BY DON NAPIER
Crossville Life Magazine
Chris Cannon was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Rockville High School there. He attended Eastern College, near Philadelphia. He came to work for 105.7 The Hog in 2004 and lives in Crossville. He has three daughters. I have been acquainted with him for about seven years and listen to him regularly on the radio.
When I decided to interview him for my “Wonderful Life” column I thought of him because he lives a great life doing a job he loves. He is one of the lucky ones, he loves his job and loves going to work. That is a recipe for having a wonderful life. Normally when I feature someone in my “Wonderful Life” column, I write a story about their life, but because it seemed to suit the topic better, we conducted an interview with Chris.
Q: What is the training for a disc jockey?
Chris – Training can come from what your bosses want you to do and say or “how” they want you to say it. Then it’s up to you to accomplish that. You can go to school for formal training or you can be lucky enough, like I was, to have someone see something in you to trust you and train you on-the-job.
Q: Do we still call ’em Disc Jockeys? What is your preferred title?
Chris – DJ, or on-the-air-personality is acceptable. I prefer on-air-personality.
Q: What was your first radio job @ what radio station? Where?
Chris – 105.7 FM was my firsts radio job, been with the same company every since, thankfully.
Q: Do you get more sore throats than normal people?
Chris – Actually, I rarely get sick at all, but when I do, I make up for lost time! LOL
Q: Are you an extrovert?
Chris – I am an extrovert, but I think I have a mechanism inside my brain that
needs to even things out, so I have moments where I become an introvert and shut the world out. It’s 5th gear all the time for me, so a nice slow first gear is a welcome from time to time.
Q: Do you try to be cool on the air? Or is it just natural?
Chris – I think I have a really good take on what the listener is interested in and I think I have the same sense of humor our listeners have, so I guess it comes natural. But the listeners and I are usually on the same page.
Q: What can you NOT say on the air?
Chris – You cannot use foul language. There are many terms, words you can say, but just because you’re allowed to be dirty or crass, that doesn’t mean you should. I like to use “code sometimes,” so only the adults know what I am talking about, so as to spare the children’s ears. I’m a huge family, daddy dude, so I’m very cautious about what comes across the air.
Q: If you did the programming, what five songs would you most definitely play?
Chris – Always a tough question! We play just about everything my dad had on his jukebox and what my sisters also listened to, so I am lucky to be playing the music that I love.
With that being said, my top 5: Rock Lobster (B-52’s), A Pirate Looks at 40 (Jimmy Buffett), Stranglehold (Ted Nugent), Watching the Detectives (Elvis Costello), Top Jimmy (Van Halen), “my fave Van Halen song, my favorite band.”
Q: Do you listen to the radio when you are on vacation or traveling?
Chris – I am always listening to the radio, not just for the music, but since I am also the Production Director and produce almost everything you hear that isn’t a song, I like to hear how other stations produce their commercials. There’s an art to it, in not just finding the correct music that goes along with it, but also finding certain spikes and sounds during a pause, music volume, . . . so many things!
Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Chris – There are two that stick out right away. (1) My bosses – they understand “family,” and when I want to surprise my daughter at school for lunch, or any family function, or travel out of town for a family event, they are always willing to work with me. (2) The callers/listeners. They are my co-hosts!!! I have a very funny and intelligent audience! I’m a huge supporter of the military/police/Fire and Rescue, and I love turning the airways over on special days, honoring those who serve, and risk their lives out their on a daily basis.
Q: Were you born with a “radio voice?”
Chris – I remember my dad saying that there are only about five radio voices, and I’ve been told that I don’t fit that mold and that has been a welcoming thing. I worked for a grocery store once and used to love announcing things throughout the store, so I’m not sure if i always had a radio voice or not, but certainly love using what ever I have.
Q: When you tell people what you do, what do you call yourself?
Chris – I use the term DJ, since that is what most people understand and are used to me being called. I’ve been known to just say, “I’m the dork you hear from 5 – 10 a.m.”
Q: If this career ended, what would you most likely do?
Chris – I’s love to run a major corporation, a national or global company, or I would just raise my family in south Florida and become a tennis pro.
Q: Is your voice insured?
Chris – No.
Q: Are you in front or behind the mic?
Chris – Both. Many of the things you hear on the radio, I have produced.
Q: What is first thing young people say when you tell them what you do for a living?
Chris – Young people usually say, “That’s so cool.” My daughters think it’s pretty cool too. Its good when your kids are proud of you. Makes it all worth it.
Q: I heard on your radio station that Casey’s Frontier Chevrolet was in the middle of a cow pasture? Is that true?
Chris – Yes, lol…that’s true.
Q: Do you wear sunglasses when you are on the air?
Chris – I have! I tell people that I broadcast every morning in a bathing suit with sun lamps in the studio. It may or may not be the truth. lol
Q: Tell us why you deserve a raise?
Chris – I would put my worth ethic up against anyone’s. I think loyalty towards who you work for is huge. If I were given a raise, I would rather it be for my worth ethic, not all the awards I’ve received over the years.