Posts Tagged ‘1540 WSIV-AM’

Southern Soul Food

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Mrs. Townsend

Mrs. Townsend, DJ WSIV radio

Syracuse in many ways is a city of churches. I recently caught up with on-air personality Lula Townsend, who has a radio show on 1540 WSIV-AM. Her show brings the church experience to the shut-ins, retirees and those unable to make it to Sunday services.

At one time Townsend’s Classic and Traditional Gospel Hour was on three times a week, but now she’s cut back to once. Each Monday she is in the studio shuffling vinyl records, reading Bible verses to her listeners, and answering phone calls.

Mrs. Townsend, DJ WSIV radio

Mrs. Townsend, DJ WSIV radio

I’ve always enjoyed Mrs. Townsend’s show, because in addition to providing informal history lessons about Syracuse, her voice is a true echo of our city’s Southern roots.

Mrs. Townsend, DJ WSIV radio (playlist)

Mrs. Townsend, DJ WSIV radio (playlist)

When did you come to Syracuse: I came from Miami, FL in 1953.

Who inspired you: I credit Rev. Walter C. Blue who was on WSOQ radio in the 1960s.

What is your favorite song: Bless me now Blessed Savior.

What is your motto: Pray without ceasing.

What does Syracuse mean to you: Syracuse has always been [for me] the center of hospitality and home of brotherly love.

A Son of the South Shines in Syracuse

Monday, July 6th, 2009
  A Brief Conversation with Charles Cannon: Lead singer/Founder (Bells of Harmony), Radio Host (Charles Cannon Gospel Hour, 1540 WSIV-AM)

Charles Cannon, gospel singer, radio host

 When did you come to Syracuse: August 1966 from Cuthbert, GA. I left when Georgia had “colored” restrooms and I picked cotton. When I got to Syracuse, I realized there was a better life. There were job opportunities, I could provide for my family without struggling. I worked for GM. The move from Georgia at age 18 was wonderful for me. I have no intentions of moving back. I go to visit or perform.

On Singing: I’m 62 years old, I’ll be 63 in June. Singing used to be so much fun, but now it has turned out to be a job. I don’t like the travel, but I go because I love singing. That’s what I do. I never get tired of singing.

How many concerts have you done: In 43 years…thousands.

When did you start in radio: I started in 1978; I started the C&O Gospel Hour [with my cousin who is now deceased]. Now [the show is called] Charles Cannon Gospel Hour. This is a great experience. I do it every Friday.

At studio of 1540 WSIV-AM

At studio of 1540 WSIV-AM

Who is your favorite artist: The Mighty Clouds of Joy. I’ve done concerts with them. They are my favorite because they do traditional gospel. I’m a traditional gospel singer. [Traditional gospel] speaks about your daily living, where you’ve come from, what you’ve been through and how the Lord has blessed you to persevere. I’m the kind of person when I listen to a song, it has to have a message, otherwise there’s no need to listen.

What is your favorite song (to sing): The Lord Will Make a Way. I always believe whatever the circumstance, whatever the situation, He’ll make a way for you. I wrote that song and it’s on our latest CD.

What are you listening to now: In my car I’m listening to a CD by the Texas Boyz. They sing a song that says Only the Strong Survive. I always have gospel on in my car.

If you could have everyone in the region listen to one song what would it be: If Jesus Can’t Fix it, Nobody Can, by the Mighty Clouds of Joy. If [people] would listen to the worlds, they would be spiritually uplifted.

I’m a Christian, I don’t deny that. I tell it everywhere I go.

Who has been your biggest influence: My mom. There was a song my mom loved to sing: Wont It be Grand.  When I was growing up we used to go into the garden, we grew all our vegetables in Georgia, and she would sing Won’t It be Grand. I re-did it and I had a chance to play it for her before she passed in 2002. Where ever I am, where ever I go, I always talk about my mom.


Bells of Harmony fans at Juneteenth

Closing thoughts: There’s no need for me to be here [at the studio] playing only what I want to hear. I do that when I get in my car or when I’m home. When I get to the studio, what ever [the listeners request], that’s what I play.

My listening audience and fans have [supported us] all these years and whenever I  perform on stage they are there. [The audience] has never let me down and I’m thankful. I don’t take it for granted.