Greg Aust’s Saga: Where’s The Other Austin?

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Austin & Austin: We know the guy on the right. But who’s that on the left?

Gregory Aust was not the most famous disc jockey to every work in Seattle, but he was very memorable to anyone who was listening to KVI from June 1972 until Feb. 1974.  On a national basis Aust also became quite famous for some of his antics on-air and otherwise. He worked at a vast number of radio stations from the late sixties into the mid-’90s. Here is an incomplete list that’s in “somewhat” chronological order. 

KEWI-Topeka (circa 1968), WNHC-New Haven; CKLW-Windsor/Detroit (more than once); WLS-Chicago; WMID-Atlantic City; KFRC-San Francisco; KVI-Seattle; WVBF-Boston; WMYQ-Miami; KRIZ-Phoenix; KCMO-Kansas City; WMAQ-Chicago; KFI-Los Angeles; KOPA-Scottsdale; KLSI-Kansas City;  K101 -San Francisco, KWFM-Tucson; KLLS-San Antonio; KTSR-Bryan College Station (Texas); and KMEN-San Bernardino (circa 1995). Read more about Aust’s career and hear him on-air by clicking HERE

 Gregory Van Aust had many on-air names” His birth name Greg Aust, to Greg Austin, Steve Austin, Austin in Boston, Chuck Williams, Chuck McKay, Greg Pierce and Jim Applegate. He is best remembered from his wild and crazy aircheck on CKLW in February 1975 (listen to the famous recording HERE). 

Greg mostly disappeared from radio in the mid to late 1990s, after the job in San Bernardino. Then it was a rumor, for nearly ten years, that he had died in 2008. Parts of that story did not resonate with us at Puget Sound Media and we decided to track down Greg Aust — if  that was possible. Cooperating with the elusive Greg’s family, and his former PD’s and radio friends, we eventually discovered that he was in fact deceased. However, he had not passed away until 2015. So rumors of his passing were premature and exaggerated, but unfortunately we did not get a happy ending either. The article detailing our search for Greg Aust was called “Searching for Chuck McKay and finding Greg Aust “(Read it HERE). 

Now, we are embarking on another mystery involving Aust. No matter what name he used on the radio, he was almost always a solo jock. In 1989, Greg and his half-brother, Jeff 50K Elliott, (another deejay) were planning to head to a major market as a team. It was a great idea, but it never came to fruition (read the Aust-Elliott family story HERE

Demo ad for Jeff Elliott aka “Buddy Love” (left) and Greg Aust (right) aka Max Packer

In going through his chronology, we know that Greg briefly had an on-air partner while at KWFM in Tucson.  He was half of a morning show team that went by “Austin & Austin.”

Historical record from an aircheck repository, unfortunately they no longer have the aircheck

Jeff doesn’t know who his brother’s on-air partner was. We got to thinking it would be interesting to answer the question “Where is the Other Austin”? More specifically — Who was he and where is he?  In the past, radio pros who worked with Aust were helpful and shared their experiences with Greg and passed along information. Greg worked at enough radio stations, and he was distinctive enough, that he is memorable.

To help us solve this new mystery we ask that any mid-’80s KWFM employees, or anyone else for that matter, who can provide insight into the team “Austin & Austin” contact us and leave comments. We know the identity of one Austin, but need help in locating the other one! No Aust story or clue is too small, so please leave your comments or send an Email. ([email protected])

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Author: Steven L. 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.

10 thoughts on “Greg Aust’s Saga: Where’s The Other Austin?

  1. I sent an email to Ray Lindstrom, veteran Arizona broadcaster. Ray has a long and storied history in AZ broadcasting. Ray was a major player in Tucson radio. He may possibly have an answer to this link in the Aust chain of mysteries.
    Check out Ray Lindstrom’s personal web page. Lots of radio/tv background to be found there. http://www.raylindstrom.com/index.html#

  2. Ray Lindstrom responded:
    Here’s an answer from CJ Brown who wrote a book about Tucson radio…he knows more than anybody. Ray

    Hi Ray

    I think Greg’s partner in Tucson at KWFM may have been a fellow named George John. I do not know how he also became known as another “Austin”.

    My listening to Greg at CKLW reminds me of his very deep strong sounding voice – think Charlie Van Dyke – only deeper. He worked at a million stations including CKLW and WLS. Also many RKO stations using a million different names. At WLS he Chuck Williams. At CKLW he was Chuck Williams his first tour of duty. Chuck McKay when at CKLW a 2nd time. I was told he passed 2015 in San Diego.
    I have a very interesting 20 min air check of his show the night he was fired at CKLW (the 2nd tour of duty)

    Charlie

    *That CKLW aircheck is here: https://youtu.be/GyNOBeSLv_0

  3. Jason….I have to wonder about that. George Johns… with an S…is a Canadian who ended up as a big time PD in the US. He worked with Greg in Boston and later in Kansas City and was the guy I spoke with when hunting Greg Aust in the first place. In fact, his tip to call Bill Gardner was the key to learning of Greg’s death. I have George’s email and can ask him. He is also very active on FB.

  4. Steven, I do recall when I met the team of “Austin & Austin” in Tucson, the “other” Austin was using that name as his “first name”. I don’t recall correctly, but the team was something like Austin Richards and Greg Austin. Maybe not “Richards” , but you get the idea.

  5. Tim…interesting. I have confirmed it was not George Johns. He was the Canuck born corporate PD of Fairbanks Broadcasting, not into jocking,I should add that brother Jeff Elliott knew of the Austin and Austin team but has none of the details.

  6. Very interesting read! A close friend of mine recently passed away who actually lived with Greg for short wild ride in the mid 70s. I met him when she brought him to my wedding in July 1974. I believe he was working in Boston then. I moved to Indiana and Shortly after that she went on a chaotic journey with him to Miami where they stayed a very short while then on to another city or two – all in a matter of a few short months. The ended up in Kansas City where she quickly got a job in a color lab as she realized she wanted a way out of this wild ride he was taking her on. She severed ties when she came home from work to find the police and a group of people outside. police told her she could not go inside as a man was in there smashing everything with a bat.
    I have some amusing photos she had taken of him making faces that she had enlarged and mounted. Are you or anyone you know interested in these ?

  7. Elaine…that is interesting. And yes photos would be great. I am in touch with his brother Jeff. I have read that he was with his girlfriend in Miami. So that would be your friend. This particular article is one of the less detailed articles I have written on Greg. Have you seen the other three? You would relate to them as they reference Boston.

    1. Great I will look into sending them if you give me address! I am not sure if I have read all three articles. Where do i find them?

  8. Elaine,
    The links to other articles are here. You might have seen them.
    https://pugetsound.media/2018/12/10/searching-for-chuck-mckay-and-finding-greg-aust-the-final-chapter/
    https://pugetsound.media/2018/11/09/greg-aust-the-kvi-years-and-beyond/
    https://pugetsound.media/2019/09/10/shaking-the-family-tree-greg-aust-the-elliotts/
    My email is
    [email protected]

    You can send pics there…or if you prefer by post just drop me an email and I can give street address.

    Your friend was on a Wilde ride. When Greg went to Miami, with management involvement, they feigned that he went out on a boat and was lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Emergency services sent out helicopters. It was revealed he and his girlfriend were at a Miami apartment. In his first KC gig he was hired and let go before going on the air due to an incident in with police. So the station hired another guy and had him call himself Greg Austin. Which created many hassles when trying to 50 years later locate Greg Aust. I would have to figure out the years, because Aust did work later in KC, but not the first time he was hired at the big rocker. Maybe the mystery incident was the baseball bat.

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