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Tragic96.Com Personality Profile

"Gary Hattaway"

      Honorary Personality

                                                                                   

Editor's note:  We couldn't find any close-ups of Gary Hattaway, so we decided to show him with a really big piece of Magic 96.1 gear.  This is the Magic 96.1 giant radio that was used for remotes beginning in 1988.  In fact, this is a photo of it being delivered with Gary Hattaway at over six feet tall standing beside it to give it scale.  The protective Tyvek was still over the speakers!  The part in the middle was a live on air studio.  The whole shebang would be towed to whatever location Magic was broadcasting from such as auto dealers or the Speedway.  

Gary Hattaway was made an honorary personality because he made Magic sound so good for many years.  He made sure the equipment always worked, fixed it when the air-talent broke it and made the on-air talent's job as easy as he could.  Magic had a distinct sound which was entirely Gary's doing.   He's every bit as responsible for Magic's success as any of the DJ's ever were.  In 2000 when Magic 96.1 and sister station WEND were sold by the Dalton Group to Clear Channel, Gary stayed with the Dalton Group to manage tower facilities they owned in Charlotte.  He has recently resumed some radio station engineering at Z-Talk 960 in Dallas NC.  They are lucky to have him.  Gary makes his home in Rowan County's Woodleaf community. 

Besides knowing what it took to give Magic the unique sound it enjoyed for so long, Gary also possessed a special knack for convincing management and owners that we needed not just any gear, but only the very best gear when most other engineers would have settled for second or third best.  The last Magic control room he designed was without a doubt one of the best studios ever built in town.  Sadly, in 2005 those studios will be vacated when the current 96.1 moves to Clear Channel studios on the Billy Graham Parkway with all the other stations they own in Charlotte.

Many Charlotte children knew Gary from his "Battery Claus" project!  Gary showed up at the Magic Studio building early every Christmas Day morning wearing his Santa hat.  He would then pass out cases upon cases of free batteries to Charlotte children who had received toys that required batteries, but with which batteries weren't included.  With all the stores closed there was no other place to get batteries Christmas morning except from "Battery Claus."  Gary probably passed out several tractor trailer loads of batteries over his years as "Battery Claus" and many children will always remember him for that!  How generous Gary was to give up his Christmas morning for so many years!  

Gary recently made the following post on an Internet radio bulletin board: "To all at the old Magic 96 people with whom I worked all those years, my best wishes to each of you. MAGIC will now take her place in history alongside market legends like WAYS and WROQ, and I am honored to have been a small part of her success."  We would add yet another station to that short list of Gary's which he also engineered, the hot 1980's Charlotte rocker Z-100.

Without Gary, Magic 96.1 would have sounded like every other vanilla sounding station in Charlotte.  Instead his unique talents gave Magic 96.1 a far more colorful sound that was more like rainbow sherbet.  Ed. 

(More from Gary Hattaway later!)

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