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IN THE MIXX: Heavy Loss for Chicago Music Colleagues of Holmes, Tisdell and Barney

This past week has been truly a reality check when the term ”life is too short” rings true on every level. The Chicago music radio, records and retail community was served with the sad news of long-time music veteran and record promoter, Dewayne Holmes.

Heaven Has Music Angels

Not only was Dewayne a familiar name and face around the music community, he was known across the country among Urban radio programmers and top-level record label executives. He made his transition on Thursday, Feb. 16. In speaking with his wife, Cheryl, she says although it was a rough health period for Dewayne, his passion for the music business never faltered.

Dewayne Holmes at the 9th Annual Global Mixx Music Forum Speed Mentoring session. Photo: Andre Hampton

Dewayne Holmes at the 9th Annual Global Mixx Music Forum Speed Mentoring session. Photo: Andre Hampton

The West Side native was a new addition to Chauncey Bell’s street marketing team in the mid-1990s as his point person to service the club DJs, retail stores and eventually the college and mixshow jocks. His charisma and easy manner made him an instant friend with many who encountered Dewayne. As Chauncey progressed into working full-time as a regional promotions manager for a major record label, Dewayne headed up the promotions company — establishing Jaguar Entertainment under his leadership.

He’s worked with numerous major and indie labels, becoming one of the leading street marketing companies in the region. Soon his skills got the attention of major labels Interscope Records, Capitol and later J Records — holding down regional promotions roles at each company in the Midwest. We loved Dewayne — he was diligent and loyal to those that he befriended and mentored. His love for his wife and kids were unrivaled and he will sorely be missed among all of us.

The double-whammy loss of another record company vet, Tammy Tisdell, was a silent punch in the gut. Tammy, a Detroit native lived in Chicago for over two decades and became a fast-rising music executive. Her start in the early 1990s as the Midwest Regional Manager for Tommy Boy Record’s Urban Music division allowed her to build solid friendships and relationships throughout the industry.

A Howard University alumnus, her magnetic energy was contagious and she worked hard, gaining the respect and trust among her colleagues and radio programmers. She rose in the ranks as the National Promotions Director for Virgin Records.  Over the years, Tammy had met some difficult health challenges, but like Dewayne, she was private and fought hard to stay healthy.

We all received the sad news of her passing Monday morning, Feb. 20. Her services will be held in Detroit, details forthcoming.

To further deepen the blow West Side businessman and founder of Barney’s One Stop and Records, Mr. Willie J. Barney, passed away at 89. Barney’s One Stop was one of the leading Black-owned and -operated distribution stops for indie record shops along with distributing thousands of House music records in the 1980s throughout the 1990s.

Barney owned 4Brothers Records, the first label Tyrone Davis was signed to. In addition to his music retail venture, he owned a vegetarian restaurant and health food store in the Lawndale community for over several decades. He is survived by sons Raymond and Reginald and daughter Anyah.

Homegoing services for Dewayne Holmes will be held Saturday, March 4, at New Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, at 431 N. Laramie, Chicago, IL 60644. For exact times, please contact Wallace Funeral Home.

Actress/Comedian, Erica Watson

Actress/Comedian, Erica Watson

Birthday Shout-outs

Crazy birthday shout-out to DJ Shaun ‘T’ Hardison and internet radio programmer Lamont Williams on Feb. 23. Friend and former radio promotions executive Brian Harris celebrates Feb. 24; aspiring actor Bernell “BJ” Lassai, Feb. 24. WOE Dorothy O’Dell Foster, Feb. 25. Mega-club promoter Duce Powell of Phife x Duce and beverage marketing wizard Kenny Johnson pop bottles on Feb. 25. Chicago actress and comedian Erica Watson takes the stage with birthday hugs and international DJ Roy Davis, Jr. enjoys another wonderful born day on Feb. 26. MOE Darryl Lewis, from Wadell & Reed, Feb. 28.


Chance the Rapper’s younger brother and future music mogul, Taylor Bennett, releases his new project, “Broad Shoulders,” on Feb. 24. The 21-year-old rapper celebrates with an exclusive “invite-only” release party on Friday. He will make an appearance in support of Chicago teen  homeless shelters fundraisers, which include LaCasa Norte.

Do you have a birthday, anniversary, promotion or good scoop? Send it to us at editorial@chicagodefender.com


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