Preacher doles out advice to college students on KCOU

Sunday, December 1, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST
Phillip Simpkins and Edwin Davis host a radio show on KCOU/88.1. As "Deacon Do Right" and "Bishop Biscuits," Simpkins and Davis deliver humorous sermons about all aspects of college life.

COLUMBIA — The red "on air" sign lights up in the KCOU/88.1 studio, and all eyes turn to Edwin Davis, a guest on the evening show, "Damn Good Jamz."

"You got a word today, Bishop?" asks MU senior English major Phillip Simpkins, 23, who hosts the show.

"I've got a word. I've got a word today," Davis replies, pushing his black-framed glasses lower on his nose and getting into his character, Bishop Biscuits. "Jesus said if you love him, feed his sheep."

"Yes, preach Bishop!" Simpkins shouts, banging a desk that contains a switchboard and three desktop computers.

"For those who complain they don't have enough swipes to swipe other people, Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread," Davis says, referencing John 6:1-15.

"When you swipe, you have more than enough," he continues. "When you swipe, the windows of heaven will open and pour you out a blessing."

Simpkins can't control himself any longer. He bursts out laughing as they cut to a music break.

Preaching on the radio

As Bishop Biscuits, MU senior classics major Davis, 21, preaches every other Thursday on the show with Simpkins, also known as Deacon Do Right.

"I came up with this idea when I was asked to come in and promote my choir's concert," said Davis, who serves as president of the Legion of Black Collegians Gospel Choir.

"I ad-libbed some parts and asked to be a regular on the show — jokingly at first."

Davis grew up in Chicago and said his grandmother would take him to church every Sunday.

"I have a pretty strong spiritual upbringing," he said.

With all the swearing in "Damn Good Jamz," he added, the show needed church.

"I said, 'I'll give you a shot' and it worked," Simpkins said. "He got a biweekly spot."

Davis also has a Q&A segment called "Strawberry Confessional" where listeners call in or go to his account, @TwoAllBeefPatties, and ask questions anonymously.

"Damn Good Jamz" was created in 2009 by MU students Danielle Caldwell and Aris Williams and aired in the spring of 2010. The show only played R&B with special guests to promote events.

Simpkins picked up the show with his former co-host, Portia King, who graduated last May. They brought hip hop into the mix and installed mini segments such as AskCam, a Q&A hosted by MU student Cam Grant, last semester and then Davis as Bishop Biscuits this fall.

Getting the sermon ready

Davis usually prepares his sermon while Simpkins plays music and does commentary on current events around MU. Many of the messages touch on college life.  

At 9:30 p.m., Davis is down in the studio lounge waiting until he's called to go on air from 10 p.m. to midnight.

The show is a safe-harbor show, which means the content is broadcast from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., when adults are likely to dominate the audience. The radio personalities have complete control to say whatever they want without being censored.

Davis doesn't mind hosting a late-night show, except when he runs out of steam. 

"The worst is being there at 11 p.m.," he said. "I'm normally drained and ready to go home."

His favorite part about the radio show is making others laugh, although he realizes his biblical references might offend some adults.

"The best thing about this is I'm bringing joy to someone's life," he said. "We never have a dull moment on the air.

"Sometimes, I can't help but laugh in the middle of my own material."

Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.

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