Don Cannon died late last week after a prolonged illness.
He was 74 years old and retired 10 years ago from a great job doing mornings at CBS-owned WOGL, Philadelphia.
I worked with Don and can tell you he is a unique talent.
Don worked on so many major Philly radio stations and hosted many morning shows. That in and of itself is remarkable.
It shows how talented he was and shows how miserable the radio industry has become in the ten years since he exited radio.
Used to be that if you left a station, you could go across the street to another station.
Your family stayed put and your kids didn’t have to be pulled out of school.
But for the audience it meant that they could keep their favorite personalities as close as the radio in spite of whatever personality or business conflicts might arise on the business side.
Cannon’s voice was used in a scene in the original Rocky movie. As Sylvester Stallone readied for his run through the City of Brotherly Love it was Don Cannon’s voice (then on WIBG) that was heard as Rocky drank his signature raw egg drink.
By being able to work the majority of your radio career in one market, you get to be loved and become an icon.
That was Don Cannon.
When radio loses a unique personality to death it is bad enough.
When the industry squanders such talent as the big consolidators are doing right now to save money, you’ve got to know that they are carpetbaggers who have invaded an industry that used to know better.
These big radio stars are a thing of the past.
Consolidators cut their salary and terminate them often leaving the cheap salaried sidekick to try to fill their shoes.
Don worked in many different formats.
It was his personality that transcended the music genre – a sign of a real talent.
Audiences flocked to him because they liked him and often adopted the new station when he moved.
Personalities in radio are remarkable.
Young people say the only thing they like about radio is the morning show. In fact they often can’t even identify the station but they know the personality they are listening to.
Unfortunately, broadcasters are replacing these shows with out of market syndication or a cheap imitation.
Mourning the loss of Don Cannon, another radio icon, is bad enough.
Contrasted to what is passing for radio today it is sad in another way but shows how remarkable his career really was.
Talk to Jerry privately here.
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