Memphis reacts after death of legendary DJ Bobby O’Jay

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis community is mourning the death of long-time radio personality Bobby O’Jay.  Bobby died Tuesday at the age of 68.  He died suddenly.

“Bobby said to us many years ago, ‘I’m never going to retire. I’m going to die doing what I do and he did that today,’” said Eileen Collier, who once worked with Bobby O’Jay.

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Tuesday, many in the radio business reflected on how Bobby O’Jay gave them their first break in the radio business.

“Bobby was my mentor. He was the one who gave me my first radio job and trusted me enough to take me through the ranks. He gave me the title of assistant music director (then) assistant program director,” said Collier.

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Bobby O’Jay was born in Batesville, Mississippi.  He was one of nine siblings.  He got started in radio in 1972.  He would go on to work for WDIA in 1983.

“He was such a big voice to the community. You know I’ve been thinking about it all day.  WDIA, just a monster radio station, always has been,” said long-time radio host Ron Olson of 104.5 The River.

Olson said he once worked with Bobby O’Jay.

“I’ve known Bobby forever and a day.  We probably grew up together doing radio,” said Olson.

Olson said Bobby O’Jay had a special connection with his listeners.

“He loved radio, loved it and nobody was more entertaining than that dude.  He was so connected to every musician in the country and every record person. They all knew Bobby O’Jay.”