Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg, 1969

THE WAY IT WAS


Published:

1969

 

 

Long before she acquired her regal sobriquet, Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg was born with the “commoner” name of Martha Jean Jones in Memphis, Tenn., in 1930. It was in that city where, in 1954, she nabbed a job at radio station WDIA. There, a fellow DJ tacked on “The Queen” after her given name. Steinberg — she married Luther Steinberg, whom she later divorced — was among just a handful of women radio hosts at that time. She spun R&B records and offered household tips. In 1963, she came north to Inkster, where she took a job at WCHB. Three years later, she was hired by WJLB, where “The Queen” held court until the early ’80s. At WJLB, Steinberg played music, but she also hosted guests and became an inspirational voice to many. While the riots tore the city asunder in 1967, Steinberg stayed on the air for 48 hours straight, urging people to remain calm and stay off the streets. Later, to foster better relations between the black community and the Detroit Police Department, she hosted a call-in program called Buzz the Fuzz. In 1972, she became an ordained minister and founded a church, “The Home of Love.” A decade later, she and partners started WQBH, a talk and gospel station, which she later bought. Steinberg was inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. She died in 2000.


If you enjoy the monthly content in Hour Detroit, "Like" us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Way It Was

Good Food

Nonprofit started from the back of a woman’s Jeep is branching out to find ways to feed metro Detroit’s hungry

The Way It Was

Getting Personal

WDET ‘Detroit Today’ host Stephen Henderson’s take on the most ‘interactive’ media

Treasure Trove

Through local firm’s Life Chests, people preserve memories, pass on personal legacies and family memorabilia to their loved ones
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Hour Detroit's Best of Detroit Party 2015 Video Invitation
    Hour Detroit is bringing the Best of Detroit issue to life at the tenth-annual Best of Detroit...
  2. Brewery Profile - Greenbush Brewing Co.
    Sawyer, Michigan’s Greenbush Brews Full-bodied Beer
  3. Royal Oak's New Brew
    ROAK Brewing Co.’s taproom opens to the public today
  4. A Long Day's Coney Into Night
    What’s a typical Friday like at Detroit’s iconic Lafayette Coney Island? A tag team crew of...
  5. Promise and Protocol
    Gordie Howe’s stroke treatments and A. Alfred Taubman’s legacy to U-M are putting stem cell...
  6. Top Dentists 2015
  7. Where and What We Eat
  8. The 313: Dialing In To Metro Detroit
  9. Shelf Awareness
    Craft brewers push their way into premium space once reserved for the big boys
  10. What We Do For Fun