Shaw's Broadcasting, LLC

Opal Shaw


Opal J. Shaw is a life-long resident of West Tennessee. She was born in Fayette Co., TN on September 9, 1945 to Walter and Sallie Johnson, who were both pillars in their communities. She is the youngest of ten children, and the mother of three, Reginald, Rhonda, and Tracy. She has eight grandchildren, of which she adopted one and raised as her own, and ten great-grandchildren. According to her mother, she began singing in church as soon as she could speak. After marrying her husband Johnny in 1963, she combined her talents with him, and they later recorded and became known as the world renowned Shaw Singers. As a result of reading a newspaper article, where one could pay $400 to record songs, Opal gathered the songs that she had written for herself and husband, and they traveled to Memphis, TN., where they recorded their first songs, in 1967. A former disc jockey at WDIA am in Memphis, TN., by the radio name, Bro. Wade took some of their recordings on consignment and played one of them on air at WDIA. The first song played was, This Old Life Will Soon Be Over. It was after this that the husband and wife duo singing career took flight. They recorded a total of 33 songs, along with two albums, in which she wrote all the songs except three. One of the songs, Special Prayer, a solo done by Opal, still lives on the airways to this day. She and her husband have traveled throughout the world singing, including overseas travel to Germany and Paris.

In 2000, Opal became the first African American female to hold the office of County Commissioner in Hardeman County, TN.

In 1980, Opal began in her role as First Lady at the St. John Baptist Church in Stanton, TN., and is currently in this role today. As first lady, she has spear-headed multiple ministries, including an effective Women’s Ministry that has grown over the years to become a tremendous uplift to the community. Her influence in her ministry as first lady has promoted growth in the church and the community. She has worn the hat as chief musician for the church for thirty-six years, and has been influential in developing the musical talents of all three of her children.

During the first term of Tennessee Governor Bredesen’s administration, Opal was invited by the governor to sing for the inauguration in Nashville, TN.

Opal worked at Western Mental Health in Bolivar, TN. for six years, and left her position there to attend to her mother-in-law, during her illness, until her death. She has since spent much of her adult life caring for and nurturing the elderly within the community. She cared for her mother, Sallie Johnson, until her death, along with Dr. ArlinaCheirs and Mrs, Irby L. Beard, to name a few.

Opal is Co-Owner of Shaw's Broadcasting Co. in Bolivar, TN. In 2005, shefollowed her dream to become the proud owner of Opal’s Pink House Restaurant in Bolivar, TN.

In 1990, she went back to school to further her education at Tennessee State University.

Opal is a woman of faith. Her motto to live by is, “if God said it... it is just so!”

*****Fun Fact- When Opal and her siblings were supposed to be in the fields picking cotton, Opal would hide underneath the wagon, with the lunch bucket turned upside down, pretending it was a piano, while she sang. Needless to say, she did NOT pick much cotton…

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