Recently someone asked me backstage, “So what do I even call you?”

Since I began my radio career in the late 70’s, I was always told to come up with a pseudonym or “stage name”. My real name is ANDREW AUSTIN CONNELL. In those days, “fun deejay names” were in. Cool names were all over the airwaves. It make it easier to remember us long after we signed off. Names like: THE GREASEMAN, CHARLIE TUNA, ROBIN BANKS, KELLY GREEN, CHUCK ROAST, JIM NAZIUM, TANK SHERMAN, TRUE DON BLEU, DUSTY RHODES, THE REAL DON STEELE, KASEY CASEM, SHOTGUN SHANNON, MACHINE GUN KELLY, CHARLIE VAN DYKE, LARRY LUJACK, and I’m sure many may come to your mind now.

My first radio moniker was STEVE E. MICHAELS. I came up with the name Steve (from Steve Martin–huge comic in those days).. the E. came from my high school sweetheart Eliza… and Michaels came from my radio mentor Michael Shinaberry (his radio name was SCOTT WILLIAMS). After that I got to use my real name in San Angelo radio since I went to high school there and station management didn’t care. I adopted the airname Andy Summers (from the band POLICE) later in Temple, Texas at KTEM-AM.

When I moved to Sherman, Texas radio, the program director said he wanted a new name for me. “Think hard, it’s the one should you keep from now on!” It was easy: ANDY KELLY! I was mentored by several “Kellys”; Jim Kelly, Chuck Kelly, Bob Kelly to name a few. So it stuck for awhile. Although a station I worked for changed format to NewsTalk, so the new PD changed my name immediately (without asking me) to ADAM KELLY. Later at KSCS-FM in Fort Worth, I brought back ANDY KELLY and kept it for several years. I changed to Andy Roman in Tyler Texas just to have fun with the “Roman around in the morning” thing. But again, back to Andy Kelly up in Illinois.

When I accepted an afternoon radio slot in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, I tried a new one again, ANDY TAYLOR (from Duran Duran and also The Andy Griffith Show)… I thought it’s universal “sound” would catch on. But alas, a new radio job at WJJO in Madison, the general manager wanted a strong moniker for the show. I hired a great side-kick, Dan Diebert from the Quad Cities. Dan and I came up with CRASH KELLY AND DAN BURNS and named the (soon-to-be) hit morning show CRASH AND BURNS! Yep, we were first on the dial across America to use that. I know others have ripped it off, but it’s been my “nickname” since 1988.

You can also read the whole story on where the CRASH nickname started at my CrashKelly.com page at: http://crashkelly.com/crash-kelly-story.html.

So what do you call me? Heck, my IMDB.COM page can’t keep them all straight, either.

CRASH. That’s it. ‘ppreciate it.

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