Don Cannon, Philadelphia Radio Legend, Has Passed

Don Cannon, photo via Broadcast Pioneers

Don Cannon, photo via Broadcast Pioneers

A Philadelphia radio legend, Don Cannon, has passed away.

Cannon was known as “The Dean of Philadelphia Radio.” He was a voice on morning radio in Philadelphia from 1969 until he retired in 2004. The “Cannon in the Morning” show started on WIBG and has been heard on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, WSNI and WOGL.

Don Cannon could also be seen as host of “Inside Golf” Saturday nights on the Comcast Sports Network.

You may remember that in the original Rocky movie, when the morning alarm clock goes off for Rocky’s run, it is Cannon’s voice on the radio:

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HEADS UP: Terry Gross Chats With George Takei

The latest episode of Philly-produced radio talk show Fresh Air finds host Terry Gross chatting with legendary gay advocate George Takei. It’s a good listen. The Star Trek alum delves into his reasons for not coming out until he was 68 years old, his years in a Japanese internment camp, and how he transitioned into becoming one of our most outspoken celebrity champions for gay rights. A blip about his coming out:

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Michael Smerconish Writes Novel, Has Pillows with His Own Silhouette On Them

The Washington Post returns to the main line in Friday’s paper with a profile of Michael Smerconish.

Smerconish was once seen as a rising star in conservative radio; George W. Bush even called in to Smerconish’s show on election night in 2000. But as Bush’s popularity plummeted in his second term and right-wing talk radio lurched rightward in the mid-2000s, Smerconish’s more-nuanced takes fell a bit out of favor. He says he was pressured to get more right-wing — but wanted to continue to be a conservative moderate. Smerconish also, notably, says refused to take ads for gold-selling businesses, a recent staple of conservative radio.

Now he’s on satellite radio, and says he has “put [his] livelihood on the line” to show that moderate punditry does have an audience and … why am I bothering to recap these things, let’s talk about his pillows:

“I’m the referendum, aren’t I?” he says on the patio of his spacious home in swanky Villanova, Pa., his arm draped across a pillow bearing the outline of his signature bald head.

Do you think the Smerconish bald head logo was originally created by doing a silhouette cutout using a flashlight and his shadow? I hope so.

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Mike Missanelli Responds: Deadspin Is Journalistically Corrupt

roster-mike-missanelliThere is so much wrong with the Deadspin story “Philly Radio Host Gets All Homophobic In Email Fight With Listener,” I am not sure where to begin.

The story was leaked to them by an Internet troll who has reportedly been baiting and heckling Mike Missanelli, a radio talk show host on 97.5 the Fanatic, for years. In the Deadspin story the troll is allowed to remain anonymous. Yet before running the story, Deadspin never reached out to Missanelli to get his side of the story. I know because I did reach out to him. It was easy and he responded immediately. It is a basic tenet of journalism to attempt to get both sides of the story.

Or as Mike Missanelli puts it,“Deadspin doesn’t even know the IDENTITY of the guy and they ran it! Journalistically corrupt.” Missanelli went on to call the person who leaked the story “a lonely loser psycho, allowed to create drama in this day and age simply through social media.”

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Mike Missanelli’s Alleged Homophobic E-mail Taunts (Updated)

[Update]  Deadspin now has now posted the other half of some of the emails that were allegedly exchanged between 97.5 The Fanatic host Mike Missanelli and a listener. They put Missanelli’s comments in a slightly different light. Missanelli has neither confirmed nor denied that the emails are from him, though in the tweet below he suggests there is, indeed, more to the story:

missanelli-tweet

Below is Deadspin’s updated to and fro:

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Mighty Writers Documentary
Going Black Airing on WXPN

WDAS disc jockey Georgie Woods.

WDAS disc jockey Georgie Woods.

On Feb. 3, WXPN will air the Mighty Writers-produced audio documentary Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio.

The two-hour documentary — narrated by Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble — takes a look at the legacy of Philly Soul Radio, a medium that, according Mighty Writers Executive Director Tim Whitaker, broke ground by “playing records the white stations wouldn’t. … The stations [these disc jockeys] worked for — WDAS, in particular — routinely covered news and events the mainstream media ignored.”

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“In Bed With Butch” Star Butch Cordora Starts LGBT Radio Show

butch cordora straight and butchPhilly visual artist Butch Cordora is a few weeks into his latest project, a radio show on G-town Radio named after one of his recent — and most risqué — exhibitions, “Straight and Butch.” The hourlong show, co-anchored by gal pal and Philly real estate agent Desire, is basically the radio version of In Bed With Butch, his decade-long TV show that ran on Philly’s DUTV and WYBE. So expect catty gab, snappy commentary on LGBT issues and a colorful lineup of local guests.

So far he’s had on Jim Koury, owner, editor and publisher of Diversity Rules, and Philly-born star of Survivor: Borneo and Survivor: Blood vs. Water Gervase Peterson. Next up, on Thu., Dec. 26, he’ll welcome host of Philly’s longest running drag show, Miss Lisa Lisa. Then in the next few months he’ll speak with designer, stylist and performance artist ZONK, Pretty Poison lead singer Jade Starling and Nightlife Gay‘s Bruce Yelk, who will share details about his new bi-weekly, starts-at-sundown bash “Bi.”

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Jon Solomon’s Top 5 Hip-Hop Christmas Songs

Jon-Solomon-400x400For a quarter of a century now, WPRB DJ Jon Solomon has been staying up all night playing holiday music from Christmas Eve deep into Christmas evening. This year, to celebrate 25 years of 24-Hour Holiday Radio marathons, Solomon’s actually kicking things up a notch: He’s hosting a 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show.

Starting at 5 p.m. on 103.3 FM (and streaming on wprb.com) on December 24th and running through 6 p.m. on December 25th, Solomon will play unusual, off-beat and otherwise non-traditional Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holiday music interspersed with listener-submitted radio stories. (As for what’s in store for that extra hour, Solomon says, “More show = more Christmas. I want to try and get to as many favorites as possible! This extra hour gives me some additional opportunities to do so!”)

We asked Solomon — who spun a set of Christmas-themed hip-hop at South Philly’s Boot and Saddle a couple of weeks back — to list his five favorite Christmas hip-hop cuts. He was happy to oblige.

“I love ‘Christmas In Hollis,’” says Solomon, “but there’s so much more to Xmas hip-hop than just Run-DMC.”

Jon Solomon’s Top 5 Hip-Hop Christmas Songs After the Jump »

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