The Legendary Jerry Kaye, brilliant radio personality and dear friend, passed away the other day. Dammit.  I hadn’t seen Jerry in a few years — he sort of evaporated as his health problems increased. Dammit.

1965– Seattle, Washington. 11:59 PM:  I visited KJR radio to see on-air pal Big Jim Martin, but Jim was on vacatiion. Chuck Ellsworth was supposed to pull Jim’s shift. Chuck, however, was unaware of this , and was on his was to Ocean Shores to go fishing. Jerry Kaye, still at the station, says to me: "Burl, you have a 1st Class FCC license don’t you?"  Yeah, I have one of those. "Well," said Jerry, "You better get in there, you’re first record is ending."  That’s how I got on KJR for the first time, beginning a Seattle rock n roll radio career that lasted over 20 years.

When Jerry and I were on Old Gold 77, KXA we did several shows together, including the gala KXA GOES FROM "OLD GOLD" to "OH GOD!" WEEKEND — KXA went from Golden Oldies to Pearly Gates religious….Yes when times get tough, broadcasters turn to the Lord by Transcription.. We recorded voice tracks, never hearing the songs. I saved that final tape of Jerry and I together. It’s in my storage locker in Mukilteo, along with other never listened to airchecks that I "just had to save" for someday when I’m old so I can listen back and remember how much fun we had, and hear Jerry Kaye say, one more time, "If i had the sheetmusic to that one, my life would be complete." Dammit.


  1. Dogsdontpurr

    Sorry to hear about your friend. And I do miss the days of you on the radio.
    I don’t think I mentioned this when I saw you last, but when I travel back and forth from CA to OR, I’m always scanning the radio. Somewhere in southern Oregon, I pick up a station with a guy that has your exact voice. Several times I’ve been tempted to call in and ask, “Is this Burl?” Of course, the guy goes by some other name, but I had always wondered if it was you. Alan did some research and found that the station was actually run by or owned by someone you had worked with in the past. I’ve forgotten all the details as this was a few years ago. But hey, was that you? Did you ever do radio in Oregon?

  2. Burl Barer

    No, I never worked Oregon, but I hear “me” on radio stations all over the place — I even heard a fellow do an entire routine of mine that he memorized off an old air check of mine from 20 years earlier! I met the guy some time later and told him that I heard him do the bit — he was embarrased at first, but I told him it was a compliment, and I liked it. I think he used that material to get a high paying gig in New York or someplace. Yes, there was a future in radio – it just wasn’t my future!

  3. Burl Barer

    Mike Barer worked at KYYX KXA also as a board operator — the person responsible for making the DJ sound as if he is really there and doing a good job. Mike was excellent, of course, but when KXA became “Christian,” and Mike remained under the Mosaic Covenant, he was discharged in violation of Federal Law. Mike could have OWNED KXA if he’d sued.

  4. Mike Barer

    Burl, thank you for the good words, working with and for Pat and the gang was a blast. I really grew up in the short time that I worked at KYYX-KXA.

  5. Susan Balcuns

    Glad to hear that you are well and living the good life again! You actually have a place to live! Good for you!! I’m sure Isis is happy about the change of venue!
    Sorry to hear about your friend dying!! I have no idea who he was, but he obviously was someone VERY close to you!
    Good luck on your writing…I hope you are working on that story you told me about..UGGG!!! The Woman that cut the baby out of that woman’s womb…
    Anyway….Stay well!!
    Give Isis my love and kisses
    Kisses to you
    Stay well!!!


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