Real African American Heros: Ruby Lewis

Legend in broadcasting

Ruby LewisRuby Lewis as Lady Cool Breeze broke new ground, landing her first job in radio more than 50 years ago. “It was a dream come true,” Lewis said. “I started at KAMQ Radio. It was at Twelfth and Polk Street across from the old Amarillo High School.”

 The station, where she worked for about eight years, moved and changed its call letters to KDJW-AM and KBUY-FM. She started at the station working the midnight shift playing what was then called “race music.”

 “I am the first one of my race, the first lady deejay in the radio broadcast industry in Amarillo,” Lewis said.

 Lewis is better known by her on-air name, Lady Cool Breeze.

Ruby Lewis was the voice of black radio years and years. Lewis believes that some other black disc jockeys were working in the Dallas-Fort Worth market when she began her career here. They also used on-air radio names.

 Lewis worked at several other radio stations in her career, KIXZ in Amarillo and KBYE in Oklahoma City. But she always worked either the evening or midnight shift.

 At KIXZ, she worked beginning at 8 p.m. at the station’s then downtown office. The DJ booth was visible from the Fifth Avenue window. People could slip requests through the window.

 “I was prime time,” Lewis said. Throughout her career, her voice – and her trademark – remained soft and soothing.”Women in radio at midnight were not supposed to talk like they were at home reprimanding,” Lewis said. “So you had to have a mellow voice.”

 She retired from radio in 1988 from KGNC, where she worked for 12 years.

 Lewis met some of the greatest rhythm and blues artists – James Brown, Dinah Washington, B.B. King and Ike and Tina Turner.

 Lewis was a trendsetter in broadcasting, and she says she was fortunate. People always treated her with respect.”I was never treated rudely,” Lewis said. “I have always loved people, and they seemed to love me back.”

 Ruby Lewis is a member of The Texas Panhandle Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

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Comments

  1. avatar Rachael Hollings says:

    This is my grandmother, looking and listening to her past made me glad to follow her footstep and work in the broadcasting field as well.

     

    I love you granny!!