The ‘Fly Jock’ has landed: Radio Icon, Tom Joyner signs off last radio show after 25 years

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Courtesy: Tom Joyner Show website

Oh oh oh (oh oh oh oh) it’s the Tom Joyner Morning Showwwww!

Twenty-five years of early morning flyness! Radio Icon, Tom Joyner signed off his very last show on Friday morning.

During his legendary career, “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” aired in more than 105 markets nationwide. His nationally syndicated show reached nearly 8 million listeners every day from 4 am to 9 am.

“The Tom Joyner Morning Show” will forever be the perfect combination of entertainment, education, and informative news that everyone can use.

Born in Tuskegee in 1949, Joyner worked for a variety of radio stations around the South and Midwest before he got his first huge break in 1985. During that time, the now 70-year-old radio icon took both the morning host job at KKDA in Dallas and the afternoon job on WGCI in Chicago, gaining the nickname “The Fly Jock.”

For about eight years, Joyner commuted every day between the two locations by plane. And that is how he earned the nicknames, “The Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio.” In 1994, Joyner’s morning show became syndicated.

But before hitting the airwaves nationally, Joyner graduated with a degree in sociology from Tuskegee University. While in college, he joined the fraternity Omega Psi Phi.

Joyner has always had a love for music, as his original goal in life was to be a musician as he joined a band, the Commodores, which included his college friend, Lionel Richie. But sadly at that time, he said the band did not make any money and his family and friends encouraged him to look into another means of making a living.

So that is when “The Fly Jock” took off and the sky was the limit.

During his radio career in 2005, Joyner also hosted a one-hour television variety show for about a year. The one-hour comedy show combined sketch comedy, talent contests, musical performances and featured the Tom Joyner Show Players, which were his co-hosts. Many well-known artists had the opportunity to perform on his show, such as Patti LaBelle, Earth, Wind and Fire, Brian McKnight, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Toni Braxton.

Courtesy: Tom Joyner Show – a one-hour comedy show

“My thing has always been to empower people, but to empower we must also entertain.” Joyner continues to say, “If I’ve got you laughing, I’ve got you listening.”


Joyner will forever be known for his philanthropic efforts in education and other areas through The Tom Joyner Foundation, which provides programming that affords diverse academic opportunities and possibilities to students wanting to, as well as those who may already be attending a historically black college or university, of HBCU.

During his final show Friday morning, Joyner said he would forever be a part of the push to encourage and support students to attend HBCUs even though he is retiring from radio.

He also says that his famous Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyages will continue every year, as the proceeds support students attending HBCUs. So you can still pack your bags and sign up for the most exciting and highly anticipated cruise as it will continue to keep cruising and sailing the oceans as Tom Joyner’s Foundation is his largest annual fundraiser.

Since 1998, Joyner’s foundation has raised nearly $65 million to help keep students enrolled at HBCUs. For more details on the Tom Joyner Foundation and the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage visit

During his legendary career, Joyner has always been an advocate for voter registration. Throughout the years, he promoted the importance of getting out and voting and encourage young people to register as soon as they come of age. Not only was voting rights important in the urban community, but health care always stood at the forefront.

Every April and September, Joyner held “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day.” On those days, he rallied all families and friends to go to the doctor to get a check-up to prevent any health problems, treat existing issues and continue to improve and push healthy living.

The unforgettable, never duplicated, “Tom Joyner Morning Show” featured his co-host Sybil Wilkes and senior news analyst Roland Martin. In the early years, the show also featured “Inside Her Story” with Jacque Reid and a host of comedians including Kym Whitley, Sherri Shepherd, Guy Torry, Damon Williams, Chris Paul and Huggy Lowdown.

In addition, Joyner’s website, which generally logs more than 15 million pages views, 1.5 million unique visitors on a monthly basis, according to Tom Joyner’s website. The website showcases exclusive content from the top radio shows in black urban radio along with news, entertainment and lifestyle reports that are important to the black community.

Legendary Radio Icon, Tom Joyner received many awards during his lifetime.

1998– First African American to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago.

2004 – Awarded the National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi Radio Award.

2008 – Inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

2013 – Inducted into the Official R&B Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University in Ohio.

2015 – Awarded the Humanitarian Award at the 2015 BET Awards.

Joyner has two sons, Thomas Jr. and Oscar, whom he has lovingly called, “Killer” and “Thriller” over the years. Tom has been married twice. He divorced his first wife and married celebrity aerobics instructor fitness expert Donna Richardson in 2000 but they divorced back in 2012.

As the years roll on Tom has been a guest and motivational speaker for many events around the U.S. and he says he will continue to do so and be an inspiration even through retirement.

He says he will continue to advocate and push for his Tom Joyner Foundation and continue to sail on his Fantastic Voyages. While in retirement, Tom says he plans to layout on the beach and he will definitely enjoy not having to get up at 3 a.m. anymore for his early morning show after 25 years.

As Tom Joyner said his final goodbyes, many well wishes and farewells came pouring in all over for Tom Joyner from celebrities and people from all over.

Listen to Tom Joyner’s co-host Sybill Wilkes thank Tom Joyner as he says his goodbyes

The ‘Fly-Jock’s Final Sign off

As a radio icon, Tom Joyner signed off for the last time Friday morning, he played a song that he called his most favorite song of all-time that he has ever played on air during his entire 25-years in radio. Stevie Wonder’s Love’s in Need of Love Today.

“I never say goodbye at the end of this show, because it’s one continuous party,” Joyner continues as the program concluded. “But this will be the first time I say, The Fly Jock has landed!”

LISTEN: Tom Joyner signs off for the last time after 25 years on radio.

Social Networks

Tom Joyner Twitter- @TJMShow

Tom Joyner Facebook:

For more about the Tom Joyner Morning Show, click here.

Birmingham Native Rickey Smiley will be taking the place of the Tom Joyner Show starting January 2020.


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