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Sista Soul Looks Back

Courtesy Sharon Fennell

Since 1980, Sharon Fennell, better known as Sista Soul, has broadcast her Bronx sensibilities over KHSU's airwaves and through prison walls. Her final show airs Sunday, Dec. 18.

Credit Bob Doran

"I'm one of those kids that used to sleep with a little transistor radio under my pillow." Fennell reminisces with Katie Whiteside about her long broadcasting career and her involvement with the inmate population at Pelican Bay State prison that came to redefine her purpose. Fennell told The Lumberjack:

At first I believed that the music would be the best thing that could happen for them because it was music that they loved and didn’t have access to anymore. It also happened to be the same music that I grew up listening to. Guys would write me asking me to play this song, or that song and I would do that. Then a friend of mine named Bato Talamantez from the San Quentin Six, urged me to do more educational work. And I was conflicted because the guys would write telling me, your two hours of music helps me take my mind off where I’m at. Many years ago I decided I was going to do that and I started interviewing all kinds of people from prison rights attorneys to those doing great prison reform work.

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