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Willis Johnson Morning Show ends with sale of KKDA-AM

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by Dawn Mann

Willis Johnson (circa 2006). Courtesy of Dallas Morning News. File/Staff Photo

After 36 years the Willis Johnson Good Morning Show is no more. January 1st, listeners were greeted with a new sound and new language on the former Soul 73 AM station.  KKDA –AM was the foundation of Service Broadcasting Corp and was started in 1970.  The likes of Tom Joyner,  Steve Harvey, DC Curry as well as Johnson have been on the Soul 73 airwaves. Service Broadcasting sold KKDA-AM, but has retained R&B stations K104 and KRNB 105.7.

Dallas city councilman Dwaine Caraway has expressed his disappointment about the lost voice of the community, while Commissioner John Wiley Price declares “it’s a business decision”. Service Broadcasting is talking with Johnson about a continued association with company. No details on what that role is or will be. Johnson was noted for his community involvement and on the air regulars such as Mayor Mike Rawlings, Senator Royce West, Commissioner John Wiley Price, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dr. Terry Flowers of St. Philips, Paul Quinn President Mike Sorrell, Dallas ISD school board trustee Bernadette Nutall and many others.  A combination of talk radio and R&B classics, The Willis Johnson Good Morning Show was Dallas’ longest running talk radio show. Featuring national news, politics, community news, interviews with the world’s best entertainers and the legendary “Dear Crooner” letter, the loss of the show leaves a gaping hole for Southern Dallas.

Listener Stephen Washington says on Johnson’s FB page, ” That was a painful reality to have a life line snatched from you without explanation. I plugged my ear phones in and was introduced to a new language.”

  • Mary Echols

    I think it is a shame that we have loss the best radio station in our community. I will miss kkda it has been part of my life for manny years thank you mr Johnson for giveing everyone in the community grate memories’s to hold on to.

  • Cedricfarmer

    I’ve Been listening to this station for about 35 years this is a hard reality maybe

  • Ginare69

    Wow…what can we do? Im lost without KKDA morning show for this was the life line of our community!

  • George_jefferson

    Thank you, President Obama and your econimic recovery !

  • Patricia

    Tricia: I enjoy my Number Station Soul 73″a.m.Mr.Willis Johnson and cruide. So please put him back on air cause he the one wake me up he my alarm clock espical when I hear yhe crooner.

  • LaWinthia Rivers

    I woke up to them every morning. They were my drive to work. Always providing informative information for our community. They were like the EDUCATORS for our community. My heart is broken in two. I remember the first day I turned on my radio (in the house) and there was STATIC! I thought something was wrong, but it worked fine in the car. Then one day, there was a new station and a new language. MY HEART DROPPED. This is (in my opinion) a tragic SHOCK to me, and I am sure, to the people to our community. I heard they were online, but I am having trouble finding them. Will keep surching. Will check their Facebook page for assistance.

    P.S. “Never Can Say Good-bye” by the Jackson 5 would be the last song I would have played before they aired off. Or maybe even Michael Jackson’s “Gone Too Soon”. Because even though they’ve been on the air a long time, it is STILL too soon for them to air-off. LOVED THEM!!!

  • Mizelle and Margie Hatcher

    I applaude Mr. Caraway for speaking out on the ultimate slap in the face that we the loyal listeners of KKDA received recently. My husband and I have been loyal to this station for over 20 years. We listened to the Morning Show every day and could not start our Saturday’s without the oldies music. We have stopped what we were doing many times to sing a familiar song or dance to our favorite tune. This station was a source of knowledge to the community and provided a voice that many will truly miss. My heart brakes not only for what we have lost but for the many employees that built their day around this station. May God bless those that this has affected.

    Margie and Mizelle

  • Powellu2

    I was unpleasantly suprised this morning when I switched my radio dial as I do from time to time in the morning. I will miss Willis Johnson and Robert Ashley. The morning show & community forum has infomed and educated us so many for years! I cannot beleive it. I had listed to 73 kkda since my childhood. KKDA Family you will be sorely missed!

  • ressie

    I am soooo speechless. I have been a fan of KKDA for more years than I can remember. This station helped me grow up. This station was an icon. Oh my goodness. It took me a minute to realize what had happened. I live in Mexia now and thought I was just having trouble getting a clear signal. I am without words!!!!

  • Kathy

    Mr. Price stated this was a Business decision. I also read when the own of the former station was friends with Mr. Price. With that being said, how long did Mr. Price knew the station would be sold. This did not just happen ove night ladies and gentlemen…think about it… Perhaps now, Mr. Prce, Mr. Johnson, Mr, Harvey, Mr. Joyner and others will do like Kathy Hughes come together and own a Radio Station.

  • Michelle

    This was a great radio station for almost 20 years my mother woke up to KKDA at 5:00am before she went to work and I would listen from the bedroom. We needed that station, it was important to the black communities.

  • Helen Wallace

    This little 500 watt station built Hymen Childs’ K104 and KRNB empire, worth at least $100 million. It cost practically nothing to run,sharing a small studio with K104. Yet this invaluable service to the Black community (Childs’ company is named SERVICE Broadcasting) was sold off for $1.9 million. It could have been donated to a local community organizatiion for a tax write-off.

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