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Nashville radio legend Clarence Kilcrease dies after long illness

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Posted at 9:38 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 22:38:48-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville radio legend Clarence "Gilly Baby" Kilcrease has died after a long illness at the age of 84.

Kilcrease spent more than 45 years on the air. He served as Vice President and General Manager of 92Q and WVOL and was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame in 2018. Even then, he was still broadcasting daily. Kilcrease was a graduate of Pearl Cohn High School, Tennessee School of Broadcasting and American School of Management, and broke barriers in the broadcasting industry for African Americans.

Kilcrease is described as being instrumental in establishing and furthering the careers of a number of local broadcasting personalities - and even gave Oprah Winfrey one of her first broadcasting jobs.

The legendary broadcaster also gave back to the community in a big way. For over twenty years, Kilcrease helped raise money to sponsor a gospel program to help residents in need, providing over 100 food baskets each holiday season.

Fans and friends spoke out on social media about the loss of Kilcrease including longtime lawmaker, former Senator Thelma Harper. The longtime lawmaker wrote on Twitter: "Sad to hear the passing of Clarence 'Gilly Baby' Kilcrease. The 'original voice' and radio personality that went on to serve as VP and GM of @92q and WVOL. He gave so much of his time lending his voice to many causes while working hard to help and improve our community."

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.