Pamela V. Hall

Pamela V. Hall ( )

Pamela Audrey Hall, a former radio station program director who was active nationally in jazz and contemporary gospel music circles, died of cancer Jan. 21 at St. Agnes Hospital. She was 57 and lived in Ellicott City.

She was named Black Radio's Music Director of the Year in 1992. Billboard Magazine also nominated her as music director of the year.

Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of Dr. William Martin Hall, a gynecologist at Sinai Hospital and the old Lutheran and Provident hospitals, who was a founder of the Garwyn Medical Center. Her mother, Mildred DaSilva Hall, is a homemaker. The family moved to Baltimore many years ago and lived in Ashburton.

Ms. Hall attended Samuel Ready School before graduating from Western High School in 1974, where she played on the basketball team.

Ms. Hall earned a bachelor of arts in communication from Howard University, where she graduated with honors. She went into radio as an undergraduate and worked at the campus radio station, WHBC-AM, and was the assistant music director at WHUR-FM.

As a young woman, she studied piano in Baltimore and listened to her father's extensive collection of jazz recordings. She later collaborated with him on a radio program, "Doctor Jazz," which aired on satellite radio. She often visited Blues Alley in Washington and the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore.

"She became a prominent music authority in the industry," said her brother, Norman B. Hall of Martha's Vineyard, Mass. "Many artists owe their career to her giving them air time and breaking in their first records. She stood for the highest ethical standards in the music industry."

Family members said she lived in New York City while in her 20s and was music director at WBLS-FM, part of Inner City Broadcasting.

She was later a promotions representative for Prelude Records and was then a regional promotions manager and artists and repertoire representative at Arista Records, also in New York.

She returned to Baltimore in 1984 and worked in cable television and as a legislative aide to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. She was also an independent record representative in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 1993, she returned to Howard University as music director and an interim program director.

She then briefly changed careers and became a registered representative at T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley.

"She could go from politics, to the financial industry, and then back to music," her brother said. "She could hold her own in many fields."

In 2000, she returned to music and was program director and on-air personality for the Jazz channel Riff at WorldSpace Satellite Radio Network in Washington. She also built the format for the WorldSpace Gospel Channel.

In 2011, she became program director for Morgan State's WEAA-FM.

"She was a well-liked person who was really into her music," said Sandi Mallory-Cooper, the station's director of public affairs. "She liked traditional jazz and music and the 1970s and 1980s. She had a way of mixing the old music with the new. She was the kind of person who liked to do one thing and get it done."

Ms. Hall also built the business plan and assembled an operational team to start a low-power FM broadcast radio station in Howard County. She envisioned a contemporary gospel format called Radiant Broadcasting.

"She was the rock of the Hall family," said her sister, Julie Hall Lowe of Ellicott City. "Her generosity was exhibited in an unconditional and humble manner. She was organized and an impeccable record-keeper."

In her free time, she played basketball, table tennis and tennis and swam. She was a Ravens fan and traveled throughout the Caribbean, Europe and Northern Africa.

As a child, she spent her summers on Martha's Vineyard and returned there annually.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Spirit of Faith Christian Center, 8430 Glenmore Road in Ellicott City, where she was a member and worked in its media department.

In addition to her brother and sister, survivors include her father, of Columbus, Ohio; her mother, of Ellicott City; two other brothers, William Martin Hall Jr. of Owings Mills and Phillip Dorsey of Atlanta; two other sisters, Patricia Diane Hall of Ellicott City and Kristy Hall Reel of Columbus, Ohio; and 14 nieces and nephews.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com