HOMEGOING SERVICE FOR LEGENDARY NEW YORK RADIO PERSONALITY VAUGHN HARPER TO FEATURE REMARKS BY REV. DR. AL SHARPTON & MUSIC SELECTIONS BY NOTABLE ARTISTS–REGINA BELLE, MELBA MOORE, GERALD ALSTON & ALYSON WILLIAMS
The homegoing service for iconic radio personality Vaughn Harper will take place Saturday, July 16th at The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive (between W. 120th and W. 122nd Streets) with viewing at 9:00 a.m. and service at 11:00 a.m. Media entrance is at 91 Claremont Avenue, call times are 8:30 a.m. for viewing and 10:30 a.m. for service.
Participants in the service include Rev. Dr. Al Sharpton, Minister and Civil Rights leader; Regina Belle, Grammy®Award winner; Melba Moore, Tony® Award winner & songstress Alyson Williams; WBLS Radio’s Dr. Bob Lee; and radio industry colleagues.
Vaughn Harper, 70, of Teaneck, NJ passed away peacefully on July 9th after a long, gallant battle with Type 2 Diabetes. He was born March 1, 1946 at Sydenham Hospital in Harlem to Helen Harper and Floyd Jones. After graduating from Boys High in Brooklyn, he attended Syracuse University on a full scholarship. At Syracuse, Vaughn was a standout basketball player for the Orange Men and scored 1,000 points during his college basketball career. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1968, but suffered an injury during training camp. Vaughn married the love of his life, Sandra Ross-Harper in 1988. Vaughn was predeceased by his brother Gene and sister-in-law Vernice. He leaves a legacy of love in the hearts of his three daughters Dionne, Brieanna, and Melanie, his sister-in-law Lynda, mother-in-law Allice, and brother-in-law Donald and wife Christine, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Vaughn was recruited to the radio field and trained by legendary programmer Frankie Crocker. For more than two decades on WBLS 107.5, millions of listeners tuned into his broadcasts. He appealed to audiences with an ear for ballads, jazz, fusion, classics and today’s R&B and was often referred to as “Mr. Velvet Voice.” He was the epitome of a radio personality and was even credited with creating the Smooth Jazz radio format. Vaughn influenced generations and was admired and respected for his professional knowledge. His voice was the host of Japan’s Suntory Quiet Storm, rated number one for three years straight.
Throughout his illustrious broadcast career, Vaughn’s accomplishments have been lauded in publications such as Amsterdam News, Billboard, Black Radio Exclusive, Cashbox, New York Daily News, New York Post, and New York Times. Vaughn was the voice of Budweiser’s Black History Month commercial “Great Kings of Africa.”
He was the recipient of numerous awards including Black Radio Exclusive and Jeep Unlimited Radio Person of the Year. He also landed the number four spot on the “Best Urban DJ of All Time” list and was inducted into the Living Legends Hall of Fame.
He was the voice of iHeartRadio’s (then know as Clear Channel) Urban properties as well as the successful video game “Grand Theft Auto 4.” Vaughn was master of ceremony for Amateur Night at the Apollo, the CEBA Awards, and the UNCF National Telethon. He also served as in-flight announcer for Delta Airline’s “Our Journey of Soul” and the “Black Music Month Special.” Vaughn was a co-producer of the 2004 ballad-driven album “Vaughn Harper Presents Quiet Songs.”
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