Posted by Lynne B. on August 21, 2011 at 10:04:03:
Published Aug. 18, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
Larry "The Legend" was at home on the old transistor radio.
I wasn't introduced to Larry "the Legend" Johnson – who died Wednesday at the age of 78 – on Milwaukee radio, but during a stint he had on Chicago radio.
It was on an early morning trip from the city to southwestern Michigan, Johnson was on the radio doing something that was rare during my high school days back in the early 1970s. A natural disaster had occurred somewhere in the world and Johnson was calling people in the affected area to get their eyewitness reports on what was going on.
As I said, that was rare in those days, surprisingly rare. And it showed the innovative side of the broadcaster who is well-remembered by older radio listeners here for his time on the WISN-AM and the old WZUU-FM.
I was probably a freshman when I heard the report, and although I can't remember the specifics, I remember the impact of a guy on the radio talking to somewhere half-way around the world. It demonstrates the power that a radio talker can have on listeners – especially young, impressionable high school students.
It also shows how radio has changed, since there are fewer real "personalities" on the radio – especially music radio – there are today.
He's remembered for a catch phrase aimed at calls, who were told to "speak your onions."
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