Johnny Canton, when radio was ‘magic’

I didn’t move to Minnesota early enough to hear Johnny Canton play platters that matter, but every city had someone like him on the radio back in the day.

Canton, who died on Saturday at 75, was a disc jockey for WDGY for many years before moving to WCCO-FM.

He got his first DJ job at 16. That never happens anymore, either.

There’s something perfect about an obituary that remembers you as the first person in the country to play “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. Denver and his wife were living in Minnesota then.

Let’s hit the Wayback Machine.

“I was going to be a schoolteacher until I was 12. And then I went to a radio station one day in Warrensburg, Missouri, and I fell in love with the magic of how a guy can sit in front of a mike and be heard miles away,” he said in an interview on Twin Cities Music Highlights.

He hosted Bowling for Dollars on KSTP and became the local spokesperson for the bowling industry.

He was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2006. today has posted a series of airchecks from Canton.

He was preceded in death by AM radio.

Related: Cold Spring icon Jack Bell dies (St. Cloud Times)