WRFG's broadcast director Ebon Dooley dies
Ebon Dooley, longtime broadcast director for WRFG-FM (89.3) and a respected community leader, died in his sleep Thurs., Oct. 12. He was 64.
Born Leo Thomas Hale in Milan, Tenn., Dooley came to Atlanta in 1968 after earning a bachelor's degree at Fisk University (where he befriended renowned poet Nikki Giovanni) and graduating from Columbia Law School. He joined WRFG-FM in 1973, and helped it grow from a 10-watt station to a 100,000-watt community-radio stalwart. "If it had not been for Ebon, we would not have WRFG," says his ex-wife, Patricia Ann Rose.
In addition to being a WRFG-FM (89.3) administrator and board member, Dooley hosted a jazz show for many years. He was a local leader who impacted everyone from regular folks to Atlanta's Mayor Shirley Franklin, says his son Askia Moshe Hale. "Through [supporting] music, politics, and social issues, Daddy was able to improve the lives of thousands of people," says Hale.
Dooley was also a writer who published a collection of poetry, Revolution: A Poem in 1968 on Third World Press. During his final months, Dooley's ongoing health problems caused him to frequently take administrative leave. He died just after inaugurating a new radio program, "Class Chronicles." "He absolutely died doing what he loved," says Hale.
GNARLS BARKLEY UPDATE: The Gnarls Barkley juggernaut keeps rolling. On Tues., Nov. 7, the group is releasing a special CD/DVD edition of St. Elsewhere that includes music videos, a 90-page booklet, and two live tracks. Then, starting in January 2007, it'll head out on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Contrary to published reports, however, group members Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse are not working on a new album — yet. Cee-Lo's manager, K.C. Morton, says Cee-Lo planned to record a solo album after Gnarls Barkley finished its worldwide tour (which wrapped up in Atlanta on Sun., Oct. 1). Now, with expectations running high for a second Gnarls Barkley adventure, he doesn't know. "We're not sure what he's going to do yet," says Morton. He adds, "He's in the studio all the time recording things."
In the meantime, Cee-Lo's former label, Arista, is releasing Closet Freak: The Best of Cee-Lo Green the Soul Machine on Tues., Oct. 31. As for Danger Mouse, the former Atlantan's recent production credits include the Good, the Bad and the Queen, a concept project led by Gorillaz creator Damon Albarn and set to hit stores in January; a remix CD of Paris Hilton's Paris, commissioned by art-world prankster Banksy; and tracks for Sparklehorse and the Rapture.
COMING LATER: With 2006 winding down, several albums scheduled to come out this fall have been rescheduled for early 2007. Among them are Crime Mob's Hated on Mostly and Bobby Valentino's Special Occasion. ... Look for a solo album from Youngbloodz's rapper Sean P. early next year.
RANDOM NEWS: Ludacris' "Shake Your Money Maker" topped the Billboard singles chart last week. ... Decatur band Warm in the Wake signed a deal with local imprint Livewire Recordings. The band plans to issue its debut EP, Gold Dust Trail, on Tues., Jan. 30. You can check out Warm in the Wake on Thurs., Nov. 16, at the Star Bar.
CD RELEASES AND ANNIVERSARIES: Punk-rock band Beat Beat Beat celebrates Living in the Future with a Thurs., Oct. 26, gig at Drunken Unicorn. The Spooks, Government Warning and Cloak/Dagger also perform. ... Gothic-folk duo the Annunaki and solo musician Brad Jones support their respective albums with a Fri., Oct. 27, performance at Aurora Coffee in Virginia-Highland. The Annunaki's disc is self-titled, while Jones' album is titled Simplicity. ... The inexplicably named Dearestazazel will celebrate Come Closer with a Fri., Oct. 27, show at the Darkside. Vaya and Rouletta open. ... Alt-rock band Roses for Emily presents its Dreamer EP during a Sat., Oct. 28, concert at New Life Victory Center. The Awkward Romance and Last Year Portrait open.