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KGW Carpool: Rocking out with KGON radio host Iris Harrison

After a 42-year run in Portland, Iris Harrison is ready to retire. She tells Brenda Braxton about the rock royalty she's interviewed and shares her personal photos.

PORTLAND, Oregon — The teenage me is having a moment. This KGW Carpool with KGON radio host Iris Harrison is throwing me back.

That's the station I listened to growing up. It wasn't classic rock then, just rock. I thought the deejays were the coolest -- Marty Party, The Big B.A., Mike Turner.

But Iris was the goddess of the group as far as I was concerned. She has a great voice and does great interviews, and after 42 years on the air in Portland, she's retiring.

Iris was 22 when she started at KGON and she's met many a rock legend: Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, The Rolling Stones' Bill Wyman, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, just to name a few.

Watch: Full KGW Carpool with Iris Harrison

I asked her if the wild boys of rock 'n roll constantly hit on the new radio girl, and she said they did not. 

Iris knows her stuff and always has. From the jump, she was on a mission.

"I didn't want to be The Beatles' girlfriend," she explained. "I wanted to be their peer. I wanted to interview them. I didn't want to be the girlfriend or the one that tagged along. I wanted to be right there with them in the business. That was my dream."

So what will Iris do when she retires?  For one, she'll be hanging out with the "girl gang"--a.k.a her three granddaughters. She says she wants to be there as they grow up. She's also married to the aforementioned Marty Party.

"I want to be with my husband more. I want to go on road trips. I want to go to Yellowstone. I want to go to Italy. There's just so many things on my to-do list. Plus, I can still stay involved with the station to a certain degree. There's a lot of interviews that I have tucked away and so we're gonna release them as podcasts." 

Yessssssss! Can't wait to listen.

Stay tuned KGON fans. There's more Iris Harrison to come, starting right now with this KGW Carpool.

She has great stories -- both professional and personal -- and great photos from her early days. So I invite you to sit back and enjoy it all. It's quite the ride.

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