Reflecting upon the death of radio personality Gregory Bernard Peters, Jeff Lee, co-host of the Fun Afternoon Show on radio station WDIA, said, “It was magical.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better radio personality to work with,” said Lee. “I would throw it to him, and he would throw it back to me, like we were playing catch. Fred Moore and I loved working with Greg. It was like working for my brother.”
Peters, 53, was found dead in his Midtown home last Thursday (May 6) by a long-time family friend. He had not been ill, according to family and friends.
“We would see each other every day,” said long-time family friend Adrienne Wesley. “It was my birthday, and I had not seen him all day. We lived across the street from each other, and I saw him everyday for five years. It wasn’t like him to not come over. I went over to just check on him. I have a key, so I let myself in when he didn’t answer the door. It was heartbreaking to find him deceased.”
Peters grew up in the Walker Homes area and was born June 7, 1967. He developed an early love for music and interest in media. In 1985, he graduated from Mitchell High School, where he played football and sang in the school choir. Later, graduated from the Columbia School of Broadcasting in pursuit of his disc-jockey dream. He got his first job in radio at age 19 with WLOK.
Peters was heard on Memphis airwaves for 30-plus years, working in a variety of formats, including: adult contemporary, gospel, urban adult contemporary, classic rock, smooth jazz, talk and blues.
He spent his early years at WLOK 1340 AM and WRVR 104 FM, The River. While at 104, Peters took some time off to care for his mother. When he returned to local radio, it was at the historic WDIA, the first radio station programmed for and by African-Americans.
There he worked alongside legends such as Bobby O’Jay, Bev Johnson, Mark Stansbury and his on-air partner, Lee. He also hosted the midday show “Talk to Me” on WLRM 1380 AM and WMSO 104 FM Memphis Soul.
“By me being a part of the WDIA family for over 62 years, I am blessed to have known most of the on-air personalities,” said Stansbury. “Greg would always post something on his page about me when he heard I was receiving some award or being honored in some way. He always remembers to post a happy birthday message as well. And for that, “I told the Lord, ‘Thank you for Greg Peters.’”
Peters encouraged artists and entrepreneurs on the entertainment circuit by playing their music, hosting local showcases and promoting their businesses. He was an avid supporter of community and political affairs, working alongside local and state officials.
Peters mentored young boys in the community as a volunteer coach for the Whitehaven Raiders youth football club.
He always credited his success and longevity in radio to God and his loyal listeners, according to his niece, Dr. Aerial Ellis of Nashville.
Services have been set for May 14-15, with visitation Friday, 4-7 p.m., at True Faith Baptist Church, 1070 Rozelle St. On Saturday, a funeral service is set for 11 a.m. at The Healing Cathedral, 4523 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Peters was a member of Eternal Life Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and sang in the choir.