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.
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 !
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 California-Arizona "Survivor" '57 Dodge D-500. His California-Custom Built '61 INVICTA (A Magazine Cover Car/Feature Car) is now on display at Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame Museum.
AND, to honor the great builders, designers, artists, and owners of the Rod & Custom Industry, in 2006 Jonnie created the "Hall Of Fame Legends" Series...Interviewing these Legends one-on-one to document & record their personal histories & stories. The HOFL Series went on-line with full Industry support in 2007, and has become one of the most viewed and listened to R&C Sites to ever hit the net ...with all 50 States and over 130 Countries WorldWide logging on !
A true Communicator of the highest level, Jonnie always brought to every station and project he's been involved in a built-in audience: long-time listeners and fans who truly appreciate the warmth, humour and sincereity that have always been his trademark.
NOW, with a chance to share that passion, knowledge, and, enthusiasm with listeners' all over the World, and to bring his personal stories, history, airchecks, pictures, and memories, on-line in this special WebSite, many will hear him for the first time and understand what's made Jonnie King truly one of the longest-running, most respected, Broadcast Professionals in the Industry since 1967.
Want to see some of the most beautiful cars ever built, and hear from the men who built them ? Check-Out the "HALL OF FAME LEGENDS" Series at www.legends.thewwbc.net
Plus, The BEST of "Golden Age Radio" since 1973: Jonnie King With "THE BREAKFAST SERIAL" ! In a daily-serialized form, Radio Classics from the "lost art" of Golden Age Radio. Truly "must hear theatre of the mind" Radio ! Listen here: www.serial.thewwbc.net
Our Home-Base WebSite is The WorldWide Broadcasting Company Headquarters Site. It gives an overview on our Sites, Goals, etc., to access it just click-on: www.thewwbc.net
IN MEMORY OF JANET DAILEY, the "St.Louis Story Lady" who gave me my first introduction to Radio, at KXLW Radio, on August 13, 1949, when I visited her on her "Musical Story Book" show:
Dear 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)
NEXT: THE EARLY YEARS