Jonnie King's first trip to a radio station was when he was about eight years old. On the way home that August evening his parents asked him how he liked the station tour and being a guest on the show with Janet Daley, the St. Louis Story Lady on KXLW Radio. "I think I'd like to do that.", Jonnie replied. "Do what ?" his parents inquired. "Be on the radio !" he said without hesitation. Thus, he began his quest for a career.
Through the intervening years, Jonnie was an amateur magician, a drummer with many different groups, and an actor. As an actor he performed at first in high school and college productions, and then was a regular for many years in St. Louis Community Theatre Productions, and studied at St. Louis University. He was subsequently accepted into the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, studying there and living in California.
On his return to St. Louis, and at the peak of his career, he was signed to perform at the famed "Crystal Palace" in the legendary Gaslight Square. Still yearning for a career in Radio, Jonnie began working at the old KXOK/St. Louis Radio Park Studios in 1965 with his friend Johnny Rabbitt. He later worked in such varied locations as KAAY/Little Rock & WDRQ/Detroit. He has been a mainstay in St. Louis Radio since moving back in 1973, first helping to build Bartell's renowned KSLQ (now Y-98) where he spent 10 years.
He also worked at KGLD, had a 17 year run at 96.3FM in all of its phases: KADI/JOY-96/ K-JOY/JUKE BOX 96 & K-HITS. He then spent 4 years with WSSM/Smooth Jazz. Highly respected as an expert and historian on music and artists of all types, his music collection dates back to the '50's.
In addition to being an Air Personality, Jonnie's talents have included: Program Director, Music Director & Research Director. Since 1973, he has also been the Creator, Producer and Voice of the Nationally syndicated Morning Radio feature "The Breakfast Serial"...a show based on programs from the "Golden Age of Radio". He has also taught classes on "The Art of Golden Age Radio and Its' Social and Cultural Importance" at both Meramec College and Fontbonne University in St. Louis.
His off-the-air activities include: Buying, Selling and Collecting Antiques, Advertising Memorabilia, Golden Age Radio Shows & Radio Premiums, Early Disneyana & Comic Character Toys. He also has a passion for Classic & Custom Cars and automobile memorabilia. He's owned many great automobiles, including, a '58 Thunderbird, '57 Dodge Mild Custom, '53 Buick Special, '67 Jaguar XKE, '68 Cougar XR-7, '59 Plymouth Suburban Station Wagon, a '66 Thunderbird, and, a '57 Dodge Coronet D-500. His California-Custom Built '61 INVICTA (A Magazine/Feature Car Shown Below) is now on display at Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame Museum.
Never one to rest, Jonnie's 'collecting' habit got so bad at one time the he opened up his own retail store: "All-American Comics & Collectibles" in the General Grant Shopping Center in St. Louis and ran it for seven years...while still doing a daily Radio Airshift !
A true Communicator on the highest level, Jonnie always brings to every station and project he's involved in a built-in audience: long-time listeners and fans who truly appreciate the warmth, humour and sincerity that have always been his trademark. And now, as he celebrates his 50th Anniversary in Broadcasting, that tradition continues.
For more on Jonnie King, and a look at his career, you MUST visit "The Official Jonnie King WebSite" ! Personal memoribila, Airchecks, Photos, History, and much, much more...from a career in Magic, Music, Acting & Broadcasting that spans over SIX DECADES ! Follow this link for an amazing site & sound experience: www.jonnieking.net
Want to see some of the most beautiful cars ever built, and, hear from the men that built them ? Check out our "Hall Of Fame Legends" Series at: www.legends.thewwbc.net
Our Home-Base WebSite is The WorldWide Broadcasting Company Headquarters Site. It gives an overview of our Sites, and Goals, Plus Previews. To access it just click-on: www.thewwbc.net
IN MEMORY OF JANET DAILEY who gave me my first introduction to Radio, at KXLW Radio in St. Louis, August 13, 1949, when I visited her on her "Musical Story Book" show:
Ms. Dailey, my sincere thanks. You never knew what you started, but with that afternoon visit to your show, the spark within me was ignited and I knew I wanted a career that would eventually lead me to be not just "in Radio", but, "on the Radio".
I've never forgotten you, or, your kindness to that young boy sitting across the console from you in your studio on that Summer's day. Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you...so very much.
(Photo courtesy of The St. Louis Media History Foundation)