Comedy team will stay at KXRX

VICTOR STREDICKE – March 2, 1989 – The biggest radio story of the week is no story. The spectacularly funny afternoon team of Gary Crow and Mike West have not been wooed away from KXRX. They’ll stay. But they might go mornings. Crow and West are co-hosts on “The Road Show,” afternoon-commute program on KXRX, 96.5 mHz. With listeners aged 25 to 54, Crow and West are a close tie for third place with several stations (but they do get whipped regularly by KIRO and KUBE).

Scuttlebutt was that another station had offered Crow and West $300,000 to switch. Radio salaries seldom are this public, and that’s a quantum leap over what any other station spends for afternoon talent. But almost all of the basics of the rumor were verified by Crow, with this sly disclaimer: “Almost covers a lot of sins.”

“We have had offers before, from larger cities.” Crow said. “But it’s a question of where you want to live, whom you want to work for.” Crow and West asked to reopen contract talks with KXRX, and these discussions dragged on for two months. Negotiations are not Crow’s long suit. “Sure, you do have to look when a great deal comes at you,” he said, sipping from a black coffee mug. “But it’s a relief to walk into the broadcast booth, just play music and have fun.”

“You OK?” West slipped in, implying a caffeine rush had taken over.

“We followed Steve West (no relation), station manager, from KISW to this new station because we wanted to be with a winner.

“Let’s just say we are very well taken care of here,” the on-air West said.

West’s dress was stylish jock – open sports shirt, legs splayed across the room. He is married, with two kids. Crow is single. In black leisure suit and maroon shirt, Crow would need only dark glasses to double for one of the Blues Brothers. Off air, the two personalities play golf and tennis together.

“We really do spend more time together than we do with wife and/or girl friend(s),” West said, drawing out the conjunctions with his fingers. “The Road Show” supplies the best-produced comedy bits in town. Both Crow and West write and act in them. In “Mr. Bruce’s Neighborhood,” West is Mr. Bruce and Crow is Mr. Peter. In other bits, Mike Colvin, weekender, is a great Elvis, Terry McManus is the sadistic Officer Lee Groinman. Anybody walking by is likely to be snagged into the eight-track production room.

An earthy series, “Leave It to Beaver,” is coming back, West promised. West will reintroduce voices of June, Wally, Whitey and the Beaver, with the punch lines frequently playing off anatomical jokes. Crow plays Eddie Haskell. The Beaver sketches haven’t been heard for five years; they were squelched at KISW when national disc jockeys got so outrageous that critics coined the word “shockjock.”

“We don’t intend to hurt anyone,” West said.

More often, Crow and West draw audio fantasies, conjure provocative images. For example, “Wayne Cody sings The Beatles.” The KIRO “Sportsline” host liked the spoof, played it on his nighttime radio show. Not to be outdone, Crow and West played a tape of Cody’s “Sportsline” on The X. “Lots of radio stations ask us for copies of our bits,” Crow said. Station manager Steve West said a three-year contract had been renegotiated, and that come April the afternoon team might become the morning team. Now then . . . about Robin and Maynard . . .

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Author: Victor Stredicke

Former radio columnist for the Seattle Times (1964-1989). --- View other articles by Victor Stredicke

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