As the Bay Area is home to raw talent, history, and magic, here on Norcal Spotlight, we are shining the light on Dr. Delores Thomspon, a pioneer who embodies all of these traits and more! From KBLX 102.9 FM personality to Pathway Coordinator and administrator for Oakland School for the Arts (OSA), Program Director for KOSA online radio, and minister, she has been recognized by the National Association of Black Females and voted #3 in the L.A. Times’ list of the top jocks in Southern California. Additionally, Thompson has recently been elected the Director of Communications For Oakland Branch’s NAACP! If you think that’s enough, Thompson has more up her sleeve than you could imagine.
Thompson, also known as “Yo’ Girl Delores,'' has been in the radio game for over 25 years. Starting young, she was known as “The Babe,” working her way up the ladder doing radio work in Los Angeles, eventually becoming the #2 most marketed in the country as a midday host. She describes her experience getting a job at Stevie Wonder's 102.3 FM KJLH Radio as an excepted challenge. “I was driving by one day, and I said I was gonna get a job there,” she recalls. “I called every day until I reached the general manager.”
Blessings kept knocking at the door for Thompson as she started working at an artist management company, “Inspired Artist Management” in Beverly Hills, becoming Southern California’s #1 lady in the middays and having high ratings. Then, unfortunately, life struck her with an urgent family emergency, along with her personal information being leaked. This life change ultimately led Thompson back home to care for her family, going off the grid.
Starting with a direct message from a television producer on Facebook, Thompson landed a recurring role on TV One’s docu-series Unsung. Even though Thompson was “off the grid,” the positive experience she had left behind remained and opened the door for her to become more visible and reach a wider audience. “Those good impressions make it impossible for people to not forget you,” she adds.
You cannot discuss Thompson without bringing up her devoted faith in the Lord. She’s received her doctorate in theology from Next Dimensions University and is currently a minister at Shiloh Baptist Church in Hayward, California. Throughout her entire career, she saw it as a ministry — “It was God that has opened so many doors for me and allowed me to be in an arena to give a message for Him.”
Thompson has built a name for herself in entertainment and ministry. She is that person on request hotlines praying for others and giving others advice. Thompson smiles as she recalls while on-air at the same time as the 2005 movie, Beauty Shop, with Queen Latifah and Alicia Silverstone, Kim Whitley was being shot, and she received a call from Whitley as the actors were talking about relationships. “Somehow, I became the relationship person,” she recounts. Dr. Thompson eventually became the co-host of a relationship talk show, Prepare for Love. Though she has experienced fame, she went in-depth about not letting the fame aspect get to her head because she planned to follow God's intended plan.
So how does a radio personality go from being on the air to being in the classroom? According to Thompson, working in education wasn’t her original plan; she’d begun lecturing at Oakland's Youth Radio and was approached to bring a radio broadcasting class to OSA. “One day turned into two days, turned into weeks, and now we’re here.” She also states that the kids are the fuel to keep going in education. Seeing how driven the students are and their love for it helps her keep wanting to continue in education.
Thompson's plans don’t end here. She is working on creating a docu-series based on Black radio. Her eyes light up as she shares this obvious passion project. Thompson is known for her wealth of knowledge on Black radio. Her series goes into the many stories she heard about Black DJs that revolutionized radio and blew the medium up. She also learned how White radio stations would hire these Black jocks to go and teach these White jocks how to sound like them.
Thompson explained how former president Bill Clinton signed a bill that eliminated the limit on how many allotted outlets radio stations could buy. The bill was intended to deregulate radio but created additional regulations harmful to small business owners.
Despite the many ups and downs, Thompson continues to rise. In minister fashion, she leaves Suite Life SoCal readers with this thought-provoking and insightful word, “We all have to take accountability for who we are and how we show up. We've turned into a world where it’s do and say whatever we want, and it’s costing us. Everything we do that is detrimental is costing us because it’s affecting our youth. If we don’t train our youth to be the next leaders, critical thinkers, and gatekeepers of our culture, then we’re gone.”
“Yo’ Girl Delores” can be heard mixing new and old hits and informing the community weekly on Saturday and Sunday mornings on KBLX 102.9 FM or at kblx.com. Follow Thompson on her social media on IG: @yogirldelores and FB: Delores Thompson.