Ron Jones began his disc jockey career from a closet in his parents’ Minneapolis home when he was 12 years old.
Today, the tall, sandy-haired congenial deejay is recognized around town, if not by sight, then by his smooth baritone voice. Jones, who owns Allegro Entertainment company, puts in regular appearances at local events such as the Sunday farmers market and the summertime Concerts by the Sea series. When he’s not working around La Jolla, he’s working for La Jolla as a community volunteer.
“Everything you want is here,” Jones said of the Jewel. “Anything you really need is here.”
Jones left the Midwest in 1967 when he joined the Air Force. His aspirations to join the military band or become a weatherman were crushed when he tested positive for color blindness - he couldn’t interpret the weather balloon - and the band didn’t have any openings. Instead, he was designated as an M.P.
After a friend told him about an opportunity to become an announcer for American Forces Radio, Jones passed the screening and attended a 10-week course. He was then stationed at a base in Turkey.
He compares that assignment to the movie role portrayed by Robin Williams, in which his famous tag line, and the movie’s title, was, “Good morning, Vietnam!” Jones’ tag line was, “Good morning, Turkey. Gobble, gobble, gobble!”
From there, Jones worked a succession of broadcasting jobs in Europe and the U.S. He worked on television doing voice over work, hosting a local game show, conducting interviews and taking on virtually any job related to TV, radio or entertainment. In1973, Jones traveled to Los Angeles and took an entry-level job in guest relations with ABC. Soon he was working on several network projects, including the Merv Griffin Show.
Following the release of “American Graffiti” and the sudden celebrity status of Hollywood personality Wolfman Jack, Jones found himself in San Diego where Jack was being groomed for public appearances. Spinning records in an empty nightclub on the ninth floor of the Le Baron hotel, Jones was on the edge of a cultural phenomenon that would be called disco.
“It was an amazing time,” Jones said. “There weren’t any such creatures outside New York.”
During the next 18 years, Jones sculpted the San Diego nightclub scene. The entertainment venues he developed around the city include Harbor House in Seaport Village, Voyager on Shelter Island and Point Loma’s Rasputin’s. In 1985, he turned his focus to the special events market and became a disc jockey for hire. Since then, he has emceed thousands of private and corporate events.
Between deejay gigs and professional work in his commercial recording studio, Jones volunteers as president - for the 13th time - of the San Diego Disc Jockey Association. He also participates with the La Jolla Rotary Club, Torrey Pines Theater and La Jolla Stage Company, as well as being an active member of the Torrey Pines Christian Church and on the board of directors for La Jolla Meals on Wheels. Unofficially, he is the designated handyman and go-to guy for the elderly women in his neighborhood. When he isn’t working, Jones prefers the simple pleasures of home.
“Being in the public eye as much as I am, I really enjoy my down time,” he said. “Private time is important.”
Jones and wife Cathy have been married for 20 years. Their family includes three dogs, two cats and two cockatiels. Formerly in sales at Saks Fifth Avenue, Cathy Jones now works at Plaza del Pasado in Old Town. She takes advantage of her husband’s busy schedule to indulge in her photography hobby. One of the perks of being married to a popular deejay is the friendly reception they get from people all over the community.
“He makes people happy,” Cathy Jones said. “He recreates memories for people.”
Hosting an event or deejaying a wedding isn’t about showcasing himself but focusing on the guests of honor.
“Here you are, on one of the most important days of a couple’s lives, creating a memory for them,” he said. “What I can give these newlyweds is a show. It keeps the spotlight on them.”
A resident since 1976, Jones said it is La Jolla’s “comfort of familiarity” that appeals to him. There has been no shortage of opportunities for him in the seaside village, and Jones said he learned to make the most of them by never saying no. One of his favorite jobs is hosting the summertime Concerts by the Sea series every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at La Jolla Cove.
“I’ve always dreamed of being a radio guy, and I’m living my dream,” Jones said.
“When you can do for a living what you love most,” added Cathy Jones, “isn’t that the best?”