Baltimore area radio host pens first book, ‘Last Request’
Dareise A. Jones | 11/13/2020, 6 a.m.
Ulysses “Stretch” Garrett has been blessing the airwaves in Baltimore and across the country for over two decades now. He started his first full-time radio job in Cleveland, Ohio; he hosted 92Q’s the “Love Zone” in Baltimore; worked at Yahoo! Music; KJLH 102.3 (owned by Stevie Wonder) in Los Angeles; KBLX in San Francisco; BET.com; Bad Boy as a Digital Media Manager; and WKYS in the District of Columbia.
Known as the “six-foot six phenomenon,” hence the nick name Stretch. He grew up in Baltimore and Woodlawn, attended the University of Maine, Coppin State University and Towson University.
He says his affinity for radio started when he was a kid. “I was always enamored with the music and more so with radio jocks that I heard coming out of the speakers on my parents’ radio,” Stretch said. “My first time on the radio was my freshman year in college at the University of Maine at Fort Kent after basketball season.”
Although he had no training, he says he emulated personalities on his favorite hometown station, V-103, where he would intern when he transferred to Coppin State University.
Starting in 2000, Stretch spent four years as the host of 92Q’s ‘Love Zone,” a nightly experience of the good, bad and ugly of relationships through music and conversations. These stories along with his own experience with “self- inflicted heartbreak” inspired him to write “Last Request,” the story about a successful radio host, forced to face his inner issues in order to find peace and relish in the love he doesn’t think he deserves.
“Writing the book was therapeutic,” Stretch said. “In the sense that it allowed me to get a sense of who I am. It took me thirteen years to get the book done. It took me that long to live life a bit and fully understand myself as a man.”
One of his goals with the story is to change the narrative about men who do the emotional and mental work to be their best selves in relationships. He wants readers to get the sense that relationships are essential for us to maneuver in this thing called life— whether it’s in relationships with our family, a love interest or our friends. He wants men to see that being guarded and stubborn only hurts their heart and does not allow it to grow and pump with vitality and life. It’s a great story, one he welcomes book clubs to dissect and discuss virtually during the pandemic.
Currently, Stretch is the host of WHUR’s (96.3FM) Weekends with Stretch Garrett. Check out his YouTube channel “Dope Since 76 Media” for vegan meal ideas on his Cheffin it Up with Stretch videos and replays of his weekly Instagram Live “Dope Chats with Stretch” (Instagram handle: @stretchg), where he has conversations with guests about health, wellness, politics, music and lifestyle.
“Last Request,” is available for sale at Amazon.com and his website: www.dopesince76.com.