Chris Conner

Chris Conner

Longtime KUZZ deejay Chris Conner has died at the age of 70, the radio station he called home for four decades reported Tuesday.

Conner, a San Mateo native, worked for Buck Owens Productions, the station's parent company, for 40 years.

Conner, whose real name was Brad Fergon, moved to Bakersfield in 1971 after serving for several years with the U.S. Army in South Korea. He initially worked at KAFY, then a rock station, before joining the Owens-owned country station, KUZZ, in 1977. 

Conner, whose voice would be familiar even to non-KUZZ listeners because of his many radio commercial voice-overs, was nominated as Billboard radio personality of the year in 1989.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Chris Conner, our longtime afternoon (on-air) personality," KUZZ's news department announced. "Chris was full of energy, loved his job, and entertained and informed thousands every day. He was the voice of many local businesses. He will be missed by his family, his radio family, his friends, and all those who listened to him every day." 

In a Facebook post, KUZZ's Suzanne Grant said Conner passed suddenly "after taking ill a week ago. Conner had just been released from the hospital after being treated for an undisclosed illness."

Conner would have turned 71 on Nov. 4.

Former KUZZ News Director Mark Howell, who worked with Conner for many years, remembered him as an "old-school, high-energy radio personality on air and a great guy off-mic as well." He told Grant that Conner was "always upbeat and dedicated to doing a good job on air and in the commercials he produced."

Plans for a possible memorial were not immediately announced.

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