Received this from MMR
It is with a profound sense of sadness that we report the passing of our dear friend and associate, Don Johnson. Don served as editor of MUSICAL MERCHANDISE REVIEW for the past twenty five years and under his stewardship the publication developed a broad international readership. He was a quiet professional who had an intuitive gift of delivering an interview in a clear and concise manner. Over the years he gained the respect and developed friendships within the entire spectrum of the music industry.
Diagnosed with cancer some 18 months ago, he yielded no ground and faced the ultimate finality with courage, dignity and a tinge of humor. In the final stages he continued to come into the office and travelled to Musik Messe and during the last days he responded to a colleague's question of how he was going to deliver copy from home, he simply responded, "it'll work". As a patient, he tested several experimental drugs with the unexpressed hope that it would produce a brighter outlook for those who might follow.
Don was a renaissance man; there was no cable television at his home, he preferred a good book and a radio broadcast (preferably his beloved Cleveland Indians) and his favored method of office transportation was a subway ride. He was most proud of his family, wife Charlene, whom he met while both were working at our publishing company, and daughter's Hilary and Rosie. Hilary is completing her junior year at Brown University, where she has become fluent in Japanese while competing with the Ivy league school's ballroom dance team and remaining in the top tier of students academically. Rosie is a junior at the prestigious Buckingham Browne and Nichols with equally high grades while remaining active in many school sports.
A native of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Don majored in Journalism at Ohio University where he graduated cum laude and soon thereafter followed his love of literature to the Boston area where he gained some valuable retail experience managing a local book store. His career turned to writing for a local weekly newspaper and ultimately to the Larkin Group where he became a staff writer and later editor of MUSIC RETAILER, a magazine for the record industry. When MUSICAL MERCHANDISE REVIEW was acquired in 1981 Don made a seamless transition into the music products arena. Don continued as editor when MMR and its sister publications were acquired by the Zapis Capitol Group and re-named Symphony Publishing LLC in 2004.
Don was instrumental in many of the publication's ongoing features, including the annual Dealer Choice Award, The Profile of the American Music Dealer and the 50 Dealer/50 State Economic Review and Forecast.
In keeping with Don's wishes his remains will be cremated and no formal service will be held.
A more complete retrospective of his life will be published in the June issue of MMR.
We welcome comments and recollections of Don's life from his industry friends.