The Electrifying Mojo
The Electrifying Mojo (b. Charles Johnson in Little Rock, Arkansas) is an American radio personality. He was a disc jockey based in Detroit, Michigan whose on-air journey of musical and social development shaped a generation of music-lovers in Detroit and throughout southeastern Michigan and Canada and was of importance to the development of Detroit techno.
After serving in the Air Force, Johnson attended the University of Michigan in the mid-1970s where he began broadcasting on the University radio station and then on Ann Arbor station WAAM (at the time a popular Top 40 station). In 1977, he began broadcasting on WGPR (107.5) in Detroit and soon gathered a diverse audience attracted to his "genre bending" format. Moving to WJLB around 1982, Mojo gained additional listeners at the more easily found 97.9 frequency and billboards throughout Detroit touted the "Landing of the Mothership" at 10pm every night.
Mojo moved to WHYT (96.3) in 1985 and then WTWR-FM in Toledo, Ohio after a management turnover at WHYT in 1987, until 1990, when he accepted an offer to return to the Detroit airwaves at WMXD. At this time, Mojo began doing remote broadcasts, driving around Detroit, talking to people in the city, while his Production assistant Wendell Burke kept the music going at the studio.
In the mid-nineties, Mojo went back to WGPR. Musically, this included shows focused on single themes, such as symphonic music by black composers, a survey of the jazz and symphonic music of Duke Ellington, and one alternating the music of Billie Holiday with spoken excerpts from her autobiography. He, as before, frequently played recordings in their entirety.
The trio of artists widely cited as the founders of Detroit Techno, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May have all made mention of Mojo's influence on their musical development, as have second generation Techno artists like Richie Hawtin (Plastikman), Jeff Mills (The fm98 Wizard) and Carl Craig.
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