E. Rodney Jones..♪♫♪


Resonating across the airwaves with his slightly gruff baritone, E. Rodney Jones was a beloved legend to the listeners of WVON radio in the 1960s and 1970s.

He became known to the station's audience as one of "The Good Guys," five radio personalities handpicked by the owners, Leonard and Phil Chess of Chess Records. The 1,000-watt AM station, whose call letters stood for the Voice of the Negro, debuted in Chicago in 1963 with a rhythm-and-blues format.

Mr. Jones, 75, was the station's 3 to 7 p.m. disc jockey for more than a decade and its longtime program director. He died after a long struggle with lung cancer Friday, Jan. 2, in his home in Baton Rouge, La.


E. Rodney Jones & The
Hippies Band - Right On , Right On

E. Rodney Jones & Larry the
Hippies Band - Chicken On Down

He remained at WVON-AM 1450 during what former colleagues called its "golden era" as a music station. It now has a black-talk format. New owners fired Jones and other staff members in 1978 and the call letters came to stand for Voice of the Nation.

"Rodney had a 1,450 percent personality, bigger than life," said Richard Pegue, who first joined the station in 1968 and returned in recent years to host a late-night oldies music program. "He was a grand person to work with, with a lot of electricity."

WVON was the first 24-hour radio station aimed at the black community in Chicago, helping to launch and solidify hundreds of black artists' careers. The station also staked out a role as a voice, listener and cheerleader for Chicago's African-American community by addressing social issues such as civil rights while encouraging its listeners to support black-owned businesses in the city.

"It was the perfect time for the expansion of black radio into society," Pegue said. "Whoever was there at that time was in the position to be the first to blanket the city and service Chicago with a full-time format.

"His delivery was not overpowering but very dominating. He was very friendly, somebody that you could love after you heard him for a while. Just a great guy to listen to on the radio," Pegue said.

Among the black artists crediting Mr. Jones with their group's success is Marshall Thompson, leader of the Chi-Lites. The Chicago group had platinum records in the 1970s for its songs, "Give More Power to the People," "Have Your Seen Her" and "Oh Girl."

"We called him the godfather," Thompson said. "Rodney was the one who started our career and put us in the position to still be on tour [40 years later]."

Mr. Jones' career began at a radio station in his native Texarkana, Ark., where he met his wife, Amanda, after being discharged from the Army. The couple married in 1948. Within a few years he moved to a station in Kansas City and then St. Louis, before coming to Chicago to work for WVON, his wife said.

"Rodney was very dedicated to his work, really loved being on the radio because it meant he could reach out and help a lot of people," she said. "He was very outgoing and congenial and would give you the shirt off your back, as they say."

The couple separated in 1982 and Mr. Jones moved to Louisiana. A member of the Black Radio Hall of Fame, he retired a few years ago after spending many years as disc jockey at WXOK-AM, and then KQXL-FM in Baton Rouge. Sadly,his son Rodney Jr. died in 1982.

Other survivors include sons, Otis, Andre and Andrew; his daughters Earlene, Nichelle and Rocquin Bogard; 11 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Return To Part 2

Return To Part 1


  • Add Photos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Earlene E. Jones shared a profile on Facebook
May 24
The Chillounge left a comment for The Chillounge
May 23
The Chillounge posted songs
May 22
The Chillounge joined Edie2k2's group
May 22
The Chillounge joined Edie2k2's group
May 22
The Chillounge joined Shelley "SoleMann" King's group
May 22
Tone updated their profile
May 22
Edie2k2 commented on Tone's photo
May 21

♪♫♪...My Podomatic

I Had A Nightmare

itunes pic
Don Hollinger

Rainy Day

itunes pic
(Gary Lionelli-Made In America)

Musical Massage

itunes pic
Leon Ware


itunes pic
Straight Ahead | Body & Soul (1993)


itunes pic
Straight Ahead ...featuring a fantastic solo by Regina Carter.

♪♫♪...Today In The News

Martha The Neapolitan Mastiff Is Crowned 'World's Ugliest Dog'

Martha The Neapolitan Mastiff Is Crowned 'World's Ugliest Dog' Martha beat out 13 dogs at this year's Sonoma-Marin Fair in California.

Milky Way nightscapes

Milky Way nightscapes Thousands of glittering stars lighting up beautiful Indonesian and Malaysian nightscapes will take your breath away.

Sen. Rand Paul on the Senate health care bill: Republicans 'promised too much' that they 'can't provide'

Sen. Rand Paul on the Senate health care bill: Republicans 'promised too much' that they 'can't provide' The Kentucky GOP senator opposes his Republican colleagues' health care bill in its current form and argues the Senate bill "isn't anywhere close to repeal" of Obamacare.

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff A independent Bahraini newspaper has sacked its staff three weeks after Sunni-dominated authorities banned it on accusations that it "sows division" in the Shiite-majority Gulf kingdom. "We regret to inform you that the board of directors... has decided to terminate the employment contracts with the employees," board chairman Adel al-Maskati wrote in English in a message addressed to "all staff" on Saturday. The information ministry banned Al-Wasat in early June "until further notice" for its "violation of the law and repeatedly publishing information that sows division in society and affects Bahrain's relations with other states," said BNA state news agency.

Not Just Coal: Retail Jobs Fall Despite Lower Unemployment

Not Just Coal: Retail Jobs Fall Despite Lower Unemployment A close look at labor statistics shows that retail jobs are falling, even as the national unemployment figure stays low.


  • Add Videos
  • View All

The Best Music From The Past .. Present .. And Into The Future ♪♫♪

© 2017   Created by Edie2k2.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service