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Memorial service announced for John Walton of Houston-based radio show ‘Walton and Johnson’ – Chron.com

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  • John Walton (left) and Steve Johnson (right)

    John Walton (left) and Steve Johnson (right)

    Photo: Facebook/Courtesy Of Walton And Johnson Show

Photo: Facebook/Courtesy Of Walton And Johnson Show

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John Walton (left) and Steve Johnson (right)

John Walton (left) and Steve Johnson (right)

Photo: Facebook/Courtesy Of Walton And Johnson Show

Memorial service announced for John Walton of Houston-based radio show ‘Walton and Johnson’

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A memorial service for John Walton of the regionally syndicated radio show “Walton and Johnson” will be held this Friday in Houston, according to an announcement from the show.

The service will be held at 11 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church West Campus at 19449 Katy Freeway. Another memorial for Walton is scheduled to take place in New Orleans on July 14.

Walton died late Monday, July 1, after battling numerous medical issues, according to his co-host Steve Johnson.

WALTON’S DEATH: John Walton of Houston-based radio show ‘Walton and Johnson’ dies

Walton had been receiving treatment over the last month but continued to suffer, according to Johnson’s message to fans. He returned home and spent his final hours with his family, passing away at 11:55 p.m.

“He went out on his own terms,” Johnson wrote on the KPRC AM 950 website. “I will always cherish John as not only a partner but a dear friend. His wit and humor defined him as the unique individual we all knew him to be. He will never be replaced. He had a voice and he had something to say.”

According to earlier reports, the Walton and Johnson show first launched in February 1983 and currently has 16 affiliates throughout the south. It has been described in the Houston Chronicle as one that mixes music and talk with a decided right-of-center slant. The show was also hit with criticism in a Vice article about its use of stereotypical gay and black characters.

Daily listeners might hear famous comedians, high-profile politicians or major recording artists playing something that isn’t available on a record, according to the show’s Facebook page.

Ken Webster, the show’s executive producer, said “Walton and Johnson” aired last Wednesday for listeners to share their favorite stories of Walton and the show.

“John was great a broadcaster but also a very private person, and we didn’t realize how much pain he was in … near the end of his life,” Webster said.

Webster said Walton’s death was a shock to him. Walton was known as a hard worker among his friends and associates, he said. A typical day for him included recording the show for roughly four and a half hours, then driving to Beaumont, where he managed his own radio station KXXF-105.3 FM. Walton owned the station since 2014.

“John was a legend in his industry,” Webster added. “For decades, people all over the country have tried to replicate and copy what Walton and Johnson did as a radio show. It’s part of the reason why the show had so much longevity.”

Julian Gill is a digital reporter in Houston. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com. | julian.gill@chron.com | NEWS WHEN YOU NEED IT: Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts by text message | Sign up for breaking news alerts delivered to your email here.

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