Les Parson’s Tribute to Charlie Brown

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Les Parsons, the early days!

Yesterday Puget Sound Media received a message from Les Parsons. It consisted of his personal thoughts and memories on the occassion of the passing of Seattle radio legend, Charlie Brown. It reads like this:

“First, I’m not in favor of plagiarism of any kind, but this heartfelt praise for our late friend bears repeating…

‘The goodwill and smiles he had for his friends speaks volumes about a great man we called Charlie Brown.’

(Thanks to you. Scotty Brink, for writing that perfect epitaph.)

As you may know, I worked with Charlie (mornings at KJR, Channel 95) on two occasions:
1 – Before he left Seattle to work in Texas, and then later, when I applied relentless pressure (mainly by phone) for him to say goodby to Dallas and return home.

2 – Which he did!!!!

3- Oh happy day. “Chuck-wuck-of the West”) was back on KJR!!

4- That occasion prompted a huge “Welcome Home Charlie,” held at Seattle Center. Hoards of his fans (including myself were there.)

5- He had mastered his phone-skills, and could talk to listeners about almost anything. Which they loved…the phone was always jammed when Charlie was on the air.

6- YES!!! Pissed me off when he left to work at KUBE.

7- And finally this personal note: At KJR (in our separate studios) Charlie asked me to stand and look at him through the glass…which I did.
Mr. Brown then asked me to notice what “was different today?”
I made a number of wild guesses – new shirt?, haircut?, and on & on.
Then finally, he clued me in – that he had shaved off his beard. I was both mortified and baffled by this revelation.
Remember, I had been working with C. Brown for many, many mornings – but I was totally “out of it” on that occasion.

8- A lasting on-air episode for me…but I’ll always remember and savor the memory of my time with Mr. Brown! RIP.”

…………….Les Parsons in Honolulu (Not very active in the KJR OFC (Old Farts Club), but this remembrance was totally necessary.)

KJR news staff, circa 1980 (around the time of the Mount Saint Helens eruption). L-R: Chet Rogers, Ann Martin, Les Parsons. Front: Greg Hersholt. Photo by KJR’s photographer Darrell Westmoreland

 

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Steven Smith

Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

4 thoughts on “Les Parson’s Tribute to Charlie Brown

  1. My God. Didn’t know Les Parsons remained among the living. Dunno how I stumbled onto this page as I’m one of those odd folks not inclined to look back into the past. (Dylan once said don’t look back. I assumed he meant it.)

    In any event, please tell Les I am glad he remains above the dirt. Les was one of the best people I ever had the pleasure to meet and work with during 20 ragged years in that business. A quality human being, for sure. Still have fond memories of our time in that dusty old, falling apart KJR newsroom before they built the new addition. Also remember vividly the day I went to Les’s place up north of Seattle where he showed me this incredible 40 foot sailboat he was building by himself, by hand. I was blown away. An amazing display of top tier woodworking and craftsmanship. The man was a true artist, doing his thing slowly, carefully, with great soul and passion.

    Stay well my friend and be safe. Glad to hear you’re living the good life on the rock. Been many years since I was in Honolulu but have solid gold memories of that town as well as Maui, Kauai, etc., and damn near dying on the road to Hana…as well as being swept out to sea (under water) in a heavy rip current on the north coast of Maui and living to tell of it.

    Chet Rogers
    Former Nooze Man In A Misspent Youth (KJR 73′ to Nov. 1980)
    Woodstock, NY

  2. Les died Tuesday October 20, 2020, passing away aboard his yacht moored in the Ala Wai Harbor, in Waikiki, Hawaii. He had been in failing health for an extended period. He will be missed as one of the more irascible members of our little community.

  3. RIP. In loving memory of my father Lester Parsons. He was a wonderful dad and granddad. So happy he got to live his dream to build his boat and sail from Seattle then along the west coast to Mexico and on to Hawaii. He was a very adventurous man. He got to live on his boat in paradise on Oahu near Waikiki. I wish I could have visited him but due to Covid was not able to travel to Hawaii. I will miss our Sunday afternoon phone calls! Love and miss you Dad!

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