Today February 21, 1923 Bill Howlett was born in Portland. He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. Bill was talented in many areas. He was the designer of the "Mr. Moon" puppets on the popular KOIN-TV children's show. Then by April 1955 Bill was doing "The Nightwatch Show" on KVAN 10:30pm to midnight, Sunday thru Friday. "Just easy music to soothe your jangled nerves."
On January 19, 1956 "Uncle" Bill, as he was calling himself, began doing "The Nightwatch Show" midnight to 6am when KVAN began broadcasting 24 hours a day. "Uncle Bill" wanted an earlier show, so he moved to KUIK Hillsboro in 1957 becoming a "Radio Quick" DJ. Returning to "9-10 K-Van" in 1958, he launched the popular teen show "Uncle Bill's Bandstand" 7:00pm to midnight, weeknights, playing Rock & Roll. KVAN had just become the number 1 station in Portland ratings when it was sold and everyone was fired May 1, 1959.
"Uncle Bill" and the entire KVAN air staff moved to KLIQ, continuing the Rock & Roll music on May 4, 1959 but KLIQ pulled the plug June 13th without giving it enough time to build an audience. In Summer 1960 Bill Howlett landed a job at KISN, switching from DJ to Newscaster and discovering his true calling. As a newscaster on "KISN Action Central News" Bill was a natural, developing into one of the most outstanding Portland Radio newscasters. You knew when Bill was on the air, with his distinctive delivery.
By September 1961 Bill Howlett was KISN News Director. Bill, also a talented writer and actor, began producing the popular "Meet Your Neighbor" segments on the "Tiger" Tom Murphy Show. Tom would interview Bill as a fictitious wacky guest, Bill writing both rolls. On March 4, 1963 Bill was named KISN Night News Editor when George Sanders took the News Director position. Bill continued his commanding presence. On February 1, 1964 Bill began the new "KISN Total Information News" moniker, then "KISN 20/20 News" on January 1, 1966. Howlett stayed with KISN until the end, on September 2, 1976.
Bill then moved to KWJJ as a newscaster for a short time, before deciding to work as an engineer at KKEY. On October 15, 1984 Bill Howlett died at age 61 in Gresham. He was still in radio at the time of his death, working part-time for KKEY.