El Cajon resident Tom Irwin, known to millions of radio listeners as Shotgun Tom Kelly, was recently honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, number 2,496, at 7080 Hollywood Blvd., at the corner of Hollywood and La Brea boulevards. Irwin’s star is next to the star of the late Real Don Steele, who formerly hosted the afternoon program on K-EARTH 101. The star ceremony coincided with Irwin’s 40th anniversary in radio. Irwin’s personal friend, singer Stevie Wonder, whose own star is only a short distance away at 7050 Hollywood Blvd., was a speaker at the recent ceremony.
Growing up in San Diego, Irwin created his own mock radio station with two record players and a microphone in his bedroom at age 10. In 1970, he adopted Kelly as his radio name, and worked at several San Diego radio stations, including KPRI, KGB, KFMB, KCBQ and B-100, before moving to Los Angeles 16 years ago to host the afternoon drive-home shift on CBS Radio’s K-EARTH 101 (KRTH-FM). He commutes to Los Angeles and returns to his Fletcher Hills home on weekends.
Most fulfilling to “Shotgun Tom” are his contributions to community causes, particularly his longtime involvement with the MDA Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, the Bob Hope USO and the Los Angeles Police Department’s “Cops for Tots” campaign benefiting Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
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