Tenn. Radio Pioneer 'Janie Joplin' Has Died

Janie Joplin

hide captionRadio DJ Vida Jane Butler (shown here in the late 1950s) was known on the air as "Janie Joplin."

Vida Jane Butler

Radio pioneer Vida Jane Butler, known on the air as "Janie Joplin," died last week at 84, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Butler was an announcer on WHER in Memphis, Tenn., in the 1950s. The station was billed as the "First All-Female Radio Station." Record producer Sam Phillips came up with the idea for the format.

Butler said the name "Vida" was considered too old-fashioned and too Southern for WHER, where she worked as an announcer and a copywriter.

Later, Butler used her talent and wit to create radio commercials. She was nominated for a Cleo Award, the highest honor in advertising.

During WHER's 17-year-run, Butler would sign off with a phrase that her family says could have been her personal motto: "Be good and you'll be happy!"

Related NPR Stories

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: