In 1973, Fletcher realized his vision of travel, cruises and other entertainment ventures, which was the catalyst of the creation of his own entertainment and promotions firm Dove Productions Fun and Travel Club. Fletcher often used the mantra “partying is my life”, as a result, he created and maintained a standard of “go first class or don’t go at all”. Fletcher was well known in the industry for his fair and ethical treatment of entertainers; never losing sight of producing quality entertainment for patrons. For decades Fletcher has been one of the most prolific, best respected and most trusted figures in Chicago’s African-American social club scene. Dove Productions proudly featured local and national talent including Otis Clay, The Flamingos, The Chi-Lites, Latimore, Gene Chandler, Artie “Blues Boy” White,Z.Z. Hill, Willie Clayton, Terisa Griffin, Chick Roger Williams, Masheen & Company, Theo Huff, Stan Mosley, Jimmy Lynch, The Voices, Jo Jo Murray, Antone, Bobby Rush, The Drifters, Mr. Lee, Oliver Sain, Bobby Blue Bland, J. Blackfoot, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and Rudy Ray Moore, where Fletcher made an appearance in Rudy’s movie: The Human Tornado.
Fletcher Weatherspoon - Founder of Dove Productions
Fletcher Weatherspoon, Jr. was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Fletcher Weatherspoon, Sr. and Jane Weatherspoon on March 21, 1932. He went to high school at Wendell Phillips and graduated in 1950. Fletcher served in the US Army from 1952 through 1954.
During his tenure at Montgomery Ward’s department store Fletcher met Zeke and Jake Carey. These two men were two of the original members of the music group The Flamingos;Fletcher became the group’s first manager. In 1959, The Flamingos recorded their signature hit “I Only Have Eyes For You”; which in 2001 cemented the groups place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fletcher met and married his long time loving devoted wife, Johnnie Mae Weatherspoon, and from that union four sons were born. To fulfill his military and family responsibilities, Fletcher relinquished his principal managerial role with the group, but throughout the years, remained active in their rising success. Fletcher served as business manager for several promotional and social clubs including the Gent’s of Societies from 1955 – 1973. He also held a full-time position with RR Donnelly and Sons, followed by his employment as a manager with Carr’s Department Store/Standard Industries in the Englewood District.
Dove Productions Fun and Travel Club has sponsored a multitude of out of state excursions including, but not limited to: Las Vegas, New Orleans, Niagara Falls, Dubuque, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, Cincinnati, New York, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The excursions included music festivals, theatre, sporting events, and many other activities. Dove Productions also produced premier local holiday dinner dances and concerts. Dove Productions later expanded to include a limousine service, which ran for a period of ten years; and then formed a special partnership with the Gatling’s organization.
Fletcher has been the recipient of numerous community service awards and honors. In 2010, Fletcher passed the torch to his four sons, and Dove Productions, LLC continue his legacy.
Fletcher is preceded in death by his father, Fletcher Weatherspoon Sr., mother, Jane Weatherspoon, brother, Herbert Weatherspoon, sisters, Helen Weatherspoon Mitchell, and Rosa Weatherspoon Hardiman, and niece / “daughter”, Darshema Adams.
Fletcher Weatherspoon passed away on October 10, 2014 at the age of 82. Fletcher is survived by his wife, Johnnie Mae Weatherspoon and sons ELWarren Weatherspoon (Gladys), Darrin Weatherspoon, Ronald Weatherspoon, Christopher Weatherspoon (Anita), niece LaTonya Hunt (Carlos). He is also survived by his sisters Odester Burnon, Ozella Murray (Houston) and brothers, Henry Weatherspoon, Eddie Weatherspoon (Thora), and James “Jimmy” Weatherspoon. He also leaves his grandchildren LaWanda Dunn (Jermaine), ShaWanda Weatherspoon, LaShawnda Weatherspoon, Chrysta Weatherspoon, Cortez Weatherspoon, Mario Frazier, Vidale Smith, Danielle Little, Marcus Jackson, Malik Moon; great grandchilden Tristan Wright, Raygen Wright, Aarion Lyke, Neasia Allen, Jaylin Williams, Jayla Williams. He also leaves to mourn his cousin Ed Lucious, close friend Bill Bonner and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Symphony of Crestwood Rehabilitation Center team, Evelyn Bollinger and the Advocate Palliative Care team and South Chicago Fresenius Dialysis Center. The family extends a very special thank you to Donna Wilson and Tina Massie, your tender loving care brought great relief to both Fletcher and Johnnie over the last few years. We would also like to extend a very special thank you to Mr. Gatling and his team for their kindness and consideration during this difficult time.