THE WXYZ ‘BROTHER JOHN’ MYSTERY CLARIFIED
Was ‘Brother John‘ actually the voice of Alan Almond?
That was the question Motor City Radio Flashbacks could not ascertain with an answer.
We had received word from a frequent visitor to the website who stated it was he (without any given 100% degree of certainty implied) after hearing our aircheck feature this website posted here on September 7, 2017.
In all due fairness, the voice does sound very much extraordinarily as similar — one may think that could be Alan Almond.
We received the final answer to this question.
Thank you, Jim Heddle, of Phoenix, Arizona, for your (September 11) email response.
Brother John’s show was not local, it was syndicated nationally and was carried in Detroit by WXYZ-FM. Here is some information about him from allmusicguide.com:
Born February 14, 1932, John Rydgren (or Brother John, as he came to be known as an on-air DJ and radio personality) was an ordained minister in the American Lutheran Church, and for a time was a director of the American Lutheran Church’s radio and television films division. His claim to pop history fame came in the 1960s and early ’70s when his early syndicated FM radio shows, most notably the show called Silhouettes, which was broadcast across the U.S. (and in Vietnam) between 1966 and 1968, reached a wide-ranging audience. Positioning himself as a sort of “hip preacher” between Christianity on one hand and the emerging “Flower Power” generation on the other, Rydgren interspersed progressive and psychedelic rock tracks with his thoughts on spirituality, philosophy, and the changing times, all in a deep, sincere, and affecting baritone. He also released three LPs of his thoughts and musings laid over a backdrop of fuzz guitars, heavenly choirs, and sitar drones, Worlds of Youth (1966), Cantata for New Life (1967), and Silhouette Segments (1968), during this time period. He died on December 26, 1988, from a heart attack at the age of 56. Omni Records reissued remastered versions of Rydgren‘s three LPs, along with bonus tracks and an additional LP, They Say, in a two-disc set in 2012.
According to the Detroit News, Alan Almond died in 2015 at the age of 67. You might also be interested to know that before Alan landed his job at WNIC, he briefly did the morning show on WPAG in Ann Arbor.
Take care, Jim Heddle
We have our answer.
And a special thank you to Mike Landry and Andrew Wagonner for your added confirmations in regards (same as above) having shared as well.