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The Frederick Douglass Organization

Organization Profile

B. J. Douglass Biography


She always wears gloves and you never see her without a hat before 5:00 PM. Her style of dress inspired a reporter from the Baltimore Sun to write an article about her. She’s so much like her mother Pearl, the Original hat Lady, with her refined southern ways. She’s formal in a lot of ways, but she’s so much fun.


I have been married to this beautiful lady for thirty years and we have two children, Charles Frederick and Melani N. Douglass. As an ordained minister, she always stands ready to embark on a spiritual journey to transform lives. Reverend B. J. Douglass is a powerhouse in the Douglass family. She is a community advocate, humanitarian, author, songwriter, playwright, dynamic singer and speaker. She is a leader and mentor to many people both young and old and held in high regards in Africa and America.


B. J. came from humble beginnings, life was hard for her as a child, but she overcame all hurdles and triumphed. Her roots begin with the Smith Family in Greenville, South Carolina and the Cooper’s in Greer and West Africa. She was raised in a small town outside of Baltimore, called Pumphrey, Maryland. The youngest of the children born to Lee Pearl Cooper, B. J. has always been known as an old soul. Most people discribe her as the woman with the pleasant personality. Those who meet Mrs. Douglass immediately fall in love with her. She is a very staight forward woman, who is brutally honest, has a humble spirit and who always strives to leave situations better then she finds them


Her positive energy and her melodic voice penetrates audiences and, very simply stated, makes people whose lives she touches, feel better.
When Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis heard B. J. Douglass follow his every note with her acrobatic voice, he was inspired to sign his CD “B. J. – God's Songbird! Yes you are!”

This was a major turning point for B. J. who has always been very modest about her voice. Despite the fact that she has sung throughout the nation, sometimes in church choirs, but mostly as an A Cappella soloist, she was taken aback when Wynton encouraged her to fully utilize her God-given talent.
B. J. started performing when her mother formed a singing group with her sisters, in early childhood called the “Cooper Sisters”. While singing with the her sisters, B. J. crooned a powerful solo at her tender age of seven, and led her family to victory during a Lloyd Price talent show at the famed Royal Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore.

While in her early teens, she sang with a singing group called Les Chansonettes which recorded a national hit entitled “Don't Let Him Hurt You” and “Deeper” on the famed Shrine Recording Company. Rare original 45 rpm copies of her Shrine recordings sell for $1000-$2000, depending upon their condition. Her recordings are still at the top of the oldies chart in the United Kingdom and Asia. She later recorded “I Almost Left You” on the Monaca label after Shrine Recording Company closed and gained national acclaim when she was called upon to stand in for the original lead singer of the Velvelettes on the recording of “Needle in a Haystack.”