The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
I heard her voice when I was younger, and I still hear her voice today, on the radio. It was a confident woman’s voice and she often played love songs. These love songs often portrayed what someone was feeling or a hopeful love or love lost. People would call into her show, tell them about their drama, and she would try to choose a song based on what they were feeling. Personally, she was very good at it. Professionally, she was a giver of advice, a healer through words and song. From listening to her fans calling in to explain their situations, and her advice to them, and the lovely songs she chooses, as I would sit in my car, often on patrol, I would listen to her radio show, Delilah.
For this article, I wanted to know more about who Delilah is and acknowlege the fact that this woman has been on the radio throughout my entire life, from the time I was born, although I did not discover her until I was eighteen or nineteen years old. What makes Delilah very interesting is the fact that in my life, I have lived in several states and even another country. While living in those states, including that other country, somehow, Delilah’s voice managed to find me, as I tuned into a radio station. This meant that Delilah is nationwide and quite possibly, worldwide. While Delilah may not be fully known in your area, chances are, if you have ever driven to different states and have been listening to the radio beyond 6 PM, you will have likely tuned into Delilah.
As far as I know, Delilah has been around for as old as I am, and as I did the research, she started a few years before I was born, but found her “format” and “style” in 1984, and became simply known as Delilah. This means that Delilah has been a radio host with her own beloved show for over 35 years. From the amount of callers calling in, Delilah has helped hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. The show is mostly popular amongst women who are between 25 and 54 years old, with some men in their late 20s to mid-40s also enjoying the show.
From the sounds of it, Delilah operates her own radio show and then the show is syndicated to radio stations around the United States and quite possibly the world that want to play it. In order to play it, the radio station pays for her show to be put on a timeslot. While this may not be a live version of the show, it seems Delilah is often played in a variety of states on weeknights, but in some states, has been adapted to weekends as well.
There are multiple versions of her show, with the most common called the Adult contemporary (AC), which is recorded from January to November. Gold-based AC is for older contemporary adults and features songs from Elton John, Michael Bublé, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and others. Christmas music, played from mid-November to the end of December features more Christmas type music to accomodate all radio stations that wish to play Christmas music, although many still continue to play the main AC. There is also a Christian Music version of the show, which is popular in more religious areas of the country.
In 1996, the official debut of Delilah was aired on four radio stations and soon went to over a dozen by the end of that year. Today, there are nearly 170 radio stations, including the Armed Forces Network, that play Delilah. iHeartRadio also has an online Delilah stream where listeners can hear the show all the time regardless of time zone or broadcast market. The original executive producer, Jane Bulman, is still in the position after 20 years.
Delilah has nearly 10 million active listeners.
So who exactly is Delilah?
Delilah was born on February 15, 1960 as an Evangelical Christian. One day during a middle-school contest, Delilah won a speech contest given by a local radio station. It was there that Delilah knew what she wanted to do and she fell in love with radio. Delilah began her career at KDUN in Reedsport doing school reports, creating advertising spots, until eventually, she was given an airtime spot on the radio station. After graduating high school, Delilah worked as multiple stations until finally, she landed her format in 1984.
Delilah’s personal life is even more interesting with 14 children, 10 of whom are adopted. Delilah has been married four times and divorced three times. I urge you not to judge a woman whose simply more of a career woman who has a really big heart, although Delilah does joke about it in her show. Delilah is currently married to a longtime friend. Delilah is no stranger to pain and heartbreak, especially from her experience as a mother. One of the children Delilah adopted died of sickle cell Anemia in 2012 when he was 16, while her naturalborn son of 18 years old committed suicide, after a long battle with depression.
During these crises, Delilah understandbly took a leave of absence from working on the show, but is currently back in the radio scene.
Apart from her career, Delilah is the author of four books, has done some voice-over work, and even operated a business called Delilah’s Cozy kitchen. While the radio host began her career sharing an apartment with her executive producer on an $18,000 a year salary, she is now living on 49 acres of property in her villa with her children and husband. Delilah is a lobbyist of Adoption and an activist for less fortunate children, having found a Humanitarian aid and non-profit organization known as Point Hope, as a voice for forgotten children everywhere, which began as an operation to provide children with fresh and safe drinking water in Ghana and grew into educational and vocational training for children.
Delilah has not gone unrecognized and has multiple awards to her credit including:
- Nomination for the Syndicated Personality/Show of the Year award by Radio & Records magazine in 2007.
- Received a Gracie Award in 2012, which is given to influential women in media, for Outstanding Host – Entertainment/Information in Radio.
- Inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016, after having been nominated for it in 2015 as well.
- Received the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Award for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year in 2016; also nominated for the award in 2008, 2013 and 2018.
- Inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2017.
If you have never listened to Delilah, I highly recommend that you head over to her website, Delilah.com, and download her podcast from iTunes or the Google Play store, or on iHeartRadio, or find a local radio station, and give her a listen. If you are into hearing romantic stories or stories of heartbreak or stories of people just trying to find love or recover from a divorce, Delilah covers all forms of love, and gives a lot of professional help and advice during her show. If you feel that you have a drama that you need to get out, then you should call in, tell Delilah all about it, and listen in for the song she plays just for you.
Delilah’s voice from her show has been featured on television and in film, and remains an inspiration for people around the world. Now in her 60s, Delilah is likely to not show any signs of slowing down, as she really shows passion for the work she does and loves her job. As we have seen, Delilah has not lived an easy life, but has one of the biggest hearts you will ever find in a human on a radio show. There is no, nor has there ever been, an equivalent to the loving magnificent motherly friendly caring generous persona of Delilah, who, no matter what, despite being through her own trials and tribulations in life, still remains the voice and guiding reason for so many people to keep hope and faith in knowing that love exists and finding and having love is possible for everyone, including the divorced. After all, Delilah has been married four times, divorced three times. If there is anyone who knows that love still exists after divorce, it is Delilah. If there is anyone who knows how to love, especially 14 children, 10 of whom are adopted, it is Delilah. Thank you Delilah for always being there.
Photos courtesy of Delilah’s photo page.