Story of our Lost DJ
Eric Christopher Roid was the brilliant “DJErikson” that ran iworship423 on Live365 radio for many years. This is a tribute to him and many of the challenges that he faced in his life.
Eric was born in 1971 at the Children’s Hospital in Montreal, Canada. His father (known as “G. Harold online”) had moved the family to Canada for a job at McGill University. The timing was amazing given that the Montreal Hospital had one of the world’s most respected experts in PKU—a dietary condition—Phenylketonuria-a genetic disorder in which the liver is deficient in making an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase. The result being the need for a low protein diet. His parents had to carefully monitor his died (down to ounces and use of a special formula made for PKU children).
Because of PKU, Eric had to control his diet all his life. As with many other people that have diet challenges (e.g., PKU, Diabetes) the urge to get off the diet is strong. These challenges often lead to diets like “junk food” that cause overweight conditions. That was true for Eric even though he had excellent doctors that helped him. His parents helped him follow his diet in his childhood but had less control as he got into teenage years and beyond.
Breakthrough by DJ Training
Eric did not enjoy school and his diet caused him to appear to have learning disabilities. Later he showed how smart he really was, but his school years did not go well. He barely graduated from high school and finished with a stigma on him for requiring special education. Despite efforts of special education teachers, other students were not always kind to Eric, making him less and less excited about school. He showed strengths in swimming and in music (mostly playing drums). His parents worked hard to find things he enjoyed, like long-distance bike riding and listening to radio music, that for him. His dad set up a section of the garage to look like a radio studio with microphones and all. That was a real “hit” for Eric. And his dad, who had done some radio in high school, enjoyed it also.
His time in the garage led his parents to think about getting some training for Eric after high school. They found a trade school that included training to learn all the skills needed to work for a radio station. The instructors discovered that Eric was good at running the sound boards, microphones, and all the gadgets needed by radio announcers. This was a huge break, through for his parents! He completed that training and looked forward to working in radio.
His Years in Commercial Radio
The school helped him get started by getting a “board operation”[i] job for a station in Albany, Oregon. This was in the 1990’s when stations had not yet into the total computerization of programming as they do today. He worked a night shift and operated the sequence of songs and live comments and some brief announcements. As he did many times, he was also looking for larger radio jobs. Eventually, he got a board operating job in three successive stations in Portland, Oregon. One of them included taking callings from listeners, screening them, and relaying them to the online DJ or special guest. After the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Eric got jobs working for a Christian station, and a news station that had well-known experts. Again, he had to be fast and alert to calls and requests from the guest commentators.
Transitions to Private DJ and other work
As the calendars moved into the 2000’s, the Radio stations became more computerized with songs, advertisements, news, and guest commentators increasingly pre-recorded. This eliminated most of the work of Board Operators like Eric. His job was taken over by computers. Only some of the prominent DJ’s and well-known experts go “live.” But Eric had an amazing ability to overcome challenges. He shifted over to live DJ events (called “Gigs”). He got jobs by playing music for weddings, school events, and private gatherings. His parents helped him getting the needed equipment and friends helped setting up and taking down all the gear. This happened in Vancouver, WA, and Redding, CA.
Eric also found an amazing job in a project by Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc, which was looking for PKU adults to evaluate a new treatment for PKU patients. The treatment was a series of shots to control the level of phenylalanine in PKU patients. This gave Eric a second income while also helping future PKU children and adults.
Online DJ at iworship423
After a couple of years working (for free) with a public radio station in Portland, Oregon, a friend of Eric’s offered him some used equipment to start an online station. He opened a station on Live365, an online collection of hundreds of stations of all types. Some newer equipment needed was contributed by the family. The station Eric started around 2017-2019 was Pop Rock style which gave him a time to learn all the technical side of running an online station with music that was easy to find.
The Big Change
In the early fall of 2019, Eric found that there was a lot of competition in Rock music. And he had few listeners. Donna, Eric’s mother, suggested one day for Eric to try playing Christian music on Sundays to attract different listeners. Eric’s dad had an extensive collection of Christian music from singers such as Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, Passion Music and Bethel Music, and many other Christian artists. Playing those songs on a Sunday morning caused a huge gift from God! Many listeners suddenly came to listen, and one Church really liked the music and even wanted to sponsor us. The sponsoring did not work but it gave birth to iworship423.
Birth of iworship423
As Eric expanded to weekends and all Christian music day and night. Eric and the family tried to find ideas for the new station name. Eric’s dad searched the web for Christian names and found one that sounded good. By using “worship” and including a Bible phrase (in John 4:23) he found one Eric liked. The station grew and caught the attention of the sources of the music. Eric got calls from organizations and artists such as Bethel Music with Brian Johnson, Passion Music with Chris Tomlin, and Crowder. Other individuals like Michaël W Smith, Louie Giglio, and other Cristian music providers often called and supplied new songs as they were released. The attention even grew to TV and Radio fans like Sean Hannity called! The station also reached overseas in England, Germany, Israel, Australia, and many more countries! Many people from Israel accepted the Lord after talking to Eric!
The Ministry of iworship423
Eric received a call from a young boy who was abandoned by his foster parents. He was crying and afraid and miraculously heard the song “Raise a Hallelujah” by Johnathan and Melissa Helser on iworship423. The boy had heard the song on his phone and said he was touched by the song and wanted to accept Jesus! Eric paused a minute to find the words for the “sinners Prayer.” It completely changed the boy that night! After a few days, Eric got a call from the foster agency that managed the boy and was able to include Eric in the discussion of where he could go next. Over the last year and one half, Eric had the privilege of following the boy as he flourished in a new foster home that included parents in the ministry! The boy has advanced so much lately that he is saving other children and managing a youth ministry!
Eric had many more interactions with people who loved the music and found Jesus. Many of them raved about the mixture of music types and touching songs. We hope that Eric’s life story will touch people’s hearts and give them strength to overcome the challenges of life. He will be GREAYLY missed!
[i] Board Operating involves running important equipment that opens or closes channels of sound for music, advertisements, live comments, phone calls from listeners or experts.
Blessings from Paster G, Harld Roid
Copy Right (c) 2021 by The Roid Family Trust