THE CHARLES W. ADAMS JR. FOUNDATION
ANNOUNCES 2015 ESSAY CONTEST
The Charles W. "Hoppy" Adams Jr. Foundation is a 501 c(3) Non-Profit organization of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and the laws of the State of Maryland. The Foundation was established in 2006 to promote and provide charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational services for Youth and Adult individuals located in Annapolis, Md. and the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
CHARLES W. ADAMS JR.
Hoppy Adams was a distinguished Radio Personality and Executive Vice President with radio station WANN located in Annapolis, Md. for over 40 years.
Hoppy Adams was more than a Radio Personality, he was an active community and behind the scene Philanthropist.
Mr. Adams was hired by Mr. Morris Blum in 1952.
The Baltimore Sun hailed Mr. Blum "as a pioneer in race relations for putting African-American personalities on the air more than five decades ago."
Mr. Blum hired African-Americans for both on air and management work at the station, which aired gospel, soul or rhythm and blues - at a time when few stations were playing African-American music.
WANN represents a significant moment in American cultural history; the rise of black-oriented broadcasting. Although blacks constituted 10 percent of the population, black interest in broadcasting on any scale, didn't begin until 1948.
That year WDIA in Memphis became the first station to go to a format with exclusively black on-air personnel. Shortly after, a handful of stations committed to black interests. WANN was one of the first half-dozen. The station went on the air in 1948, and by 1950 owner and manager Morris Blum had directed his station to the black community in Annapolis and the surrounding area.
A 1000-watt daytime station, WANN was among the pioneering stations that were central to black life in the pre-Civil Rights era. Morris Blum, a Jew who came of age in the New Deal, conceived of the station while in the service during WWII. He explicitly rejected the segregation he saw in the armed forces, especially after he saw that death did not discriminate. While he initially tried a conventional format for his station, he quickly refocused it to serve the black community. Blum's programming mixture of community service, black interest news, music, and religion developed through his dealings with African American public figuresâ€”preachers, businessmen and his own staff. Hoppy Adams, WANN's star personality, and Blum enjoyed a 30-year collaboration that reflected the interracial collaboration that was the heart of black radio in its formative years.
HometownAnnapolis.com, Top Stories - Cancer silences local radio legend Hoppy Adams
Published on: 5/31/2005 Last Visited: 5/31/2005
Mr. Adams was born in Parole in January 1926 to Ruby Loretta Queen Adams and Charles Walter "Happy" Adams Sr.
The Rev. John T. Chambers Sr. took Hoppy, whose nickname came from a bum leg, under his wing at Chambers Barber Shop, where Mr. Adams learned to cut hair.
Hannah Chambers, wife of John T. Chambers Jr., said Mr. Adams was like another brother in the family, palling around with her husband and his brother, Phillip.
Mr. Adams drove a taxicab and later started his own cab company in Annapolis.
Del Puschert, former saxophone player in the Van Dykes, and owner of Del's Barber and Styling Shop on Defense Highway, said he first met Mr. Adams when he was a cab driver in 1952 and Hoppy came to his house looking for a specific muffler.
"I gave him the one I had on my car for his taxicab," he said, laughing.
On the air
Mr. Adams started working at WANN in 1952 as well.
Mr. Adams made his career - and the careers of others - by spinning the records of rising R&B artists who would call in to his show, including Otis Redding and James Brown.
He used to catch WANN on the radio when he drove from Baltimore to Washington," Mr. Adams told The Evening Capital in 1975.
Mr. Adams was there to encourage him.
In addition to his radio show, Mr. Adams brought in African-American artists to play in Annapolis as part of the "Chitlin Circuit."
At the beach
In the 1950s and through the mid-1960s, Mr. Adams was synonymous with one place above all: Carr's Beach.
Friends said Mr. Adams wasn't shy about bringing people he knew up on stage or mentioning them on air. Mr. Adams also recognized people from Annapolis when he promoted shows on the Eastern Shore.
Mr. Adams was also the executive vice president of WANN and was elected in 1976 to the board of directors for the Maryland D.C. Delaware Broadcasters Association.
But as well known as Mr. Adams' was in his public life as a radio personality, he was also described by friends as a humble and genuine man.
Mr. Burke said he never heard Mr. Adams raise his voice in anger.
"You could call him at 3 a.m. and he always answered with a joyful tone, 'This is Hoppy,'" he said.
Friends said Mr. Adams was always quick to raise money for a good cause. He anonymously gave money to those who needed it, even helping some kids get through their first year of college.
Everyone who knew him said Mr. Adams touched their lives.