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PATRICK KELLEY phi, #144

This frater wants to see YOU at the 50th RCB!

Patrick was initiated into the Mu Nu Chapter on February 7, 1977. He served the chapter as Grammateus, Prytanis and Epiprytanis as an undergrad, became a Certified Fraternity Consultant and a District Vice President for the National Fraternity after graduation. Patrick served on the Alumni Board for several years and won the Tom Wurtz Memorial Alumni Award in 1988, then was named Mu Nu’s Quarter Century Top Teke in 1994 as an alumni.

How would you compare the collegiate environment in the late 70's to today's atmosphere?

Interesting question. I was an undergrad from 1976-1980. There was a fairly significant backlash against Greeks at that time. It was very much a “I don’t need to join a group to have friends “ attitude. The perception was we all walked in lock step and there was no individuality. Which of course was never true. It’s harder for me to comment on today’s atmosphere. But my daughter is a junior in college now and she joined a sorority, which made me very happy.

Patrick and his daughter Katherine
Did you know Tom Wurtz and Lloyd Linden?

I knew Tom very well. He was really involved in the chapter in the late 70s. I remember he invited everyone to his home in Dubuque on top of the bluff. Everyone loved Tom and Joanne! We were all devastated when he was killed. What a loss! I knew Dean Linden too, not as well as Tom & Joanne. He was a great guy and always supported us but he had to be a little discreet about it as he was the Dean. I was sad to hear he had passed recently.

What about TKE set it apart from other organizations in your mind when you were an undergraduate?

The first thing was there was no hazing allowed. I wouldn’t have bought into that. Secondly, everyone was friendly and welcoming. Thirdly, they sold me on the idea that I would gain leadership skills, which I did. I was elected Prytanis in the fall of my sophomore year. I think I still hold the record for being the youngest Prytanis in the history of the chapter. Finally, several guys were Radio & TV majors, like me. They sold me on the idea that would help me in my career. They were right. Steve Sesterhenn was the music director at KFMD in Dubuque at the time. He helped me land my first two Radio gigs.

Where were your first two radio gigs?

Started at KASI/KCCQ in Ames, IA. Lasted 5 months. From there I went to KGGO in Des Moines, stayed there for 3 years and then moved down the hallway to our AM station KSO and spent 5 years there. True story...I started as a part timer at KGGO. Dave Bullis, who was my big brother in the fraternity, lived in Des Moines with his wife Karla. I was so poor that they would invite me over to dinner a couple times a week and send all the leftovers home with me so I had food to eat!

The bond is incredible! What are some of your memorable moments in radio?

Let’s see, I’m a part of rock’n roll history. I was at the infamous concert in Des Moines when Ozzy Osborne bit the head off the bat 🦇. I was backstage and he asked me where the nearest hospital was! 😂. Randy Rhodes was Ozzy’s guitarist at that show. He was freaking amazing!! He died in a single engine plane crash a few months after that show. Hanging out with Garth Brooks, having dinner with Reba McEntire at her house outside of Nashville and flirting with Tanya Tucker and Patty Loveless are probably the highlights. (They both liked my eyes).

Frater Patrick (far right) with Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens on tour in Chicago, 1992
Did you get to see a lot of shows?

I was really fortunate. I spent 18 years in Radio, did rock’n roll for the first 3 and country the last 15 years. I saw just about everyone who was anyone for free during those years. There are very few performers I haven’t seen who I still want to see. I saved all of my ticket stubs and backstage passes. I’m going to put ’em all in a scrapbook one of these days.

How many shows have you been to?

If I had to guess...around 200 shows from 1980-1998. I’ve seen more since I left Radio but since I was paying for them, the number is significantly less.

Patrick and his daughter Katherine
How have your music tastes changed throughout different periods in your life?

I’ve always liked all types of music. Obviously when I was playing rock, that was my focus. I grew up on pop and rock music on the radio. I didn’t like country when I started but I grew to enjoy it, especially during the “Golden Age” from 1988-1992 when Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Brooks & Dunn blew up. But no matter what music I was playing on the air, I listened to other stuff. I love jazz, big band (I saw Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Benny Goodman all before they died). I still like Eminem and Rihanna. Having a college age daughter helps me stay in touch musically but I can’t say I’m a big fan of the current artists. I have over 10,000 songs on my iPhone and I mostly listen to stuff I’ve collected over the years. So to answer the question, I don’t listen to current music like I used to. I think it’s mainly because Radio sucks these days so I don’t go out of my way to stay current.

What brought you to New Mexico?

I moved to New Mexico in October of 1992 from KZKX -96KX in Lincoln, NE. I was offered the job of Program Director for 92.3 KRST in Albuquerque. It was the country station, a real ratings monster. I was promoted to Operations Manager shortly after arriving. We took over KOLT 106 early in 1993 and in 1994 split off the simulcast of our AM station KRZY to carry the first season of the Colorado Rockies. Shortly thereafter, we decided to go with an all sports format on KRZY. We renamed it KNML - The Sports Animal. We were the first “Sports Animal” station, now there are dozens across the country. The Sports Animal was an original affiliate of the Jim Rome show, I signed the contract as I was the first program director of the station.

Patrick with his girlfriend Melissa at a dinner party
How did you make the transition from the radio industry to practicing law?

I left KRST in 1998. My wife had just graduated from law school and opened a practice. I started helping her in the office and one day decided I should also become a lawyer and make it the family business. I started law school in 2000 when I was 40, and graduated early in 2 1/2 years by going in the summers. I started working in her practice in 2003 until we divorced in 2006. I started my own practice that same year. I’ve now spent 15 years in my second career as a lawyer.

  1. Rain or shine? Shine
  2. Book or movie? Book
  3. Beer or wine? Wine
  4. AM or FM? AM
  5. Cat or dog? Dog
  6. Bowtie or necktie? Necktie

Credits:

Patrick Kelley

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