A great and good man is not born great, nor good. He is born with the ability to determine his path, and through his prowess and esteem for others, he attains that goodness and greatness. Being able to be both, good and great is a double task, and many can't achieve that status, but to actor John Still, both are very evident in his career and his character.
On Sunday, Dec. 7, 2013, not only were Americans reflecting on the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, but a group of friends and fellow entertainers honored John Still with a reception in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis was in the snarls of an ice storm, but that did not hold back many from attending. This reception was made possible by the efforts of Michael Crohan, a film producer (Miles2Go Productions) and director in Memphis. Also the following information was made possible by his efforts and others at the reception.
John Still was born in Cleveland, Tennessee, and got into the entertainment business while he was still in high school. He carried double duty, managing a rock and roll band and being the drum major in the high school marching band. He also belonged to many social clubs while still in school.
After graduation, John served a stint in the Air Force in the 1960s, but returned to entertainment when his enlistment was up. At this time he started managing singers and bands again, and one of his first was a young, blind white singer, named Ronnie Millsaps. John eventually went to work as a news interviewer for a television station in Chattanooga, Tenn.. He later worked as a DJ for WDXB Radio, where he also served as a broadcast journalist. Still seeking something more in life, John moved on to Dallas station KNUS doing the same job.
John was going like a house on fire at this time, getting many different offers and he decided he wanted to work in the motion picture industry and became an assistant producer while still in Dallas. He later moved to Memphis in the early 1970s and became a DJ for WREC Radio, and later as a newsman for WHBQ Radio, as well as, Quad 104.1, which is now "The River."
John had gotten a taste of the film industry while in Dallas, and he wanted to become more involved in it. It was during this time that he met Lisa Lax, who now owns the Lisa Lax Agency, when she was still acting, and she talked him into taking acting classes. Acting coach, Molly Benson, from Los Angeles, came to Memphis during this time, and he attended her classes. She thought John had a lot of talent and encouraged him to become an actor. She believed in him so much, she helped him get a contract with COLORS Talent Agency in Memphis. This became a catapult for John's career, and he would go on to work in many films.
John Still: A Memphis Entertainment Legend will continue in the next article, where we will have interviews from entertainment people who attended the reception for John, and from others who love John and his work, but weren't able to attend, including yours truly, Gerry Glenn Jones. We will also talk about his film career and the movies he has acted in. Because John has also worked in performing arts, this article can also be seen in the "Memphis Performing Arts Industry," section of the Examiner.
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