Johnny Western, a successful radio personality, is the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame's Cowboy Entertainer Inductee for 2004.
Born in Two Harbors, Minnesota, Johnny received his first guitar for Christmas when he was twelve years old.
The next year, at the age of thirteen, he
sang and played his
guitar on radio shows.
A couple of years later, Johnny
own full-time radio show on KDHL in Northfield, Minnesota.
There he caught the attention of Billboard Magazine, which dubbed him the youngest DJ on commercial radio in the United States.
At the age of sixteen, Western
got the chance to release his
song, "The Violet and the Rose", recorded on vinyl.
After graduating from high school, Johnny
idol, Gene Autry, who signed him to appear in motion pictures.
Between 1957 and 1959, Western
appeared in several movies.
At the same time he
was beginning his
idol's was ending his
Autry retired from film making in 1957, after which Johnny signed with Autry's agent.
With a new representation, Western
recorded a pilot for one of the directors of the hit television western "Gunsmoke"; who was looking to direct a new show called "Pony Express".
Over the next two years, Hollywood directors cast Johnny
in five feature western films and thirty-two episodes for various television westerns.
branched out in his
career again when he
started writing a monthly column titled "The Filmland Horseman" for Western Horseman Magazine
Reflecting back on the interviews, Johnny
recalled, "These guys were friends of minex and honest-to-God cowboys."
From 1958 to 1997, Johnny
toured and performed with the Johnny Cash Show
During this time, he
also wrote theme songs for televisions shows like "Have Gun Will Travel" and co-wrote songs for "Johnny Yuma", "The Rebel" and "Bonanza".
wife Jo and their five daughters settled in Wichita; though the family soon spread out across the country.
In 1986, Western
joined a local radio station, as a disc jockey, where he
brings first-hand knowledge of the country music business and the country western stars to his
In 1993, the TV Theme Hall of Fame
in New York City.
joined the ranks of the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame
in 2000, as well as the Old Time Country Music Hall of fame
in Anita, Iowa.
A year later, the Western Music Hall of Fame
years of service and dedication.
In 2002 the city of Wichita inducted Johnny
into the Wichita Professional Broadcasters Hall of Fame
And earlier this year, Johnny
honorary induction into the Kansas Western Wing Hall of Fame