LAST LUNCHEON MAR. 27, 2015
Honoree: "Shotgun Tom" Kelly
Once again, Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters honored another well-known pioneer radio and TV broadcaster at its March 27 celebrity luncheon. “Shotgun Tom” Kelly has been entertaining Southern California radio audiences for almost 50 years, and is now in his 18th year in the afternoon slot on LA’s K-EARTH 101.
PPB President Chuck Street presented “Shotgun Tom” with the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award after a dais of Tom’s friends and colleagues related some extremely humorous “off-the-air” stories about the honoree.
”Shotgun Tom” rose to fame in his native San Diego working at radio stations KGB, KOGO, B-100 and most notably, KCBQ, where he gained national acclaim. When KRTH sought a successor to the “Real” Don Steele after his death in August of 1997, “Shotgun Tom” was the obvious choice. He opened his mike on KRTH for the first time in September of that year and quickly became an LA favorite playing those oldies but goodies.
Though radio is his primary profession today, while in San Diego he received two Emmy Awards for hosting a syndicated TV word game show for children, “Words-a-Poppin”; a TV dance show, “Disco 10”; and for 12 years, he was the host of “Kid’s Club” there. He can be heard around the country doing image voice-over work and commercials for a variety of stations. In 2007, “Shotgun Tom” was heard as the radio announcer in the movie "Deja Vu", starring Denzel Washington.
In April of 2013, hundreds of fans and friends gathered at the corner of LaBrea and Hollywood Boulevard to celebrate our honoree receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And about that hat: He says as a youth he admired the hats worn by National Park rangers, so he adopted that image for his career. While he works on LA’s Miracle Mile, he still calls El Cajon home and commutes each weekend. He also proudly serves as a member of the PPB Board.
As Richard Wagoner noted in The Los Angeles Daily News: “A genuinely nice guy, the jock you hear on the radio is the same man you talk to if you happen to run into him at a restaurant -- Kelly is among the last of a breed of personalities who grew up on-air during the AM heyday of top-40 radio. He knows what good radio can be, and he presents it (within the constraints of modern corporate radio).”
On the Dais: Seated L-R: Robert David Hall, Kerri Kasem, Honoree "Shotgun Tom" Kelly, and PPB Chairman of the Board, Jeanne DeVivier Brown., Standing L-R: Harold Greene, PPB President Chuck Street, Gary Bryan, Lou Waters, Neil Ross, Tim Conway, Jr. and Jhani Kaye, (David Keeler photo)