This Wednesday, January 23rd - pioneering radio promoter and star-maker, Kerry Douglas, celebrates his 54th birthday. "I'm 54 and living like I'm 34," he laughs. Douglas bounced back from a near fatal health crisis a couple of years ago, he's newly married and is a father again. Douglas has got a lot to celebrate including his current No. 1 hit "Oh How I Love You" by Zacardi Cortez. The soulful, retro-styled power ballad has spent 11 weeks at the top of the Billboard Gospel Airplay chart.
The soul-stirring track anchors Douglas best-selling, Kerry Douglas Presents Gospel Mix Volume X (Black Smoke Music), album series that he created to launch the careers of aspiring artists such as Earnest Pugh and James Fortune & FIYA. The project features several No. 1 gospel songs that he's promoted over the years such as Cortez' "YDIA," Pugh's "I Need Your Glory," and the classic Greg O'Quinn tune, "I Told the Storm." It also features James Fortune & FIYA's No. 1 smashes "I Believe" and "I Trust You" which spent an astounding 29 weeks at the top of the chart - a Billboard chart record. The set also includes Top 10 hits such as Damon Little's "I Won't Be Defeated," Pugh's "Survive" and Jermaine Dolly's "Serve."
In the 1990s, Douglas started staging concerts in the Houston, TX area to draw people to his dealership to buy cars. From there, he formed his own Gospel Truth and Black Smoke record labels and started promoting quartet artists and turning them into mainstream gospel stars. He pushed Evelyn Turrentine-Agee's smash, "God Did It," which was the most played gospel song of 2001 according to BMI. He turned Damon Little's "You Can't Straddle the Fence" into a radio hit and pushed Jimmy Hicks' barnburner, "Born Blessed" into a massive hit. He gifted Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson with several Top Ten hits such as "Hide Behind the Mountain," "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "I Wanna Be Right."
So, Douglas is ready to turn some more artists into stars. He's currently planning a 30-city "Kerry Douglas Presents the Gospel Mix" tour to launch the careers of his dynamically talented new lot of rising stars such as Demetrius West, Pastor Edwrin Sutton, James Johnson, Jr., Algeron Wright, and J1 Robinson.