Donna Gayle Brake – Obituary

By  | April 15, 2018 | Filed under: Obituaries, Willimson Memorial
Donna Gayle Brake, age 61, of Atlanta GA, died April 1, 2018, from complications of a stroke. A Nashville native and longtime local resident, Donna is preceded in death by her parents Albert Brady Brake Sr and Lillian Doris Hill Brake of Triune, TN. She is survived by siblings Jackie (George) Ragland, Barbara (Bob) Mathis, Albert (Patrice) Brake Jr, Nancy (Jerry) Moore, Roger (Vickie) Brake, John (Debra) Brake, and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. Donna attended College Grove High School and was its Class of 1974’s Valedictorian. She also earned her Bachelor of Science degree from MTSU before embarking on a career in broadcasting. Hundreds of thousands of people came to know her voice on WSM-FM in the early 1980s, where she was a disc jockey and, later, the station’s first female Music Director. Donna left WSM-FM to become the first female Program Director of WSB-FM in Atlanta, where she also served as an air talent, befriending thousands, if not millions, more people with her beautiful voice. She followed up her groundbreaking success at radio by becoming the Adult Contemporary radio format editor at Radio & Records, an influential music business magazine based in Los Angeles. Her tenure at R&R was broadly respected by the nation’s radio and record community. As the ’80s drew to a close, Donna launched Donna Brake Promotion, an award-winning independent music business promotion company. Wildly successful, Donna worked with some of the biggest names in the music business. Her company thrived for 30 years, its doors closing only upon Donna’s sudden and unexpected death. A Celebration of Life will be held in her honor at 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 21 at the Williamson Memorial Chapel in Franklin, TN. Visitation with the family is two hours prior, beginning at 1:00pm.
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