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Star 101.5's Kent Phillips and Alan Budwill were the longest running morning duo on a music station. They were together on Star 101.5 for 32 years and spent 4 years together on a Portland radio station before that. Alan Budwill recently decided to retire, and Kent Phillips moved to afternoons with Jen Pirak. We took a stroll down memory lane so get the scoop on music, memories and their epic friendship. (Photo Credit: Star101.5)
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Signing Off: Celebrating 32 Years of 'The Kent & Alan Show' on Star 101.5

It's a typical morning on STAR 101.5. Kent Phillips is broadcasting from KOMO Plaza in Seattle, while co-host Alan Budwill joins from his home studio in the San Juans. They play music, take viewers calls - and of course - give each other a tough time. This seemingly ordinary day is also an extraordinary one. After nearly 40 years as a team - it's their final show together.

"It actually zipped by," said Alan. "I can't comprehend it! It went - snap bam - like that."

When the dynamic DJs first met in the early 80s, they made quite an impression on each other.

"A buttoned down news guy," said Alan of his first impression of Kent. "Good-looking, chiseled jaw."

"He was a cop," said Kent of Alan. "You had this really, this nasty-looking mustache."

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Soon they were working together at the same radio station, then they moved as a team to Seattle from Portland. It was a big move.

The station evolved, and by 1994 Kent and Alan were rocking the airwaves on STAR 101.5. The 80s and 90s were a time of memorable musicians.

"We've gotten to talk to some cool people," said Alan. "And I have this theory - usually the bigger the star, they're really nice."

They got to meet them all, from hard rockers like Alice Cooper to pop groups like Wilson Philips.

"Met Michael Jackson - he was nice," said Kent. "Paul McCartney - he was nice."

Early on they talked to Nirvana, and Madonna - a couple times!

Listeners loved their positive spin and their wild stunts. Back in the day, the Seattle Times used to have the Bride & Groom section.

"We thought it would be fun to get our picture in there," said Alan. "Kent's in theater, [and] we had a professional makeup artist - why did I have to be the woman?"

"You made a beautiful woman by the way," said Kent. "You got to be the woman because look at these eyebrows."

They look the photo, sent it in - and by gosh - the Times printed it!

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"We went on the air the next day and said $100 to the first person who can find our picture and it took a little while!" said Alan. "This woman says 'Hey that one bride doesn't look too happy...'"

"Needless to say, The Seattle Times hated us," said Kent.

The duo also got to do some cool stuff, like throw out the first pitch at a Mariners game, underwater pumpkin carving, flying with the Blue Angels, and the Air Force.

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Then, there were the weddings! Kent is an ordained minister.

"For many years and it made national news - the rollercoaster wedding at the Washington State Fair ," said Kent. "I think we did at least 25 of those."

Their super popular show also included producer Leonard Barokus, 'Super' Jen Pirak and Corine McKenzie. Together - they kept things upbeat.

"We've always wanted to be a family show," said Kent. "We wanted it to be a show where all generations of family could sit in the car and listen."

And they have - for 32 years! Kent and Alan love their listeners, and that's why the fact that Alan is retiring is so bittersweet.

"I moved up to Friday Harbor a couple of years ago," said Alan. "Yeah, he actually did the show a couple years ago and did the show from there - a lot of people don't know that," chimed in Kent.

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Alan plans on kayaking, volunteering for some organizations and who knows? Maybe even a podcast...

Meanwhile, Kent is switching to afternoons.

"I'm gonna do afternoons for a while and then the other thing I'm gonna do is get back into theater," he said. "I used to do 4-5 shows a year but as I got older and we got up at 3:30 a.m. in the morning it was hard to do plays at night."

So what's been the secret to their success? Teamwork.

"We didn't care who got the laugh or who made the bit work?" said Kent.

"Yeah, everybody gets the credit," said Alan. And of course, the fact that they're good friends.

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As they sign off, they're proud of their time together.

"You know what I liked the most of what we walk away with is even though it doesn't seem like it, I think we have a reputation for being nice guys," said Kent.

Nice guys, with great listeners who have raised money to help wounded officers, given away thousands of bikes to kids, you name it.

It's been an amazing run.

"You spent 36 years with somebody - that's gonna be hard.," said Alan. "We're still going have our weekly meetings, and we already text each other non-stop."

Back at the star studio, Kent and Alan's co-workers surprised them for their final sign off.

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"It's a great thing but I'm really sad," said Jen. "I'm really excited for Alan - he's been wanting this for a little while so he can sleep in, and Kent really needs to sleep in - he gets grumpy in the morning."

"It doesn't often happen that you have a team that fit as well as these guys do," said General Manager Janene Drafs. "They fit the station and they fit the culture here. It's been a pleasure to see their success."

Catch Curt, Corine and Leonard in the Morning - 5 to 10 a.m., Jill Taylor Middays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Kent in the Afternoon with Jen and Marina, 3 to 7 p.m.

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