Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame
When Johnny Canton visited a Warrensburg, Missouri, radio station as a teenager, it inspired him to begin a broadcasting career that lasted more than fifty years and made him an important figure in Twin Cities radio and television. He got his first on-air job at age 16 at KLEX AM in Lexington, Missouri, and for the next several years worked in radio at stations in Colorado, Kansas City, Pennsylvania, Rochester, and Cleveland. In 1966 he joined the staff of WDGY as music director and became a much-loved and widely popular rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey and concert emcee. After 11 years at WDGY, he moved to WCCO FM (now WLTE 102.9 Lite FM), where he hosted a popular weekend show. The former host of Bowling for Dollars on KSTP TV and Bowlerama! on KMSP TV, he has appeared in numerous national and regional television and radio commercials, as well as such films as Airport and Mad Dogs and Englishmen. He participated in many charity golf tournaments and other community events. He was president of the advertising and production firm Canton Communications since 1978. Among his many claims to fame is that he was the first DJ to play John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
He retired from the business in 2011. Away from work, he loved to bowl, play golf and pool, and to travel, especially to Hawaii.
Johnny Canton passed away Saturday, December 31, 2016, at the age of 75. He is survived by his significant other, Janie Meyer, and two daughters, Jonna and Heather. Services will be held in June or July.