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 David Whitney Building

Forced Labor

Michigan organizations join the battle against human trafficking.

100 Years of Service

Now with 16,000 chapters in more than 80 countries, the Kiwanis International organization started off small in Detroit

Laughing Lawyers, Medical Musicians

It might not be normal to see an attorney for amusement or a physician for a symphony, but in Detroit you can do both

Starring Role

Weekly CBS TV show features The Henry Ford
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Fit for Fall: A Little Love for Lemberger
    ‘Forget the name and try it’
  2. Lagers for Lunches
    The Livonia Junior Chamber is hosting the first ever Lagers for Lunches to raise money for school...
  3. Fort Street Brewery’s 6th Annual Brew-Ha!-Ha!
    Normally held in August, Fort Street Brewery has moved the event to November
  4. Earn Your Beard
    Join Dark Horse Brewing Co. at The Bird & The Bread to support men’s health.
  5. Hour Detroit's Top Docs 2014 Event Recap
    Hour Detroit celebrated the physicians named on the 2014 Top Docs list at the Top Docs Party...