Jim Pruett, who was half of the “Stevens & Pruett” radio team along with Mark Stevens during the ’80s on KEGL/97.1 FM “The Eagle,” died Friday in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. He was 72.
Pruett was a 2003 inductee into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, which announced his death in a Facebook post during the weekend. According to Houston-based media blogger Mike McGuff, the family said that Pruett died of heart failure.
From 1974 and through much of the ’70s, Pruett aired in Houston as “Irv Harrigan” and Stevens was “Mark Hudson,” making up one of the many radio teams that went by “Hudson and Harrigan.”
From 1979 through 2001, the duo worked under the own names as an influential morning-radio team. McGuff writes that the team “helped define morning radio in their decades together.”
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Most of that time was in Houston, but from 1982 to 1986 they were the morning show at KEGL. Stevens, who had a long history in DFW — specifically Fort Worth — radio as “Mark E. Baby” on KFJZ-AM, died in 2010.
“We were very enthusiastic, because we were very well-received" in Dallas-Fort Worth, Pruett told the Star-Telegram for Stevens’ obituary. "Ron Chapman ruled radio at the time. It was really fun working our kind of comedy and format versus his, which was night and day. It was a thrill going to work every day, because we had something to prove.”
McGuff, who has an upcoming documentary about Houston station KLOL, where Pruett made his mark as a DJ and a program director, writes that Pruett told him that he got into radio at age 15 in Brownwood, and bounced from stations in the Abilene area and in Midland to Oklahoma City.
After serving in Vietnam, Pruett was hired at KNUZ in Houston, where, McGuff writes, Pruett “went by the name Tony Raven on the Night Flight show playing the ‘hippie’ style music that would define rock and roll.” The opportunity to do a “Hudson and Harrigan” show lured Pruett from KLOL to KILT-AM to team with Stevens, McGuff writes.
Pruett was a passionate gun-rights advocate who opened Jim Pruett's Guns & Ammo in Houston after he left radio. McGuff notes that he also founded The Stevens & Pruett Foundation for Children and Animals, a ranch that helped abused children and animals.