Wake Up, Seattle: It’s Barber Time

September 1, 1985
Andy Barber is the consummate radio personality. It’s only a matter of time before he wins an award as such.
He eats and sleeps radio, always looking for an item of interest, inviting everyone he meets to listen to his show.

You’re invited: 6-10 a.m. weekdays on KHIT, 106.9 mHz.

What you’ll hear is a bewildering mix of the guy-next-door and radio superstar. A guy who will do anything to get your attention, and then do anything for you. He’s the only guy on the air with a genuine theme song: “Wake Me Up With Andy Barber.” He’ll tell you where he ate last night, patch you in with a music-world celebrity, give you his home phone number.

“It’s a way to show listeners that I’m human, not some unapproachable `disc jockey,”’ he said, waving two fingers on each hand to make visual quote marks.

“Give me a call if you’ve got something to talk about,” Barber said on the air. “And remember: Andy Barber loves groupies.”

This is Barber’s third time in Seattle; he had two stints at KING-AM, back in its late-’70s rock-and-roll days, interrupted by a short stay in Cincinnati and a year in Spokane. At 38, Barber has 17 years in broadcasting, in 21 cities.

“Never been late, never been fired,” Barber said.

Barber’s return is packed with deja vu. “I run into people who say they listened to me as a kid, and now their kids are listening,” Barber said. Most, however, incorrectly remember him “from KJR.”

“Was this building here in 1977?” Barber asked.

“I’d like to have Seattle’s mayor on the show. His name is familiar. Is he related to a guy I used to work with at KING? I thought so. Son of a gun!”

Barber said he’s frequently questioned about past promotions, including posing for Playgirl magazine and searching on-air for a wife.

Pictures, yes, marriage license, no.

In his first seven weeks in Seattle, Barber has been constantly on the go, throwing out the first baseball for the Everett Giants, passing out red roses to women, circulating at every county fair he can talk his way into.

One of the new services Barber is about to announce on KHIT is “The Andy Barber Party Service.”

“Having a party? Tell me about it.” Does he sing, dance, entertain? No.

“I’ll just be there for an hour, help serve, be a bartender _ whatever one of your friends might do.”

But before you invite him to your party, tune him in. He’s here to do a radio show, and don’t you forget it.

Twisting the dial

Ken Speck and Karen Key, dismissed at KRPM last month, after three months on the air, plan to return to Indiana. R.P. McMurphy and Mark Pierce, once of KNBQ, have been filling in.

Tuesday, another KRPM shuffle brings the return of Ryan and Ryan as morning personalities _ and a mid-afternoon shift for McMurphy.

Bobby Ryan, regular listeners know, has been working mid-day shifts at KRPM. Gary Ryan worked briefly in Florida and California since being dropped last summer at KVI.

For Labor Day, KZOK has scheduled “Isle of Dreams,” a 12-hour radio special featuring music and interviews with the top 24 groups in pop music, including Bryan Adams, the Rolling Stones, Genesis, Phil Collins, the Who and Led Zeppelin. The program, from Westwood One, begins at noon Monday, on KZOK, 102.5 mHz.

Dave Krieg, Seahawks quarterback, joins Bruce Murdock as co-host on Friday-morning shows on KLSY-FM, 92.5, and KLSY-AM, 1540, beginning Friday. Krieg will appear weekly through the end of the Seahawks season, talking about upcoming games, reviewing past contests,“even making song dedications,” says Murdock.

The Lakewood news-talk station, KLAY, 1480 kHz., will announce affiliation this week with ABC Talkradio. Talk personalities will include Michael Jackson, Dr. Toni Grant and Owen Spann. Talkradio segments previously aired on KVI in its news-talk days

Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times. --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke
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