We are here with Dave Warren and Albert
Butler of WHAT 1340 AM's Acres Of Diamonds
program. Please tell me what the show
Warren: The show is basically you name
it we talk about it! Since WHAT
is a traditionally conservative African
American radio station focused on issues
in the African American community.
We have two show that would be considered
middle of the ground at this time on WHAT.
In the red/blue state scenario
we would be the blue state focusing on
democratic issues. We try to focus
on topics that are light yet informative.
The show is intended or people
between the ages of 25-54.
How long has the show been on the air
and tell us the significance of the show's
title, Acres of Diamonds?
We are in our fourth year of doing the
show and our fifth year anniversary will
be in September of 2005. I used
to have a show on WDAS and my co-host
was a Temple University graduate; Temple's
founder came up with a parable which he
phrased as ãAcres of Diamondsä where there
was two guys who went off looking for
fame and fortune, one guy went looking
for gold and oil and he was killing the
ground with no success except for finding
coal and suffice to say he died penniless.
The other guy brought the land from him
and found the coal, compressed the coal
and found diamonds. So it's just
a contrast in how you look at things:
So the show's focus is to find the good
things beyond the bad things and focus
on that instead of always looking at the
How did you and your co-host Al Butler
come together for the show?
Al was my producer when I first got the
show and when I first got offered the
show By the third show Al was here, came
in and he was laying on the floor and
we have been cool ever since. He told
me he liked the way my show was Al liked
the humor and we just kind of meshed and
grew from there. It was all serendipitous.
I had some serious back problems at the
time and I was laid out on the floor and
he walked in and I said: ãwhat's going
on you doing the show tonightä He said:
ãyeahä and I said: ãI'll be a producerä.
I love that Dave allowed and continues
to let me do me and bring in the
different characters and stupidity on
I hear you have some special guests on
the show. Tell us about them!
We have people who lend their talents
to the show. We have one person who sounds
a lot like Mike Tyson, we hav a special
guy by the name of Tyrone who does our
movie reviews, we have a guy named D'Andre,
well I don't know if you want to call
him a guy he's more like a person who
is really into fashion industry and things
that are diva.
What do you guys do besides the show to
get the AOD word out there?
What we try to do is build the Acres of
Diamonds brand as more than just the radio
show. Some other things we have done include
the Acres of Diamonds experience where
we actually do the show live and we feature
live performances, African American businesses,
non-profit organizations, etc.
It's like a big party except it's live
so you can dance and even curse! Another
event is the Mojito Moments, which centers
around mojitos ,
which is a Cuban drink made with rum.
We center the event on drinking the mojito
beverage and we talk about things and
topics important to the people of our
ilk. We also actually host other people's
events like an event called Maduro. We
have done fashion shows and other events
all in the name of gaining more listeners
and getting the A.O.D. brand out.
Any particular topic you have discussed
on the show that you were really proud
to present to the people?
We did a whole show focused on the African
American youth and what their responsibilities
are and should be. We also focused an
entire show on Hip Hop music and how its
culture has impacted things we do on a
daily basis. So we have done several events
and shows that we feel as good for establishing
dialogue and informing people as well.
Now Al Butler (said as he walks in the
room) has been one of the Philadelphia
Daily News Sexy Singles for the
past couple of years: Any comments on
I don't have a comment but I will comment.
It's cool, I do get a lot of good-natured
ripping (saying this as he looks at Dave),
and I'm still getting over that Speedo
comment he made in his weekly emails.
We are known in more circles than we were
years ago and there is no such thing as
bad publicity right?
No there is. Just ask Michael Jackson
that question and he will say as much.
So both of you are Philly natives?
Center City and Mt. Airy
What do you think about community?
Community is important but I think what
community is, is important to define÷to
me community is not necessarily
what happens in this or that neighborhood
but whatever your group of people is;
in our case our radio audience is our
community, those are the people we try
to reach. I want our community to be as
inclusive as possible. When we
construct a show we try to make it as
accessible to the community and not one
particular community but community on
a larger scale.
Like I said before WHAT traditionally
is for an older audience and people who
are younger who may not be interested
in talk radio don't think about talk radio.
Some don't realize how important politics
are or that things besides the insides
of the entertainment industries mean a
lot and need to be discussed. Like
December is World AIDS Month, where the
importance of HIV/AIDS is supposed to
be reflected upon and acted on and it's
taboo to talk about in most of the African
American community. This leads
to young people not taking the proper
precautions to protect themselves from
this disease which can be prevented. So
when your talking about the radio and
the professional community being inclusive
in letting people know the information
out there to be had that what I believe
community means something.
What do you enjoy about working on the
radio and do you have aspirations on moving
to the other forms of media?
Radio is my first love since college and
I want to stay in talk radio. If the radio
allows me the opportunity to branch out
and do television and other things of
that nature then fine but I love to have
a dialogue and talk over issues better
effectively. You know we have the ultimate
goal of being nationally syndicated.
My main focus is the radio; pretty Al
may have plans to model for K-Mart!
JC Penney, JC Penney, nah seriously I
love radio and I fell in love with it
when I was a little kid I always enjoyed
being in radio whether it is sports radio,
or straight talk radio and I would want
still be in radio despite any other endeavors.
I have some characters and if I
tried to do them on TV it wouldn't be
the same. On radio it is completely different
because it is left to the mind. The person's
mind forms what the person's face and
body looks like based on how I use my
voice and that's a lot of fun because
of the endless amount we can do.
It takes a lot of imagination and radio
helps you do that more anything else.
I think that is something we have lost
as a society with television. You
look out and everything is there for you.
It's the difference between reading the
book and the newspaper. Your getting the
information with the newspaper but your
brain isn't given the opportunity to expound
on what you are learning like you would
with the book that bring you slowly along
yeah that's real because everyone is used
to see things quickly and being told what
it is instead of searching for it themselves
they often aren't thinking on their own.
Being taught to think independently.
And what does this mean to me. How does
it correlate to what I'm doing or what's
happening in my world.
Let's get some background Dave said he
love radio since college?
I said I fell [in love] with talk radio
in college. I mean I always wanted
to do radio but college is when I think
I got hooked because there was this guy
when I first got to Cheyney University.
He had a show called the Bull Dollar Holla
and he had the best voice ever. I give
any success I have to him because he was
the first person I heard that I could
actually touch. I later graduated
from college. I got a part time gig at
WCAU as a producer overnight. I
worked overnight with this one guy, I
forgot his name, but he used to sing and
tell these corny jokes and he was fascinating
but he could also get serious and I got
this Acres of Diamonds concept.
We could talk about important things but
we can also talk about funnier aspects
For me it started really early. I was
living on Greene Street in Germantown
(Philly) around 8 years old and I started
to listen to KYW-- I remember listening
to KYW when I heard of hostages came back
from Iran and they had just landed in
Germany. I remember hearing Doctor
J's 30,000-point game, his last game ever.
I went to Hampton and I knew that broadcast
journalism would be my major so after
a semester of semi-successful football
I hooked up with the college radio station
and did the football games for 41/2 years.
My first paid gig was a Hampton game versus
Florida A&M that went 5 overtimes
which was then a NCAA record. WHAT is
a natural transition for me into talk.
Sportstalk was always big for me but focusing
on one subject wasn't enough.
Well you can't talk about some things
there are regulations.
There are things you can't say but any
topic is available. You can say double
penetration on the radio.
Yeah that's true!
What would you say to those trying to
get on the radio business?
I've been in this business since 1986.
I've always been involved and you have
to follow your dreams and know that nothing
Internships are important, I'm here today
because of one. The three things to remember
are: get internships in whatever you want
to do, be a sponge÷soak up everything,
network and follow up.
Realistically you're going to have work
for free! I can't tell you how many years
I worked at WDAS and didn't get paid.
It's the nature of the beast. The greatest
example is Puffy albeit in a different
game. Puffy interned at Uptown
records and blew up shortly after.
In 2004 the Philadelphia Tribune nominated
you guys as the best radio show.
Actually we were nominated best radio
personalities but we recently were named
third place for the best radio show behind
Wendy Williams who won and Tom joyner
which are both syndicated so technically
we are the best show based in Philly!
What is the AOD Blessing?
Probably one of the most unique things
regarding our show is that anyone who
comes on the show, better yet the majority
of them who come on the show does something
wondertasturful after coming on the show.
A good example would be John Legend who
came on our show as John Stephens about
11/2 years ago and now he is big.
There are other people too and I think
its because every September the pastor
of my church comes by and blesses the
show for all we do on the show and also
for our ultimate goal.
Name some of the guests you've had drop
by or call.
Jill Scott called, Paula Jai Parker, Rob
Hardy (creator of Trois and Pandora's
Box), Marcellius Wiley of the Dallas Cowboys,
Marlon Jackson, Congressman Chaka Fattah,
State Senator Anthony Williams and Vincent
Hughes, Mayors Wilson Goode and John Street,
Zane, Mayorial assistant Sean Fordham,
numerologist Jerome Carter, CNN anchor
Soledad O'Brien, local broadcasters Christian
Farr, Carla Eboh, Tasha Brown, Tracey
Humphries, official AOD news jawn Alicia
Taylor and Don Lemon. Lemon is another
AOD success story.
We do have a curse though and Sharon Reed
knows about it.
What's the curse?
The curse comes if we try to get you on
the show multiple times and you flea us
some adversity will come you way.
We tried to get Reed on the show several
times and she said she was coming but
never did and later the whole scandal
with the other woman reporter happened.
So overall the show has been well received?
It has been good; not the overall goal
but I'm happy with the progress made.
I've heard people talking about hearing
the show and that's good.
when is the program and on what station?
Saturday evenings, 6-10pm on 1340 WHAT
and the website is www.thebigtalker.net.
any questions, inquiries or comments please
email Clayton at firstname.lastname@example.org.