Best Radio DJ (2011)

Don Sam

Don Sam is everything a radio DJ used to be and still should be. He has a silky-smooth baritone voice. His knowledge of the vintage R&B, soul, funk and zydeco he spins every weekday afternoon stretches the limits of the word "encyclopedic." And best of all, he has fun doing it and makes sure his listeners do, too. Often the 38-year veteran's shows are themed — everything from weekly fare like "More Memory Mondays" and the Creole good times of "Two-Steppin' Tuesdays" to more specialized occasional shows like "B-Sides Only" and the always-fascinating exploration of white music that black people like that Sam calls something on the order of "Non-Blacks Who Have Made a Contribution to Our Music." On Fridays, Sam loves to pit musicians against each other in caller-decided showdowns of soul legends — so you can help settle the question of who really was better — Marvin or Stevie; Sam or Jackie; the Temptations or the O'Jays . It's the most fun you'll ever have getting a thorough education on any subject.