March 19, 2004 by

J.J. Jackson


Categories: Media, Musicians

jjjackson.jpgJohn “J.J.” Jackson, one of MTV’s first VJs, died on March 17 from a heart attack. He was 62.
Jackson combined his good humor and encyclopedic knowledge of music to launch a career as a radio disc jockey. He became a popular voice on WBCN in the late 1960s, then moved to Los Angeles where he commanded the afternoon radio slot at KLOS for eight years. He was working as a rock reporter for KABC-TV in 1980 when a fledgling cable station asked him to move to New York and announce videos on television.
MTV launched in 1981 and became a pop culture hit. Jackson spent five years as an on-air personality. He was best known for unmasking KISS in 1982 and covering the 1985 Live Aid benefit concert in London.
Jackson moved back to Los Angeles in 1987, where he became a DJ for KROQ and the music program director for KEDG. Most recently, he hosted “The 7th Day” at KLOS and the weekly syndicated show, “The Beatle Years,” on the Westwood One Radio Network. Before his death, Jackson was planning to join former MTV VJ Mark Goodman at Sirius satellite radio.

10 Responses to J.J. Jackson

  1. Bella Lagmay-Funk

    In the ’70s, I served as publicist at KLOS 95.5FM (and sister station KABC Talkradio 79). J.J. Jackson was our popular afternoon DJ during drivetime –when L.A. drivers stuck in freeway gridlock tuned in to hear J.J. and rock out to some great AOR (album-oriented rock).
    J.J. was a legend in FM rock radio. He was so knowledgable about rock history and had a great, friendly personality–both on-air and out of the studio. We had some great times during those early years of FM radio and J.J. hosted some of the biggest concerts and radio remote broadcasts (simulcast on TV on parent company’s ABC’s “In Concert”) headlined by some of the legendary rock icons of all-time.
    In 1981, after J.J. left L.A. to become one of MTV’s original VJs, I went to Capitol Records (label of The Beatles, Beach Boys etc.). I hadn’t seen J.J. in years until the day John Lennon was honored with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame –right in front of the Capitol Records round tower. Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon were being whisked away in a limo near the employee entrance when I spotted J.J. He looked great. That was the last time I saw him.
    I’m so saddened by J.J.’s death and would have liked to see our old L.A. radio gang at his memorial services, but never heard of any arrangements. He certainly deserved a big send-off. But I’m sure he’s seeing all his old buddies in Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven and still rockin’ on!
    Rest in peace, J.J.
    Bella Lagmay-Funk

  2. Ellen Ponsford

    J. J. will be greatly missed by many, but I will never forget the night he became my friend, and then the day he allowed me to become his daughter’s friend.

  3. Osiris

    I am shocked and stunned to have found out of the passing of J.J. I grew up with him watching MTV videos, especially I am big fan of KISS. And when he did the interview it was great to watch. He will be surely missed and a prayer goes out his family and friends.

  4. Frann

    I remember meeting JJ backstage at the WAV concert a few short years ago. What a gentle-man and a gentleman. He was touched that I enjoyed listening to him … gone too soon.
    Bless you, J J.

  5. Mush

    I just read of his passing in Rolling Stone Magazine–the 2004 edition (almost a year later). Didn’t know he’d passed; what a shock. He was my favorite of the MTV VJs. Such a shame.



  7. r.j payne

    i listen to jj jackson from 72-77. he was the best. when i joined the USAF i was stationed in texas. on leave i purchased a 8 track recorder from the cal stereo. i taped all of jj showes so i could listen to him while i was away. when i came back from overseas in 81 i could not wait to hear him live again. i was so disapointed to find that he had left and went to kwest 106.9 fm. in the 1990’s he reappeared on the short lived kmpc fm in los angeles. there will never be another like him he was more than a d.j. he was like a good frend. god bless you jj. it still brings tears to my eyes.

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