At age 88, media executive and broadcast legend Dr. Shelley Stewart this week announced the launch of the podcast, “Shelley’s Plumbline” a show that blends fresh commentary with clips from his archive of more than 3,000 shows spanning his 53-year career in radio broadcasting.
Stewart’s career stretches more than 50 years as a radio personality, where he helped the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders disseminate key planning information about demonstrations.
He eventually became the owner of the radio station WATV and the advertising agency o2ideas. Stewart also authored two books, The Road South: A Memoir and Mattie C.’s Boy: The Shelley Stewart Story, which retells his life story in vivid detail, following his beginning as a homeless child at seven years of age to his rise to business success.
Stewart hopes the podcast will have a tangible impact on communities, the nation, and the world. “There is this side, that side, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle,” said Stewart.
After listening to several shows from the archive, Stewart and his production team noticed the irony that 30 to 40 years after their original broadcast date, society still faces similar challenges today. While controversial issues, such as human rights, gender equality, AIDS, youth, and homelessness, remain top world problems, Shelley’s Plumbline will acknowledge the similarities and differences between the past and present.
“We have interviews with legends, such as Eddie Kendricks, Fred Shuttlesworth, Hosea Williams, and Steve Harvey,” said Stewart. “Some episodes will share oldies, but [golden] hits, and some will even explore comedy. We want to connect with people and keep our listeners engaged whether we are discussing [current] topics or the golden age of Motown.”
Shelley’s Plumbline premiered April 20 on Spotify, Amazon Music, and iHeart Radio and will release episodes weekly on Wednesdays.