OAB Hall of Fame
In the history of Tulsa radio, no personality has ever impacted so many listeners’ lives as John Erling—a rare talent who has touched his audience's hearts for those in need, and created an awareness of things important to his community. For 28 years he has enjoyed a special bond with the listener that has made him Tulsa’s dominant radio personality.
John’s magic touch for helping those in need, or for special community needs, far exceeds $1,000,000. A cargo of wheat to Ethiopia, $150,000 to help pay for a surgery, $154,000 for police camcorders, $40,000 for a trust/scholarship fund for a slain police officer, and $250,000 for the purchase of coats for students are examples of that magic touch.
His morning show has provided a local Town Hall, often placing him in the middle of controversial topics and issues, interviewing big name newsmakers, public officials, and just talking one-on-one to listeners, so their voices in the community could be heard.
At an early age John Erling wanted to become a performer, and his dream was achieved with radio as his stage. He started in 1961 at his hometown station in Fargo, North Dakota. Over the next 15 years, he perfected his craft in markets in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and finally, in 1976, he arrived at KRMG in Tulsa as the morning show deejay. In the 1990s, the show went all-talk, and a new era was born in Tulsa radio.
In John’s words, "I’m a little bit of everything. I can have fun with people on the air I’ve never met before; I can conduct interviews; can have a sense of humor; I’m about as balanced as someone could be when it comes to seeing both sides --- and being able to generate reaction. But the truth is, under that rough exterior, I have this compassionate side that really wants to help people."
That’s why John Erling is Tulsa’s #1 all-time radio personality.