It is hard to fathom why such a beautiful soul has been taken from us. That we won’t get to see her or hear her beautiful voice again, saddens us immensely. The ladies in the Traffic Department grew up listening to Dorraine Samuels on radio, so when we started working with her, it was as if we already knew her and she didn’t make us feel any different. She was always courteous, kind and helpful and always greeted us with a big smile whenever we entered the studio. Sometimes she’d crack a joke about how we entered the studio or about a live script we might’ve forgotten to put in the studio folder. Sometimes we didn’t forget and the contract might’ve expired but she knew her program so well that if a long running commercial was no longer on the log, she’d still present it from memory. She didn’t need to check the commercial folder for live time signals because she had them all memorized so we didn’t have to worry if we forgot to put one in because it would be done anyway. According to Keisha, “She would be making sure the company didn’t lose any money.” Trudy calls her the godmother of Traffic, “always looking out for us and making sure we’d leave the studio smiling upon every visit.” All the ladies agree that the only other radio personality who came close to Dorraine was the late Neville Willoughby.
Dorraine was the quintessential professional, who took every aspect of her job seriously and that means she also took everyone she had to associate with on the job seriously.
Marcia remembers her as being a very organized individual, who always called her ahead of time to request the format for the new sponsor.
Audrea recalls her professionalism during the hurricane seasons when we would be “going crazy with a lot of live scripts,” how she kept us calm and grounded during those challenging times and was always very encouraging.
Keisha remembers her as a very private person. “She liked who she liked but was a professional.” “I knew something was missing when I saw the studio extension calling, then I’d hear her sing-song tone of voice on the other end.”
Trudy agrees with Keisha. “She would never allow a commercial or time signal to be missed or a sponsor to miss their credits. When other radio personalities would mark it missing, she’s calling the Traffic Department to have it brought to her and she’ll find a spot to make it up before her show ends. That’s why I saw her as our godmother. She was always looking out for us”
One thing that stands out for Donna was that Dorraine was the first person who gave her an opportunity to speak on air. She recalls, “It was my mother’s birthday and I had gone to the studio, running late and breathless, with my little piece of paper asking her to send a shout-out to my mother and she said, ‘well, since you’re here, why not just do it?’” While the offer was surprising to her, she was elated to the point where she forgot her mother’s name and when she stumbled over her mother’s name, Dorraine asked her, “what is your mother’s name?” And she responded, “Mama!” She was a professional and a very private person, who could, at times, be misread as being arrogant because she had an air about her, that if you didn’t quite understand her, you would think she is extremely aloof. She was someone we could talk to, and even after leaving RJR, in her capacity as Marketing for Hardware and Lumber and now Hi-Lo Food Stores , Donna has had reasons to continue the interaction with Dorraine and always found her to be very “down-to-earth and always willing to listen and give the client whatever they wanted.”
We have a love for Dorraine that is unmatched and we are surely going to miss her. There are too many pleasant memories to share in this medium but we are praying that her family, friends and the RJRGLEANER family will find comfort knowing that she lived a good life, doing what she loved right up to the end.
Rest in sweet peace, our dear Dorraine. Your body is no longer with us, but your spirit lives on with us forever. We love you!