Leo Louis “Jocko” Carter
Radio Personality | Class of 2011
Leo Louis Carter, known as “Jocko” to his friends and listeners, was one of the first radio announcers for KOKY 1440 AM, the first station in Arkansas designed for the culture of the urban community, and became a local pioneer in African-American radio programming. He assisted in the establishment of the station’s “True Heritage Today,” which was designed to provide entertainment, public service announcements, and advertising to the African-American community, and later worked with several national music labels.
While at KOKY, he served in many capacities, including radio announcer, music director, and later program director. Carter quickly became one of the most versatile and successful personalities in Arkansas radio.
After years of success in Little Rock–area markets, Carter became sought after in the music industry’s national arena. He went on to accept a position at FAME Records in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, as a national promotional director. He worked with several labels, overseeing southern R&B promotion for Mercury Records. He later joined Phonogram, which was then expanding its marketing division. He also worked with Stax Records. Carter was later hired by the world’s leading recording company: Warner Bros. Records. He joined its team as the Southeast Regional Promotions Manager for Black Music.
Carter’s presence at Warner Bros. served to increase the sale of records by black artists. In this position, Carter was directly responsible for obtaining airplay for black artists. With the professional backing of Carter, artists were able to amass sales in excess of 500,000 copies. Some of these artists and their albums include Ashford & Simpson’s Send It, George Benson’s Breezin’, and Parliament Funkadelic’s One Nation Under a Groove.
In addition to his contribution to the careers of black artists and to Arkansas urban radio, Carter will always be remembered for his favorite catch phrase to his audience: “Don’t meet me there; beat me there!”
He was survived by his wife, Lillie M. Walker Carter, and their three children.