe Celebration of Life Services for Joe Gorham will be held Friday, March 4th @ 10am at First Baptist Church of Glenarden Ministry Center @ 3600 Brightseat Road in Landover, MD 20785

Washington, D.C. (Monday, January 24, 2022) – It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share the passing of one of our esteemed and beloved forever WHUR family members Joseph “Joe” Gorham.  Joe died Sunday, January 23, 2022 while doing one of his greatest loves, traveling.

There are some key people who come to mind when you think of DMV radio legends. Joe Gorham is certainly among that distinguished list. Joe was a veteran broadcaster with a career spanning more than four decades stretching up and down the East Coast.

“Joe retired from WHUR in 2018, but he was still a regular in the building and at events, as he was always proud to be a WHUR family member. You could always count on Joe to be present and to give it his all. His decades of service to this station is something that we honor today and we know that he touched the lives of many throughout his hometown of Washington, DC,” said WHUR General Manager Sean Plater.

Joe spent much of his career as a dedicated member of the WHUR Family holding down numerous positions. Joe started as a freelance technical producer for the Jerry Phillips Morning Show in 1979. From there, he went on to become a freelance announcer and moved on to a full-time staff performer.

In 1991, Joe left WHUR to go up the radio dial to WDJY-100 FM and then to Atlanta’s WALR 104.7. He returned to his beloved WHUR three years later where he hosted the weekend edition of the Original Quiet Storm followed by producing the Washington, DC edition of the #1 nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show.

Joe was a creative soul who made his footprint not only in radio. He touched many parts of the Arts genre. He loved poetry, hosting a WHUR radio program called “Spoken Word at Joe’s Place,” giving up and coming and legendary poets like Nikki Giovanni a platform to share their gifts and talents.

One of Joe’s proudest moments in his broadcasting career came in January 2004 when he was given the task to help WHUR to make history by becoming the first broadcast facility in the DMV to launch an HD radio station (96.3HD2 WHUR-World). Joe’s keen sense of music, organization, and attention to detail made him the perfect candidate to rebuild WHUR’s music library to its former greatness and become WHUR-World’s Music Director. He was also appointed the Music Director of the newly acquired HUR-Voices Sirius-XM Channel 141. Always making sure his voice could be heard, Joe developed a new radio program on WHUR-World called “Legato Lycx.” He held all those aforementioned positions until he retired in 2018.

A first generation Washingtonian, Joe graduated from Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School and went on to the University of the District of Columbia where he earned a B.S Degree in Library Instructional Systems Technology. Joe also served honorably in the United States Army. He his survived by his devoted daughter Michelle and a host of other family members and friends.

Joe was well known and loved in the radio, music, and arts industry. From local and national entertainers, his vast friendships read like a “Who’s Who List.” Just check out his Facebook page on any given day. He had pictures posing with legends who knew him by name. But Joe was at his best with family, friends, and his listeners. He loved to be at events chatting it up with any and everybody. A self-described foodie, Joe loved to travel and try out the various cuisines around the world. One of his last postings was a picture of a bowl of gumbo where he said “Hell Naw, I didn’t make it, but I’m gonna make it disappear.” Whether online, on stage, or in the audience, Joe was Joe.   He was our radio brother and he will be missed.

Joseph “Joe” Gorham” dead at the age of 69. Rest well Joe. Job well done!!!

Prefer to leave a loving message for Joe Gorham to be played on the air? Open the WHUR mobile app, select Open Mic at the bottom and record your message.

*Message should not exceed 60 seconds.

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