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This profile was last updated on 10/30/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Cowboy Entertainer

Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member
    Country Music Disc Hall of Fame
  • Member
    Western Music Hall of Fame
  • Founder


  • Academy of Western Artists Awards
155 Total References
Web References
Johnny ..., 30 Oct 2012 [cached]
Johnny Western
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 received his 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 met his 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 career, 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.
Western 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".
Johnny, his 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 daily broadcasts.
In 1993, the TV Theme Hall of Fame inducted Johnny in New York City. He 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 inducted Johnny for his 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 accepted his honorary induction into the Kansas Western Wing Hall of Fame.
Scott O'Malley & Associates - Artist Representation, 11 Mar 2006 [cached]
Johnny Western, member of both the Western Music Hall of Fame and Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame, writes: "When the late King of the Cowboys Roy Rogers said The Sons were the closest thing to the legendary Sons of the Pioneers (which he founded), he knew of what he spoke.
TODAY'S KFDI-FM 101.3, 3 May 2010 [cached]
Wichita Radio icon Johnny Western is retiring. The last show for Johnny will be on KFDI's sister station, AM1070 The Ranch on Saturday from 10a to 2pm. After that show, Johnny is hanging up his headphones to move to Mesa Arizona, where many of his children and grandchildren live. Johnny has been a part of Wichita's rich country music history since 1986 when he joined the KFDI staff.
Yodeling Queen Janet McBride - 2007 Notes from Janet, 23 Dec 2007 [cached]
Lynn Anderson's name speaks for itself, Johnny Western wrote and sang the theme songs for the character "Paladin" in Have Gun Will Travel, and so many other western theme songs.
Yes, Johnny Western is the man in black. Really nice fella.
He was the front man for Johnny Cash for over 30 years. He is a DJ/part owner of KFDI in Wichita KS.
November 21, 2002, 21 Nov 2002 [cached]
"Paladin, Paladin where do you roam", someone was asking us the other day where Johnny Western was, well, the last we spoke with him he was still at KFDI in Wichita, Kansas where he started in 1986.
He is a frequent guest at the Gene Autry Museum shows in Gene Autry, Oklahoma he has been inducted into everything but "pie" making, he was a featured performer with the Johnny Cash Show from 58 to 97.
He has been in Movies and TV shows and not only did he write the theme song for "Have Gun Will Travel" and co/wrote the themes for "Johnny Yuma" the Rebel and Bonanza which probably means he wrote um both and he also sits up the shows for KFDI when the need arises and of course he has his regular shift on KFDI, other then that, he don't do much.
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