UPDATED WITH STATEMENT FROM AL HOBBS’ FAMILY Indiana Black Expo is honoring legendary WTLC Radio broadcaster and a giant in the world of Gospel Music with their “Trailblazer” at this year’s Indiana Black Expo Corporate Luncheon. Al “The Bishop” Hobbs is receiving the Indiana Black Expo’s Trailblazer Award at the Corporate Luncheon during Expo’s 44th Summer Celebration. Al Hobbs was not present to accept this distinguished recognition because of illness. In a statement, the Hobbs family wanted the community to know this. “If you have ever been touched by cancer, you are well aware of the challenges that are associated with such a condition. We need and appreciate the prayers of the community at large . We serve a God of healing, and that’s just what we expect. Thank you in advance for your prayers and we praise God in advance for the healing that is already done.” – Hobbs Family
Al Hobbs was a part of the history and legacy of WTLC Radio from its very first days on the air. Hobbs left a career in the grocery business to become a salesperson for WTLC. He quickly rose though the ranks becoming Sales Manager in 1974 and then General Manager in 1979. Hobbs’ Sunday Afternoons “The Love Train” gospel music program garnered huge ratings and exposed generations to quality, Black gospel music. For a quarter century, 25 years, Hobbs helped grow WTLC in the major force in Indianapolis and Indiana broadcasting and as one of the country’s pioneering Black Radio Stations. While being a broadcaster, Al Hobbs was developing as a force in gospel music. As a singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. Hobbs has been a longtime member of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA), the 30,000 member organization founded by the gospel giant Rev. James Cleveland. As a radio announcer, Hobbs was one of the founders of the Gospel Announcers Guild, within the GMWA. After the passing of Rev. Cleveland, Al Hobbs assumed the Chairman’s position at GMWA leading it to new heights. After leaving WTLC in 1973, Al Hobbs continued as a gospel music artist, writer, producer and entrepreneur. All the while, Hobbs was lending his entrepreneurial expertise and skill in event planning and creativity to Indiana Black Expo. A longtime board member and Expo Vice-President, Hobbs worked closely with Black Expo President Rev. Charles Williams to help build Indiana Black Expo into the nation’s most unique and premiere Black event. Al Hobbs created the StarQuest talent competition which became a regular staple at Black Expo; showcasing great Indiana talent and bringing rising stars to the IBE; stars who eventually became R&B and Gospel superstars. Hobbs’ annual Christmas Season event We Can Feed the Hungry, helped thousands of needy Indianapolis area families every Christmas. Al Hobbs has received numerous honors from being named a Sagamore of the Wabash – Indiana’s highest honor, to a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association and being named to the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In 2007, celebrating his then Fifty Years in Gospel Music, Al Hobbs was honored by the Stellar Awards.