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January 29, 2010

Donnie Simpson Final Show at 95.5 WPGC

Donnie says this is not a retirement and he will be back on the radio

Source: article - The stars and the faithful pay tribute to D.C. radio icon Donnie Simpson -Paul Farhi Washington Post Staff Writer

See video report Donnie Simpson's final thoughts with Tony Perkins of Fox 5 D.C.

Donnie Simpson didn't want it to end like this. If he'd had his way, he'd still be on the radio come Monday morning, waking up Washington and playing music just as he has been for more than three decades.

Nevertheless, the end came Friday as Simpson signed off his morning program on WPGC-FM (95.5) for the last time, with tearful family members and colleagues packed around him in the station's studio in Prince George's County. The emotional farewell show followed a falling-out between Simpson and his employer, and brought an abrupt, if not permanent, end to his 32-year run on Washington's airwaves. It also spelled the loss of another popular local DJ in an era of increasing national syndication of radio personalities.

Simpson's usual four-hour morning show spilled into a fifth and then a sixth hour on Friday as celebrity well-wishers and civic luminaries lined up like jumbo jets to pay tribute. The phoned-in sendoffs from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Wyclef Jean, LL Cool J, John Legend and Toni Braxton reflected Simpson's status as a musical tastemaker through his morning program and his 14-year stint hosting Black Entertainment Television's "Video Soul" program. The proclamations from District Council member Harry Thomas Jr. and Police Chief Cathy Lanier bespoke Simpson's long involvement as a promoter of community causes.

Simpson, who will be 56 on Saturday, was gracious and warm during his final turn at the microphone, repeatedly thanking his listeners, his family and colleagues. He said throughout the morning that he is not retiring, but gave no hint during or afterward about what he will do next. His severance agreement with WPGC's owner, CBS Radio, prohibits him from taking another job on the radio in Washington until March 2011.

>>Read more Washington Post

Photos from final show at WPGC.com

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