The radio and DJ communities are in mourning for Michael Erickson, a legendary Bay Area personality who reportedly lost his battle with cancer on Aug. 18. He was 54.
Erickson's aspirations for life in the music business began in high school, when he fronted a nine-piece funk band. According to All Access, his first job in local radio was as a DJ working the graveyard shift at now-defunct soul station KSOL (where Sly Stone also was once an on-air jock), and it was there where he started mixing records over the airwaves. He later joined fellow mixer Cameron Paul in moving to the then-nascent station KMEL, where he showed listeners how he could "fix it in the mix" and eventually became assistant program director. (Listen to some of Erickson's broadcasts at tribute site KMEL Forever.)
Erickson took his love for mixing beyond the radio, working as a mobile and nightclub DJ. He also worked with young artists in the studio and created his own remixes for artists such as MC Hammer for Mixx-It, Paul's company that helped pioneer a micro-industry for creating promotional mixes for radio and club DJs.
In more recent years, Erickson had served as program director at KISQ and KKSF and operations manager at Clear Channel in San Francisco. He then relocated to Texas, where he worked as a program director for KRNB and director of operations for Service Broadcasting Corporation and K104.