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

The Way It Was - The David Whitney Building

Unlikely Sprinter

Cass Tech/U-M graduate Eddie ‘The Midnight Express’ Tolan ran to fame in the 1932 Olympic games.

Pingree's Patches

Outspoken mayor planted seeds for Detroit’s original urban farms in effort to address financial woes

School's Almost Out

Get your kids away from their electronic devices (at least temporarily) with a host of day camp activities
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 8 Degrees of Expansion
    Brigid Beaubien and Tim Costello are bringing their Plato craft beer concept to Detroit