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Just Who Was This Johnny?!?!?!

Clifford Robert Cunningham was born on Febuary 22, 1943 in the small town of Buffalo Montana to Mr. and Mrs. William Cunningham. He grew up working in the fields dreaming of the cosmos, and the mysteries held therein. Little Clifford and his father never got along very well, so to avoid going home at night, he would stay late at school and sit in the library reading and rereading the few books on astronomy that Buffalo School had to offer. Clifford waited until he had his diploma before going out on his own at the tender age of 17 1/2. Angered by the many years of abuse that he had endured from his father, he went to the court house and walked out Johhhy Moondog. He had always liked the music of Johnny Mathis and the local musical group "The Moondogs", combining the two he came up with his new name. That fall, he moved to St. Louis to enroll in Washington University to study Chaos Theories and Astronomy. Johnny got his Masters in both, then set out to find a job.

Johnny moved to California because he was hired by Lockheed Martin, building Titan Rockets for the military. Tired of the fumes after only a year, he moved back to the St Louis area. Johnny quickly found a part time job at a local radio station there (KSHE 95.5) as a late night disk jockey, but grew weary of people wanting to hear "Stairway to Heaven" all the time. He sought employment on the AM dial, landing a weekend gig called "Johnny on the Spot" a call in show about do it yourself plumbing and carpentry. This proved to be his big break, as the mayor of St. Louis ( a big fan) called on Johnny to design a new monument to be built on the banks of the Mississippi River. Several designs were drawn, but history knows that the arch shaped design won. Johnny was there through all stages of construction, designing the thing as it was being built. A forward thinker, he designed the "Eggovator" that would carry visitors up to the top of the Arch. Originally, the plans called for 8,000 steps, but Johnny wanted to make the Arch accessable to all. The steps are there, but are only used for maintenance reasons. Johnny went on to design many more buildings in St. Louis, but his real love was still in radio.

In the fall of 1970, he set out on his own to make a nation wide syndicated call in show, named "Strange Universe". Johnny loved the night, so he made it a late night gig. It ran for several months quite successfully. That year Nova (tm) tried to sue him for stealing a copyrighted name (Strange Universe), so he changed the show to "Secrets of the Unverse". His show was on the top of the ratings until his sudden departure about 20 years ago.




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