Many describe the on-air radio personality as the go-go music ambassador, but WPGC’s Keith “DJ Flexx” Clagon built a legacy by playing, writing and producing great music. The veteran radio personality, once a short-term mixer at competitor station WKYS, is now recognized as a legend at the mainly urban, hits-driven Washington, D.C. radio station, WPGC 95.5.
On June 4, WPGC, owned by CBS Radio, celebrated DJ Flexx in a big way, honoring “The Home Team” afternoon drive host in conjunction with the radio station’s 27th anniversary.
The day of celebration started with Clagon performing his normal radio afternoon drive duties as DJ Flexx, beginning at 2 p.m. as he broadcast “The Home Team” show live from the Howard Theatre, including interviews with recording artists Sevyn Streeter, K Camp, Tinashe, Adrian Marcel, and Grammy-nominated singer and actor Tristan Mack Wilds.
At 6 p.m., DJ Flexx ended his radio show and prepared for a grand evening, meeting family and close friends at the Cities Restaurant & Lounge for a private, invitation-only reception to celebrate his 20th anniversary at WPGC.
“I didn’t choose radio, radio chose me,” Clagon said. His passion for music helped him land a job in radio, while his versatility and desire to make music led him to perform and produce his own albums as well as write songs for R&B groups Groove Theory, Salt ‘N’ Pepa, rapper Lil’ Jon, rapper/DJ Funkmaster Flex, go-go bands Rare Essence, Backyard Band, and more.
Raised in Southwest Washington, later moving to Capitol Heights, Md., Clagon always knew he wanted to become a disc jockey. At the age of 12, he taught himself how to spin records in his parent’s basement. Although his mother didn’t believe playing loud music downstairs would flourish into a successful musical enterprise, she and her husband supported Clagon with his musical dream.
Clagon’s career began at house parties, cabarets and local nightclubs. “[When] I was deejaying in clubs, I was very young, and I started to gain popularity,” Clagon recalled. “Some of the deejays that had been there for a while didn’t like me. They just didn’t like me, and didn’t like me because I was like the new guy on the block,” Clagon said. “They was hatin’. Anytime I had a deejay that opened up for me, [the deejay] would try and play every song, so when it was time for me to play, I really had nothing [no new music] to play except repeats.”
The struggle Clagon faced to sound different as a disc jockey forced him to become creative in his own music and his career took off in 1994 when he created the song, “The Waterdance,” a vivacious go-go hit that opens with the phrase “It’s on fire tonight.” The song certified Clagon’s disc jockey credibility within the music industry.
After only three months at WKYS 93.9, Clagon moved to WPGC’s AM station, FLAVA 1580, as a mixer. Then, he functioned as FLAVA’s on-air personality during the afternoon drive slot from 2 to 6 p.m. With Clagon’s on-air success at WPGC’s AM outlet, Jay Stevens, the station’s former program director offered him a weekend on-air position on the FM station, WPGC 95.5. Under the name DJ Flexx, he advanced at the FM station, moving into his own show called “The Home Team” alongside radio personality Rane.
To celebrate WPGC’s 27th anniversary and DJ Flexx’s 20th anniversary, the doors of Howard Theatre opened at 6 p.m. Partygoers came in full force to watch a show that opened with local artist LightShow and included the all-star lineup he had interviewed earlier that afternoon as well as the Lissen Band, DJ Kool, and rapper Ludacris. During the celebration, a video montage created by WPGC staff was broadcast on screens.
Remarks and sentiments were given by a multitude of people including Ward 8 Councilmember and former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), WUSA 9 Anchor Lesli Foster, radio and television personality Big Tigger, good friend and former colleague DJ Rico, FOX 5 Anchor Allison Seymour, recording artists Tank, Lil Mo’ and many more.
“If I didn’t have to guard my feelings [at the celebration], I would’ve cried,” an emotional Clagon said.
Finally, WPGC 95.5 execs, on-air personalities, and WPGC staff gathered on stage to present DJ Flexx with a platinum record-shaped plaque to commemorate his talent and longevity in the radio industry. June 4 was declared “DJ Flexx Day” by D.C. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham in the community.