BUZZ BARR – "THE RADIO STAR"

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    Craig_Adams
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    Today April 27, 1938 Paul Edmund “Buzz” Barr, Jr. was born in Aberdeen, Washington to Ruth Charlotte (Moon) and Paul Edmund Barr. Buzz had two younger brothers: Douglas Harmon and Bradd Crandall. Buzz’s grandparents Edmund Wright Barr & Maude Alice (Crandall) Barr lived in Portland, Oregon. For that reason, Buzz was probably familiar with the Rose City. Barr’s father was in the Air Force and in October 1942 First Lieutenant Barr was appointed Albuquerque Army Air Base chemical officer. (today Kirtland Air Force Base).

    In 1956 Buzz graduated from J.M. Weatherwax High School. He liked to say his first broadcasting job was the public address system at Weatherwax in 1955. Barr attended Grays Harbor College, and served two years in the Navy. On September 3, 1958 Buzz’s grandfather Edmund Wright Barr died at age 72 in Portland.

    In 1958 Barr began his radio career at KAPA in Raymond, Wash. Then in 1960 a move to “K-B” KBKW in Aberdeen, doing the “P.M. House Party” show early afternoons. Also in 1960 Paul Edmund Barr, Jr., 22, married 20 year old Joanne Marie Duncan. In late 1960 Buzz landed a deejay gig 9:00am to noon on “Kitty Radio” KITI in Centralia, where he was known as “Tom Cat.” On March 3, 1961 Buzz and Joanne welcomed their son Barry Allen Barr.

    In 1962 Barr moved up to KMO Tacoma. Then in 1964 a move to KVI Seattle as Production Manager. On April 12, 1965 it was announced Buzz Barr had joined Top 40 “Kolorful KOL” AM/FM Seattle where he deejayed 9:00am to Noon weekdays and 10:00am to 2:00pm Saturdays. By September 1965 Buzz Barr was KOL Program Director.

    In March 1966 Barr moved to Portland, becoming Top 40 KISN Program Director and “Kisn Good Guy” 9:00am to Noon. In December 1966 Barr moved back to KOL to April 1967? In 1967 Top 40 “Channel 95” KJR Seattle hired him to do 9 to noon. (for 2 years and left) to 1969. On September 16, 1970 Buzz’s grandmother Maude Alice Barr died at age 81 in Portland.

    Then in January 1971 Barr became Program Director of Middle of The Road formatted KING Seattle, revamping the station to Top 40. Buzz was on “The Big 11” 9:00am to Noon. Additionally in 1971 Barr was back working for KISN parent company Star Stations subsidiary “Star Concerts” pulling down a $500 monthly salary. In June 1972 Buzz became KING AM/FM Program Director. In 1974 Buzz and Joanne divorced.

    In 1975 Barr was back on the air on Oldies KUUU Seattle. On October 3, 1975 Paul Edmund Barr, Jr., 37, married 31 year old Linda Jean Cowgill. In 1976 Buzz Barr became General Manager & Sales Manager of Top 40 KGHO AM/FM Hoquiam for five years.

    In 1981 Barr moved to Alaska, becoming General Manager of crossover Country KANC Anchorage. In 1983 Paul moved into a management position at KYAK/KGOT (FM) in Anchorage, Alaska. On December 24, 1984 Buzz’s father Paul Edmund Barr died at age 72. In August 1986 Buzz Barr became part owner as well as President & General Manager of Adult Contemporary KCSY in Soldotna, Alaska. On April 9, 1991 Paul Barr sold KCSY and KUHK FM construction permit for $283,000.

    In 1995 Buzz returned to Aberdeen, working for KXRO/KDUX (FM) and for 10 years operated his own small advertising agency. On May 9, 1996 Buzz’s mother Ruth Charlotte Barr died at age 81 in Yolo, California.

    On March 24, 2011 Buzz Barr passed away at Pacific Care Center in Hoquiam, of an undisclosed illness at the age of 74.

    Special Thanks to Joel Miller who helped make this biography more complete.

    References: Albuquerque Journal, Billboard Magazine, Broadcasting Magazine, Broadcasting Yearbooks, The Oregonian.

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