Engineer/DJ Pat Hurley (Pat Henry) passes on

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We’ve recently learned that Northwest engineer & DJ Pat Hurley has passed away at age 78.  Pat worked in Seattle, Dallas, Delhi, L.A., eastern Wash. & in Bellingham at 1170 KPUG where he was known on air as ‘Pat Henry’ hosting the mid-day shift when not taking care of chief engineer duties.  This was first brought to our attention by Grays Harbor broadcaster Bill Wolfenbarger, who posted a comment a few days back regarding this.  PSM contributor & beat reporter Bill Ogden worked with Pat at KPUG & noted he was funny, kind & very smart – always quick with a joke. Bill O also recalls that Pat considered his mid-day shift an interruption to his engineering duties & was guilty on more than one occasion of ‘dead air’  when trying to juggle an air-shift & technical work. I met Pat twice in the mid to late 60’s while he was at KPUG.  I talked with him on the phone, explained I was a ham radio operator & was at Columbia School of Broadcasting learning the ropes to go on air & that I eventually hoped to get into the technical/engineering end of radio.  He kindly offered me a thorough but unauthorized tour of the KPUG transmitter, audio & technical equipment. The 2nd time I met with him he had some newly printed coverage maps & other technical data that he made copies of to give me & I got to sit in with him on his air-shift. Pat eventually moved to Plano, TX where he retired from radio.  He’s survived by his wife of 42 years – Aline. Unfortunately, we have no other information at post time & promise to update readers if/when we know more.

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

5 thoughts on “Engineer/DJ Pat Hurley (Pat Henry) passes on

  1. Pat Hurley is one of the first voices I remember when I discovered radio as a teenager growing up in the Tri-Cities–he was only eight years older than me. As I recall, he was on KEPR nights in the early ’60s and would end his shift with “Mama, come get your favorite boy.” Of course I also remember Bill Wolfenbarger as Billie B. Williams on KALE, more like mid-sixties. I believe both were more interested in engineering than on-air but did both in a small market. Others I remember from the Tri-Cities 1960’s airwaves, Rich Osborne, Mark Wayne, Grant Newsome, Greg Conners, Bobby Simon, Lanny Wynia, Dan Monahan, Lloyd Allen, Jerry Robinson, Ken Murray, Herb Brindamour, Ed Jones, Wally Reid, Dean Mitchell, Sparky Dix, and my high school speech teacher who jocked summers at KORD, Jim Loss.

  2. In all our lives there are people who we crossed paths with, that have no idea the impact they had on our lives. When I was still looking forward to a career in radio I met Pat Hurley at KLOQ (Clock Radio) in Yakima. Both he and Lee Hurley (no relation), along with Paul Berg (Pat O’Day) and Jerry King (Jerry Kaye) we’re on the staff. Because Pat was younger than I, I assumed he was a Yakima kid, but apparently he was from Boise. Anyway, during my conversations with Pat he was “that person” who suggested I get an FCC 1st Phone, because many stations, at that time, required it for employment. He told me about Ogden’s Radio School in Burbank, CA where I eventually acquired my license. That small snippet of information from Pat completely changed my life from that point forward.
    I asked Pat if he had gone there to get his 1st Phone and he said no, but passed along this story. He told me he locked himself in a motel room for an entire weekend and did nothing but study for the FCC exam. It paid off, he took the exam and passed.
    I was aware Pat continued in broadcasting, but our paths never crossed again … although we did work at some of the same stations, but at different times.

  3. Nice comment, Jay. I only knew of Pat. When I was at KPUG in 1974, I know he had custom built the control board…slider post. And when you pushed them UP that automatically started the turntables. And when you pulled them past low volume it put them in the cue speaker. He was one of those guys who really loved engineering,so I am not surprised he did the 1st phone sans a course.

  4. Jay & Mike L – thanks for adding stories & knowledge about Pat’s life. My attempts at researching additional material to add to this post came up blank. I was hoping some of our readers had some personal experiences & knowledge about him. That’s no surprise he managed to obtain his FCC ‘first phone’ without attending any schools or courses to pass the exam. I guess I too can brag abut getting my ‘first phone’ to work in US radio without the need for a course. I obtained my advanced ham radio ticket before the opportunity came up to make use of the ‘first phone’ for employment so much of the technical details came naturally. Pat not only designed & built the mixing board at KPUG, but also the phone patch bay which allowed listeners calls to be taken on air & to accept audio from ‘remotes’. He also designed the remote board & set-up used for KPUG live appearances.

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