Rush Statement on Passing of WVON Founder Pervis Spann (Chicago, IL — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) released the following statement on the passing of WVON Founder Pervis Spann:
“Pervis Spann paved the path for some of the most notable and iconic entertainers globally and launched the blueprint for Black radio ownership. As owner of the nation’s first Black radio station, Spann was the pride and joy of Chicago’s Black community. As a local disc jockey, ‘The Bluesman’ grew to be the city’s top concert promoter — bringing countless legends from Aretha Franklin to Dionne Warwick, along with national and local blues and gospel artists, to Chicago.
“Pervis was there for me with advice and counsel as a young man, welcoming me with open arms as a guest on WVON. Despite being a legend, he was always approachable, and he showered me with encouragement.
“WVON played a pivotal role during the civil rights movement, in promoting Black pride, culture, and economic and political empowerment. WVON allowed Black community stakeholders to have a resonant voice during the most challenging and historic milestones. On behalf of the 1st Congressional District, I extend my prayers to the Spann family and their loved ones.”
About Bobby L. Rush
United States Representative Bobby L. Rush is a transcendent and influential American leader who keeps his legislative and policy interests focused on the needs of his constituents in the 1st Congressional District of Illinois, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and the communities that have been left behind. He believes deeply in the redemptive power of the human spirit and in human ingenuity and tenacity. In office since 1993, Rush stands on the shoulders of a long line of patriots and public servants who have gone before him and who are ardent believers in our Constitution. His life is an example of our nation’s fundamental promise and his work reflects a deep determination to bend the arc of government resources and innovation towards the needs of every American — whether they live on our nation’s main streets or its side streets. Rush fights every day for his constituents; to improve their lives, grow the economy, bring jobs to the district, and build a stronger middle class.
Chicago and its surrounding communities are a snapshot of the diversity that is found across America. While large parts of Rush’s district include communities that house world-class health and educational institutions and a diverse array of businesses, there are others where youth unemployment and acts of violence are far too common. Rush has focused on providing a public policy approach to creating jobs, tackling gun violence, and making communities safer. Rush is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army and an ordained minister with a Master’s Degree in Theology. Rush has honorary doctorate degrees from the Virginia University of Lynchburg, Roosevelt University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). In addition to his Congressional responsibilities, Rush is the pastor of the Beloved Community Christian Church of God in Christ in Chicago. Rush listens to his constituents with a pastor’s ear and acts on their needs through hard work, empathy, and a commitment to public service. Rush was married to the late Carolyn Rush for 37 years and recently married Minister Evangelist Paulette Rush.
Rush Statement on Passing of WVON Founder Pervis Spann