Gil Anthony

2023 Honoree

Blues Power DJ, Gil Anthony, (born Gilbert Pavlicek on October 2, 1946), was raised speaking Bohemian in the Czechoslovakian/Catholic section of Dickinson, North Dakota. He loved music from an early age – listening to the radio, copying lyrics from the Hit Parade, and buying records. When he was eight, his mother worked at a hotel and a juke box vendor there would sell two 45 rpm records for 25 cents to Gil. By age 13, he already had an impressive record collection, especially of early soul records. This love of black music would later forge Gil’s career as one of the foremost blues DJs.

At 18, Gil joined the Air Force as part of Missile Security/Honor Guard and was stationed at Vanderberg Air Force base, California, and later Johnston Island. He left the Air Force for his first radio job at KDAK Carrington, N.D. He returned to California in 1969 for college and a job at KRUZ and later, KACL, both in Santa Barbara. In 1969, Gil attended a Santa Barbara Swap Meet where he bought three Excello records: Lightnin’ Slim, Lonesome Sundown and Slim
Harpo. Thus began his obsession with blues and the collecting of thousands of blues records over
his career.

Being a radio DJ moved Gil to various markets and stations. He lived and worked in Eureka and Lompoc, California before accepting a job that would move him cross-country to WGAF in
Dothan, Alabama in 1978. It was in the Wiregrass area that Gil would start the Blues Power Radio program at WDMT in Eufaula in 1995. Gil also began attending the Blues Music Awards
and the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 1997 where he befriended major blues artists such as Shaun Murphy, Robin Rogers, and Paul Hornsby whom he later featured on Blues
Power and at his Blues Power Christmas Parties. Blues Power was distributed to stations across the country and would later become its current nine-hour weekly offering–on Sunday and
Monday nights, at WDIG in Dothan. Streaming live from his website
( and on Facebook Live, Blues Power Radio has built a world-wide audience, given Gil’s infectious passion for and encyclopedic knowledge of the blues.

In 2010 and 2011, Gil was part of a board that initiated a fundraising program and awareness campaign through music to benefit ALS research. He later co-founded the Wiregrass Blues Fest
in 2011 and in 2013, Gil was awarded the prestigious Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Radio, given his stellar contributions through Blues Power Radio. Later that
year he became a charter member of that Wiregrass Blues Society and has worked ever since to honor the contributions of Wiregrass musical artists. He most recently led the charge to rename
two streets in Ariton, Alabama to recognize the amazing contributions of native Ariton blues artists – Big Mama Thornton and JW Warren. The Wiregrass Blues Society’s mission to educate
and celebrate the blues would simply not have been possible without Gil Anthony’s tireless efforts.