He's a Utah native whose voice has been on the airwaves for decades. Every morning, Bill Allred is waking up Utah with his on-air antics during X96’s morning show, Radio From Hell. Shauna Lake sat down with him, “Person 2 Person.”
Below is a transcript of Shauna Lake’s “Person 2 Person” interview with Bill Allred.
SHAUNA LAKE: Tell me a little bit about the radio show. Obviously that’s why you’re here. That’s what you’re known for. Longest running show in Utah?
BILL ALLRED: I think. Certainly in Salt Lake. Radio From Hell. X96. Kerry, Bill, and Gina. Kerry and I have been doing the show since 1986. I’ve been in radio since 1980. Kerry and I hooked up in 1986 and started doing the show, and Gina joined us…she’s the newcomer. That was 17 years ago I think. So we’ve been doing it on X96 for 21 years.
SHAUNA LAKE: What makes it successful? What’s the chemistry there?
BILL ALLRED: Well it’s been successful because we haven’t gotten fired.
SHAUNA LAKE: Which is rare in radio, I mean there’s so much turnover.
BILL ALLRED: It’s like having a rock and roll band in a way. Part of the reason that we’ve been successful is that we have managed to keep infighting to a minimum among the three of us. We don’t do things together much outside the morning show. We have our own totally separate lives away from there. So I think that’s why we stay together.
SHAUNA LAKE: What would you be doing if you didn’t do radio?
BILL ALLRED: I don’t know. What I thought I would be doing with my life is acting. I was, that was my career and I was in the midst of pursuing an acting career when I ran out of money and I needed a job and I’d been in New York, and I came back…I’m from Utah…and I came back to Utah to take a job with the Utah Shakespeare festival, and when that job was over I was broke. They gave you board, a place to stay. They gave you food. And then enough money to buy alcohol with was essentially it. And so I had no money when that season was over, so I came back to Ogden to get some money and then I was going to go back to New York, and then I got a job at a radio station in Ogden.
SHAUNA LAKE: And you really share a lot of yourself. You share your family?
BILL ALLRED: Yeah.
SHAUNA LAKE: You share personal things. You shared the suicide of your brother with your audience.
BILL ALLRED: Yeah.
SHAUNA LAKE: You really share things that have touched you deeply.
BILL ALLRED: Yeah somebody once said to me fairly recently said, ‘aren’t you concerned that people know too much about you?’ And I said, ‘hmm no. Not really because you all, the people who listen to the radio show, you only know what I want you to know.’ Believe me there’s a lot about me you don’t know, and you don’t want to know. But I think the talking about things like my brother, my brother killing himself you know it’s part of what happens. It happens in everybody’s family. I think in that particular case it’s an important story to share because suicide shouldn’t be hidden away. My mom just died at the end of the March of this year and I talk about it and at certain points we can even joke about it a little bit. Because I know my mom and she’d laugh about it. She would have funny things to say about it.
SHAUNA LAKE: You miss her, Bill.
BILL ALLRED: Yeah. Of course I do. She was the…as I said at her funeral ‘anything that’s good in me, is because of her.’
SHAUNA LAKE: Isn’t it hard to always seem so funny? You put a funny spin on everything, and there’s so much that is sad and so heartfelt in you too.
BILL ALLRED: But there is a funny side to everything. I mean really. There’s a funny side to everything Shauna. There’s a funny side to death. We joke about our own endings on the show from time to time. When it’s time to go we have, in our house we have the family smothering pillow. It’s an embroidered pillow that we have. These are jokes that we make. You know it’s handed down from generation to generation and ‘well it’s time for dad to go’ you know. It’s all embroidered and well it’s time to get out the smothering pillow and it’s time, that’s what I’m going to tell my kids. Get out the smothering pillow. It’s time for me to go.
SHAUNA LAKE: Bill, it’s been so nice to get to know you even better “Person 2 Person.”
Follow Bill on Twitter @rfhbill
Listen to Bill on the radio every weekday from 6:00-10:00am on X96
-Written and produced by Leslie Tillotson
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)