“It is with a heavy heart that we inform the Radio industry and friends of John Rook that he passed away two days ago on Tuesday, March 1st of natural causes and peacefully in his sleep in his home on his beloved ‘Rook Ranch’ in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.
John was 78 but going on 38. He had such a youthful spirit despite his health deteriorating over this past year. He hated ‘getting old’ but, maintained a positive face for family and friends. He requested no official funeral or service but, stay tuned for further details as we will provide updates in the coming days.
In difficult times John’s go to phrase was ‘this to shall pass…’ He will be gone but, never forgotten!
Born in Ohio and raised in Nebraska, John Rook has enjoyed a successful career in radio broadcasting, first as a disc jockey and then as one of the nations most respected program directors.
A chance meeting with actor Burt Lancaster introduced Rook to the Pasadena Playhouse,
where he attended class with Natalie Wood, James Dean, Sal Mineo & Nick Adams. His brief film career included parts in “My Man Godfrey” with June Allyson and David Niven and the Wild Bill Hickok television series with Guy Madison and Andy Devine.
It was Tennessee Ernie Ford and John’s teenage friend, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Cochran who encouraged Rook to enter radio as a disc jockey with the name “Johnny Rowe.”
In the early 1960’s following stints at KTLN-Denver and KALL-Salt Lake City, John was named Director of Programming at ABC owned KQV-Pittsburgh.It was there that he introduced via airplay and in concert, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, the Supremes, Neil Diamond and many other’s who became legendary stars of today.
In 1967 he was named Director of Programming for WLS-Chicago, where under his leadership the station reached its highest ratings ever, rated #1 with a total audience of 3.8 million weekly. While at WLS, broadcasters nationally named him “Radio’s Man of the Year” and “Program Director of the Year”.
In the 1970’s John Rook & Associates provided programming expertise to more than thirty radio stations nationally including WCFL-Chicago; Y-100-Miami; KRBE-Houston; Z-93-Atlanta; KTKT-Tucson and KROY-Sacramento as he was named “Radio Consultant of the Year.”
He was also Program Director of KFI Los Angeles and KABC Los Angeles.
In the mid 1980’s John became owner of radio stations in the Northwest, divesting himself of those facilities in the late 1990’s.
John contributed to radio and pop music for the remainder of his life.
John contributed to radio and pop music for the remainder of his life offering radio commentary on this website JohnRook.com and as a guest on and consultant to talk radio. John is also is the creator of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame and Hit Parade Radio.John Rook Memorial Fund- Donate!
More on John Rook at Wikipedia here
The Latest Post:
“A contract has been placed on you.”