RIP Tom Parker

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    John Erickson

    Very sad to report that Tom Parker passed away late Saturday night. He was an accomplished radio talent, dear friend, and the personification of kindness.


    I’m usually an outside observer, but I saw this posted from Bob Miller this morning and we need to keep him in our thoughts and prayers.


    Tom Parker…one the smoothest jocks I have ever heard. A true natural talent in SF Seattle and of course super 62.


    By the by, I remember when the KGW jocks would come up to KING in Seattle for vacation fill-in, Tom was one that stood out. He sounded great! There were others, (I think Murdock), but he can correct me. I loved that old KING Broadcasting system, it was one of a kind and will probably not exist again. KING gave me my first break thanks to Rob Conrad, and Bruce Murdock.


    I’ve known Tom since I was 16 and used to answer the request line for him at KGW. Then I got to work with him at K-Lite upon his return to Portland from the Bay Area. I was doing overnights and he was mornings. So we saw each other for a little more than a year before the format changed.

    Many in the broadcasting community are pulling for him.


    I’m overwhelmed with sadness. Can’t believe this! Tom was part of our Portland Radio family for five decades. If you worked in Portland Radio chances are you were lucky enough to have worked with Tom.

    In 2007 I asked Tom for a list of stations he was associated:

    KGAL – Sept 1968 – July 1969 (as Dick Altree)

    KRKT- July 1969 – April 1972 (as Dick Armstrong)

    KGW – April 1972 – Sept 1973

    KREM – Jan 1974 – Aug 1974 (as Dick Altree)

    KGW – Sept 1974 – June 1976

    KFRC – June 1976 – May 1979

    KYUU – May 1979 – Sept 1982

    K101 – Feb 1983 – Feb 1985

    KFRC – Feb 1985 – Mar 1986

    K-Lite – Mar 1986 – Feb 1988

    KOIN-TV Feb 1988 – 1990 (live “The Money Game” also aired on KVAL)

    KMGI – Feb 1988 – Mar 1989

    KXL AM & FM – Apr 1989 – Sept 1992 (KXL-FM Operations Manager, Sept 1990 – Sept 1992)

    K103 – Sept 1992 – Jan 2005

    Kisn-FM – Jan 2005 – June 2005

    KPAM – Sept 2005 – Dec 2007

    Oregon Partnership – Communications Director – July 2010 (re-branded: Lines For Life)


    A very nice fellow indeed! I met him about four or five years ago when he visited one of our local meetings for the Christian Chamber of Commerce of the Northwest, and he couldn’t have been friendlier. It was great to be able to see the face behind the voice that I had heard over the years. I recall him telling me that his actual first name was Richard, but I don’t recall what his last name was.

    Steve Naganuma

    Very sad news. I used to listen to Tom on KGW while I was learning radio in high school. It was a honor to be able to work with him at K103. Please let us know if there will be a memorial service. Here is one of my favorite Tom Parker airchecks. It was one of his first shifts on KFRC. R.I.P. Tom.

    Dan Packard

    T.P. — an Oregon original.

    Here is one of my favorite Tom Parker airchecks. It was one of his first shifts on KFRC.

    Amazing how KFRC in this era sounded just like KGW — down to the same jingle package. I wonder how many times Tom caught himself almost saying the wrong call letters when he started at 610 in 1976?


    Here’s what North America is reading:

    Tom Parker Passes

    ALL ACCESS is saddened to learn of the passing of long time radio vet TOM PARKER, who died in PORTLAND, OR on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3rd from liver and kidney failure. PARKER worked at numerous stations in the SAN FRANCISCO, SPOKANE, EUGENE and PORTLAND markets.

    TOM’s pal, DAVE ARTHUR, from SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST Contemporary Christian KTSY (89.5)/BOISE, said on FACEBOOK, “My heart is heavy to learn this morning that we lost a great radio talent last night… I first met TOM PARKER in 1997 when he was at K-103 in PORTLAND and I was at LITE 108 here in BOISE. He filled in for me (from PORTLAND) when I took vacation. It was the first time we had someone from 400 miles away fill in.

    “Then when I moved to PORTLAND in 2000 I got to know him better. He was such a kind soul and will be greatly missed. I found a clip from my last day on the air in PORTLAND before moving home… he took the time to call in and wish me well. TOM, you’re one of the greats and I wish we had had more time together. Enjoy your rest, my friend. Until we meet again…”


    Listened to Tom on 62 KGWBack in 1974. Great voice! Great afternoon jock! Played I shot the sheriff and rock me gently. Taped them.


    I remember Tom doing evenings but thought Phil Harper was the afternoon drive guy.


    You know you may be right. All I can recall is this. KGW had a kind of revolving door. Yes, there was Phil Harper. Think he was the afternoon jock before Tom. They had Gary Lockwood. Joe Cooper. Ed Riley. In the early part of the 70’s. Uncle Don was mornings and Craig Walker was middays. Then Dave Hood was hired to do 10pm to 2am. Bob Anthony was hired next. Seemed nobody lasted very long except Craig. At least not until he became their morning host. Then, there seemed to be some stability at the station until the shake up in late 1981. It was then, that station slowly went downhill. And I do mean slowly. After John Williams was let go, that was truly the end. Early 1989.

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