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Roger Barkley (September 11, 1936 Odebolt, Iowa, USA – December 21, 1997, Duarte, California) was an American radio personality, based in Los Angeles, California, best remembered for his work with Al Lohman as part of The Lohman and Barkley Show on KFI.
Barkley left his Iowa hometown at age 17 to pursue a career in broadcasting. He began as a page boy at WCCO in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while attending the American Institute of the Air in Minnesota. After that, he held positions as announcer and program director at stations in Mankato, Minnesota (KYSM); Fairmont, Minnesota (KSUM) and Salt Lake City, Utah (KALL). After serving in the U.S. Army, he went on to work in Dallas, Texas (KBOX) and Denver, Colorado (KIMN). He moved to Los Angeles and worked at KLAC (1961–67), KFWB (1967–68), KFI (1968–86), KJOI (1986–89) and KABC (1990–96).
Lohman and Barkley (1961-1986)
Roger became the program director at KLAC, and hired Al Lohman for the morning show. When station KLAC was sold to Metromedia in 1961, the new owners began a search for a two-man morning team. Roger was quoted as saying, "We figured we were all going to be fired so Al and I thought perhaps we should do the morning show as a team. this way we could buy some time to look for another job." He would team with Lohman for the next twenty-five years. Roger would play the straight man, interviewer, and narrator to Al's different voiced characters. The pair also hosted two short-lived, Emmy Award-winning network television shows, made frequent appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and Hollywood Squares and numerous personal appearances at Los Angeles' famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub. In 1987, they appeared as themselves in the film Amazon Women on the Moon. Their work in both radio and television also earned them a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Barkley suddenly and inexplicably left the duo in May 1986, and within two weeks was named the morning radio personality at KJOI. He never again spoke with Lohman.
KABC - The Ken and Barkley Company
Although Lohman and Barkley's morning KFI show had been mostly talk and skits, an occasional tune was played, probably to give the guys a restroom break. In a later Los Angeles Times article regarding his sudden exit from KFI, Barkley was quoted as saying that he warned their program director that their constant playing of the same Eagles songs over and over was very aggravating to him. He said if he heard Hotel California one more time that he might just get up and walk out one day.
The actual quote appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 1986. Lohman said: "For the past two weeks or so, it was awfully tough to work on taping and doing shows when I couldn't even bear to listen to another (rocker Bruce) Springsteen song. I thought that if I heard 'My Hometown' one more time I was going to lose my mind. And it wasn't just the music; it was the whole stress of the daily grind. So I started looking more closely at what I really wanted to do at this point in my life."
He also alluded to Lohman's increasing undisciplined ways, including a growing tendency to not be at the station in time for the start of the show. Obviously Barkley was simply tiring of the situation. Years later on the Los Angeles "Ken and Barkley Company" KABC radio show, when Ken Minyard mentioned Al Lohman, Barkley remarked "he says that I destroyed his career." Ironically, Barkley eventually went through a bit of the same. After six years, the Ken and Barkley show was dropping in ratings in the very competitive LA morning market, and Barkley was dropped too. Ken Minyard continued on with a new format. He said that Barkley was very upset, but that the station demanded a change.
A tireless philanthropist, Barkley served as master of ceremonies nearly 200 times each year for various causes, donating his proceeds to charity each time. The Roger Barkley Community Foundation continues to donate money to hospitals, youth groups, scholarships and medical research. As an entrepreneur, Barkley and business partner Jim Campbell opened "The Barkley," a chain of upscale restaurants.
- Light Of My Life Volume One - The Breath of Dr. Duncan & Doc In The Box (LP and Cassette)
- Light Of My Life Volume Two - The Arrest Of Dr. Duncan & Mouse In The Hole (LP and Cassette)
- Lohman & Barkley's Greatest Hits, Vol. 7 (LP, MGM Records #M3F-4956)
- Page, Don (1967-11-05). "Radio Comedy Team Finds Right Formula". Los Angeles Times.
- Michaelson, Judith (1997-12-23). "Radio's Roger Barkley Dies Following Illness; Media: The popular broadcaster was diagnosed with cancer a month ago. He is also remembered for his charitable work.". Los Angeles Times.
- Voland, John (1986-05-14). "Barkley confirms he ended the partnership". Los Angeles Times.
- Puig, Claudia (1991-09-30). "It's Still EGBOK on KABC-AM Morning Show Radio: When Bob Arthur departed `The Ken and Bob Company' last year, Ken Minyard asked Roger Barkley to replace him, and `everything's going to be OK.'". Los Angeles Times.
- "Digest: Talk radio's Roger Barkley dies at 61". Long Beach Press-Telegram. 1997-12-23.
- Internet Movie Database entry for Roger Barkley
- Barkley's bio
- Los Angeles Radio People, Where Are They Now, B