Thursday, April 09, 2015

Rick Carroll Left His Mark On Seattle Radio

He wasn't the most famous man named "Carroll" to work in Seattle, he really wasn't famous in the Puget Sound area at all, but because of the partnership of two of the most innovative radio people at the time, station owner Pat O'Day and LA based radio consultant, Rick Carroll, KYYX has a place in history as Seattle's new wave station.When I had come aboard at KYYX as a board operator, it was a top 40 FM station playing music similar to what many other stations were doing.   It had some of the old KJR DJs, as well as some other veteran radio voices. 
At a meeting at a Chinese restaurant (I think it was the Golden Crown), we were told that there would be a huge change.  We were introduced to Rick Carroll, who was program director at KROQ (K-Rock) in LA and told they were the hottest station in LA with a format known as "Rock Of The 80s.  This was a combination of New Wave, Punk, and a selected combination of other artists that seemed to define the young decade.  Many of the listeners of this type of music could be seen in the University District and Capitol Hill in Seattle.  It would be a huge change for a station that seemed to be marketed at the time to suburban housewives.
It was new and exciting, Carroll's role with the station was consultant as he spread the Rock Of The 80s format to other markets in the country.  The format was also boosted by the emergence of MTV, at that time, only playing music videos and becoming a visual source of new music.  After a few months, Time Magazine ran a story about him.  I remember him as a balding sharp tongued man who wore a Mickey Mouse wristwatch.
A few years later, I read in Rolling Stone that Rick had passed away, but perhaps had he not come aboard, KYYX may have become a forgotten radio station.

No comments: