Jon “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Anthony worked at WAVA for a couple of years before moving on to a better time slot at WZOU in Boston. I was sad to read on AllAccess.com that Jon died this past Saturday. When I was a college intern at WAVA, Jon let me sit in the studio during his night show a couple of times. I learned a lot from watching him.
I searched Google for Jon’s real name and found that he became a member of Find A Grave last May. He listed the names and burial sites of his relatives. I haven’t found anything about his funeral arrangements yet.
A blog called Media Confidential had a nice tribute to Jon and a link to an interesting 2009 Tampa Tribune article. Jon had a chance encounter with Michael Jackson in Nashville while Jackson was working on the “Thriller” album. They ended up ordering sandwiches and having lunch together.
Jon didn’t rhyme every time he spoke on-air but one rhyming break was included on the composite aircheck that WAVA circulated in its early days. We also played that aircheck during WAVA’s final hour. I’ll never forget it: “Jon’s the name but you can call me Rock ‘n’ Roll; ’cause I’ve got the music that’ll fill your soul. Breaking young girls’ hearts, make a goldfish sneeze; bring the Jolly Green Giant to his jolly green knees!”