John Trotter

Past DJ Hall of Fame Inductees
1996

 

Honest John Trotter (born in Ft. Smith, Arkansas) was one of the prominent air personalities on Chicago's Country radio station WJJD. John Trotter began his work in radio at a $13.50 weekly salary as announcer and janitor. In 1946 he took up radio again by voicing three lines on his sister's radio show. By 1950, John was doing three shows a day for three different stations in Ft. Smith: KFPW, KWHN & KFSA. He moved to Tulsa to join KRMG, and he later joined KAKC where Chris Lane was Program Director. Trotter's next move was to KABC in Hollywood as Program Director in 1955. There he earned fame in 1958 when he initiated the first helicopter traffic reports Trotter was also the "voice" on Walt Disney Presents for two years. While working for station KILT in Houston, Trotter threw his hat in the ring as candidate for mayor. Although he didn't win, the race was so close that a recount was necessary. This was the source of the nickname "Honest John", which stuck with him for the rest of his career.. John's next stop was San Francisco station KEWB. In 1965, friends George Dubinetz and Chris Lane urged him to sign with station WJJD, where Lane was now Program Director. Trotter won the Gavin Award that year, and again in 1967. In 1966 John received a letter from President Johnson commenting on a record Trotter made called "The Square." After several years in Chicago, Honest John moved to station KBOX in Dallas, TX and retired to Abilene, TX in 1974. He passed away on May 19, 1976. John Trotter was inducted into the Country Music D J Hall of Fame in 1996.