*Los Angeles – Legendary Radio DJ J.J. Johnson, has created significant and welcomed buzz when news reached his fans that he would be at the helm of a new online radio show, Amazing R & B on SoulRadioCoast2Coast.com.
His new two-hour weekly show arrives with a BANG at 11:00 AM PST on Sundays with re-plays later in the afternoon at 1:00 PM PST, at 12:00 Noon PST on Tuesdays and at 3:00 PM PST on Thursdays.
Johnson’s stellar career in radio has spanned over six decades starting in Cleveland, Ohio at WABQ, then segueing to Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and culminating in Los Angeles at KDAY from 1974 on. He has been the announcer for such prestigious ceremonies such as The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Motown 25 on NBC-TV. Johnson was also a witness to such historical events as the 1992 L.A. Riots, which he viewed first-hand while on-air at K-Day, and the station won a Peabody Award for their coverage. During his lengthy career, Johnson has had the pleasure of meeting various celebrities and icons in entertainment, for instance – Marilyn McCoo from the super-group, The Fifth Dimension; Blues legend, Albert King; Kool and the Gang; Barry White; George Clinton; Patti LaBelle, Al Green; Al Jarreau; Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds; and a host of other musical, sports and entertainment
Johnson also wrote a book, Aircheck: Life in Music Radio, which is now in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent collection in their library and archives. Andy Leach, Director of Library and Archives, personally contacted Johnson on behalf of the Board of Trustees.
Johnson noted as to why he wanted to get back into the high-pressure radio game…”I met most of the stars I admired. Radio jocks tend to receive admiration from those they admire and I certainly did! Over the years, however, with the dominance of hip-hop, which is OK with me as change is inevitable, real R&B seemed to wane. But, the lovers of the genre are still there and a lot of those who were not born for most of the history of the music, hear it as “new music” and admire it as we did. I was hoping that, as with jazz, people would continue to produce the real thing; music along the lines of that which emanated from the legendary Brill Building in NYC, from Detroit, Memphis and anywhere people could feel it, such as London; from a new generation of Smokey Robinsons, Holland/Dozier/Hollands, Barry Whites, Linda Creeds, Thom Bells and McFadden & Whiteheads. Such people exist, but they’re not as prominent or as evidently prolific as they once were. I hope for a strong resurgence.”
He further stated…” when Ken Smith, one of the owners of SoulRadioCoast2Coast.com contacted me – I’ve known Ken since he was a kid hanging around 1580 KDAY/L.A. – I was flattered. I was asked to do a couple of hours each week on their platform. Wow. I asked, “What do you want me to do?” “Whatever you want,” came the reply. Big wow! I opted not to do a live radio show which, in my own mind, would be less than unique coming from me in that live delivery is inherently more imperfect, though spontaneous and in-the-moment. Produced material is more refined in terms of smoothness and ease-of-listening. (Consider that multiple takes are the norm for music recording, television drama and cinema. Each uses the piece – the take – that fits best into the whole.) I felt that my specialty, produced radio specials, would serve Coast 2 Coast well and allow me to come forth with something of which I could be proud. So, I conceived Amazing R&B”.
Johnson’s final thoughts…”I think the name is appropriate in that the music and its creators are indeed, amazing. We celebrate the hits, the best of a remarkable genre. Along with the music, we also include the words of the creators of the music such as the O’Jays, the Whispers, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Lakeside, my “Music of Black America” co-host, Lou Rawls and many more”.
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