Austin Harris Austin Earl Bowman was born on October 9, 1954. He was legally adopted in 1966 and became Austin Vanderzee.
Austin played hooky from school at age 14 just so he could practice his many character voices into a tape recorder. Foregoing college in the fall of 1972, Austin auditioned for part-time radio work and was hired as a full-time disc jockey three weeks later at KSDR in Watertown, South Dakota. He was 17 years old.
That’s when he changed his radio name forever to Austin Harris.
In 1973, Austin was transferred to be the morning DJ at sister station KDDR-AM in Oakes, North Dakota, and returned to KSDR in the summer of 1974 until the spring of 1976, when he was hired by Harley Worthit to be the midday DJ at KELO-AM in Sioux Falls.
Austin left KELO in the spring of ’77 to be full-time house DJ and spin records for O’Neill’s Shannon Village Discothèque. He returned to middays at KELO-AM in the fall of 1977. Then, Austin was hired by Randy Holland to be the first morning DJ at a new Sioux Falls station, KKRC-FM, when it debuted on May 1, 1978. In the winter of 1979, he became the morning DJ at KPAT-FM, also in Sioux Falls, and stayed until the fall of 1980.
On March 31, 1979, Austin met the love of his life, Vonda Loy Wheeler. They married on September 27, 1980. He watched his daughter Amber’s birth on September 4, 1986, followed by son Brett, born October 21, 1989.
Austin was ordained as a minister in 1981 and served full-time for the Church of Christ in Sioux Falls until 1984. Austin worked off and on as a part-time DJ for KELO-AM for the next 15 years while pursuing both ministry work and voiceovers.
Austin continued to do radio voiceovers all across America for companies like Pennzoil,