Groovy Grant, aka popular Kansas City radio host and party DJ, passes away at 78

When Grant Hopkins, also known as DJ Groovy Grant, began his career in the music scene of Kansas City, he faced a harsh reality of segregation. As a result, he was not permitted to enter establishments through the front entrance like everyone else. Instead, he was directed to use the back door.

Despite facing insults, Hopkins remained undeterred in pursuing his passion. He not only persevered but also instilled the same resilience in his children.

Melinda Hopkins, the daughter of the late Mr. Hopkins, emphasizes that the most valuable lesson her father imparted to her was the importance of being a leader. She fondly remembers how he encouraged her and her siblings to forge their own paths and make decisions that aligned with their true selves. According to Melinda, her father believed in the power of individuality and taught them to embrace it, even if it meant going against the norm.

Her father, a talented saxophonist, had established himself as a beloved figure in the realm of party DJs and as a popular host on KKFI-FM (90.1). Hopkins was renowned for his ability to turn any gathering into a lively celebration, often setting up his portable turntables at local parks.

The world bid farewell to Hopkins on January 2nd when he passed away at the age of 78 after battling health complications.

“We’ve been coping as best as we can,” his daughter remarks. “Adjusting to the absence of his presence and adapting to the changes takes time and patience.”

Hopkins hails from Kansas City, Kansas and completed his education at Sumner High School.

Hopkins quickly discovered that music held a deeper significance beyond its ability to make people dance. From a young age, he started collecting equipment and soon became a regular presence at various clubs, parties, and community events as Groovy Grant. According to his daughter, the DJ booth was where her father truly felt at ease.

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According to her, he had a deep love for music because it provided an avenue for escape and freedom.

Hopkins, a well-known radio personality, hosted the renowned “OG’s Original Hangout” show on KKFI and organized music events such as the Kansas City Jazz & Heritage Festival. In addition to his passion for radio, Hopkins also had a deep love for photography.

His daughter will deeply miss her father, who was not only the life of the party but also the heart of the family. She fondly remembers him as a walking encyclopedia when it came to music.

“I will miss him the most, spending time with him and being by his side,” expresses Hopkins, the youngest of his three children. “His legacy and his music will forever be remembered, and those who were lucky enough to know him will feel the same deep loss that we do.”

His daughter, who is 55 years old, expresses gratitude that her two children had the opportunity to have him in their lives. They were fortunate to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and experiences throughout the years.

Numerous friends, family members, and fans took to social media to express their sorrow through heartfelt messages.

Groovy Grant Hopkins will forever be cherished and fondly remembered for his immense love and impact.

“Old Man, may you soar to great heights. You, my ‘Groovy Grant,’ imparted invaluable wisdom to us, ranging from the beauty of blues music to the art of photography.”

“I will miss my friend dearly and will continue to keep their family and friends in my prayers.”

Groovy was like a walking history book. Talking to him was always a pleasure. He was not just my brother, but also my friend.

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According to his daughter, music was a great passion for her father, but his love for his family surpassed even that.

“He was an incredible individual who had a deep love for everyone,” she expresses. “His absence will be deeply felt by numerous individuals, but we will forever cherish his music and the joyous memories he left behind.”

The family members are organizing a memorial event to honor the life and legacy of her father. The event will feature local DJs and musicians who will pay tribute to him.

His children, Tonya Griffie, Grant Griffie, and Melinda Hopkins, fondly remember him. Additionally, he is survived by a loving group of cousins, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends.

Other remembrances

Joe Crosby Jr.

Joe Crosby Jr., a dedicated social worker and loving father, passed away on January 24th at the age of 68.

Crosby’s birth took place on June 20, 1955, to Louisa and Joe Crosby Sr.

In 1973, he completed his education at Lincoln High School and later obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology and religion from William Jewell College in 1986.

After relocating to Philadelphia, Crosby embarked on a career as a social worker at The Children’s Choice Foster Care Agency. He initially worked as a case manager, providing support and assistance to children in need. Over time, he progressed to the role of supervisor, overseeing outpatient therapy and behavioral health rehabilitation services at Northeast Treatment Centers. Through these positions, Crosby was able to make a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and families facing challenging circumstances.

On September 22, 1990, he tied the knot with Aquilla Calloway, and together, they were blessed with two sons.

Crosby frequently made trips back to the Kansas City area to spend time with his loved ones and friends. Despite residing on the East Coast, he always regarded the metropolitan area as his true home.

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Joe Benjamin Crosby III, Hezekiah Daniel Crosby, and Jo Ann Crosby Higgins remember him fondly along with his wife, Aquilla Crosby. His brother, Melvin Leroy Crosby, as well as numerous cousins and friends, also hold his memory dear.

Oliver Pleasure

Oliver Pleasure, a veteran of the United States Air Force and a successful business owner, passed away on January 16th at the age of 85.

Pleasure was born in Kansas City on March 2, 1938, to Willie and Elizabeth Pleasure. He completed his education at R. T. Coles Vocational School, where he engaged in various activities such as playing the saxophone and repairing cars.

After enlisting in the Air Force, Pleasure served as a mechanic and was stationed in London. Following his honorable discharge, he went on to work at his father’s corner store called Willies, which was located on 12th Street and Woodland Avenue.

After his father passed away, Pleasure assumed control of the business. In 1982, he made a significant acquisition of land on 12th and Park Avenue. This allowed him to expand his business ventures, including the opening of a bar, liquor store, and a small grocery store. Over the next 38 years, Pleasure successfully operated these establishments.

Pleasure was recognized for his sharp business acumen and his unwavering willingness to assist those in need.

His sister, Tyra Williams, fondly remembers him, while he is survived by his children, Lisa Wright, Terry Pleasure, and Donita Collier. Additionally, he leaves behind a loving network of cousins, grandchildren, and friends who will cherish his memory.

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