“It’s been 62 years and I’m entering my 63rd,” the 92-year-old veteran broadcaster told The Times-Gazette. “I started July the 15th, 1956, announcing we were doing an equipment check at 2:15 in the morning.”
Parr was a sergeant with the Hillsboro Police department prior to becoming the familiar morning voice on the radio. He said his career in radio began with a minor grievance he presented to Hillsboro City Council in January of that year, representing the department as president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 83.
Parr agreed to work part-time at what would come to be known as WSRW, named after Winslow’s daughter Serena Rose Winslow. The station owner made Parr the station manager, a position he held from 1956 until 1999 when Clear Channel, now I-Heart Radio, bought the AM/FM combo from Tom Archibald.
John Barney is the sales manager for I-Heart radio’s operations in Hillsboro, Chillicothe and Washington Court House, and has known and worked with Parr since coming to WSRW in 1995. After the broadcast, he praised his senior radio partner.
“He truly is one of the best people you’d ever want to meet,” Barney said. “Will is the epitome of this community and has been since July 15, 1956 when he first went on the air, and he even knows the first song that he played, which was ‘Wayward Wind’ by Gogi Grant.”
As a tribute, Barney said Parr was presented with the original program log from his first day on the air, framed.