‘Brother Marlon’ honors Pittsburgh’s gospel radio icons

BROTHER MARLON MARTIN, HONOREE REV. JOAN PRENTICE, APOSTLE OTIS CARSWELL’S WIDOW (APOSTLE ANNETTE CARSWELL), HONOREE VICKI HILL. WAMO’s ‘Brother Marlon’ Martin says they paved the way for people like him   When it comes to gospel music on the radio in Pittsburgh, there are six people considered to be pioneers, trailblazers, influential figures who resonated … Continued The post ‘Brother Marlon’ honors Pittsburgh’s gospel radio icons appeared first on New Pittsburgh Courier.

‘Brother Marlon’ honors Pittsburgh’s gospel radio icons

BROTHER MARLON MARTIN, HONOREE REV. JOAN PRENTICE, APOSTLE OTIS CARSWELL’S WIDOW (APOSTLE ANNETTE CARSWELL), HONOREE VICKI HILL.

WAMO’s ‘Brother Marlon’ Martin says they paved the way for people like him

 

When it comes to gospel music on the radio in Pittsburgh, there are six people considered to be pioneers, trailblazers, influential figures who resonated with listeners for decades.

They are Gloria Inez Briskey, Bishop Loran E. Mann, Apostle Otis L. Carswell, Joan Prentice, Nate Hollis, and Vicki Hill. Briskey, Bishop Mann, and Apostle Carswell have since passed.

All six hosted gospel programs on WAMO Radio. Many of them spent time hosting gospel shows on WPGR or WGBN.

BROTHER MARLON MARTIN HAS BEEN HOSTING SUNDAY GOSPEL ON WAMO RADIO SINCE 2006. (PHOTOS BY J.L. MARTELLO)

Brother Marlon Martin, who is the current host of Sunday Gospel on WAMO (7-11 a.m., on 107.3 FM), decided to honor whom he calls “the inspirational gospel radio icons” who paved the way for someone like him to host gospel music on Pittsburgh radio.

 

The event was held, Dec. 15, at the Grayson Center in the Hill District. Hill and Prentice were able to attend; Hollis was unable due to illness. The event was held in collaboration with Brother Marlon’s 25th anniversary in gospel radio and WAMO’s 75th anniversary as a radio station.

EPHRAIM MARTIN, ELLISE MARTIN, BROTHER MARLON MARTIN, CALEB MARTIN

“What I recognize is, if not for these people, I would not be able to (host gospel shows for 25 years in Pittsburgh),” Brother Marlon told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “They laid the foundation, they blazed the trail I was able to follow after. I had some type of connection to them either personally or by listening to them on the radio.”

HONOREE VICKI HILL

Brother Marlon, who was known on WAMO in the mid-’90s as Sean Richards, would also DJ a variety of nightclubs. But as the new year for 1998 approached, Brother Marlon told the Courier he had rededicated himself back into the church. He stopped DJing secular-style events and began hosting gospel programs on WORD-FM (101.5) and WGBN. After a departure from WAMO in 1998, Brother Marlon returned to host the WAMO Sunday gospel program in 2006, where he’s been ever since.

Brother Marlon recalled the love and support the late Bishop Mann gave him. Bishop Mann owned WGBN Radio in New Kensington. “When I left (WGBN), he still continued to support me and he was proud to say that I worked for him,” Brother Marlon said.

HONOREE REV. JOAN PRENTICE

Throughout the month of November 2023, Brother Marlon featured each gospel radio icon during his gospel show. Those who had passed were represented by a family member or close friend. Brother Marlon also spotlighted two charities that are dear to his heart: the Alzheimer’s Association and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, in honor of his parents, Douglas and Ercell Martin.

APOSTLE OTIS CARSWELL’S WIDOW, APOSTLE ANNETTE CARSWELL, ACCEPTING HIS AWARD

Brother Marlon, who has been married for 17 years to Ellise Small Martin and is the father of four children (Marlon, II, Jason, Ephraim, Caleb), said he was able to honor the late Apostle Carswell in 2017 when Brother Marlon celebrated 25 years in radio.

“I felt very emotional (during the December 2023 event) because I felt like I was doing a great thing for these people who may not have had anybody recognize them,” Brother Marlon told the Courier.

“While it was a moment to celebrate my accomplishments, I didn’t want to put the spotlight on me, I wanted to put it on them. I wish I would have been able to do it for all of them while they were all alive.”

MUSIC SELECTION BY WHITNEY ALLEN

THE AWARDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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