Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Electrifying Mojo, The

Born Charles Johnson in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Detroit radio personality known as The Electrifying Mojo has been credited as the first to aggressively broadcast electronic music of the 1970s and 1980s to the nation’s third largest radio market. He embraced the electronically-driven funk, rock and soul experimentation of the time, and later championed the next generation of hip-hop and techno beats being generated locally. 

Mojo got his start in radio at station WAAM in Ann Arbor, but really found his voice in 1977 when he began broadcasting on WGPR and later WJLB. Mojo’s format was unusual in the era of “Hot 100” pop tunes. He often played entire album sides lasting up to 20 minutes. After stints at a few regional stations, he returned to WGPR.  

Mojo exposed a generation of Detroiters to regional funksters George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. He was among the first to recognize the talents of Prince and Kraftwerk. His eclectic mix of upbeat, progressive tunes – sometimes folky, sometimes psychedelic – was an evening soundtrack for thousands in the Detroit, Windsor, and Toledo area. And, of course, Mojo dialed it up a notch on the weekend. 

His crossfades, creative mixes, and driving rhythms planted the seeds for Detroit’s contribution to the worldwide Techno scene. Most collaborators in Detroit’s Deep Space collective recall being inspired by the Electrifying Mojo. In turn, he was among the first to play the work of the Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins and other local ambassadors of Detroit Techno. 



Midnight Funk Association identification card

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