There are personalities in the radio industry, and then there are legends. Unquestionably, James Carney, fondly referred to as “Moby” by his throngs of devoted listeners, belongs to the latter group. Moby quietly died away on Wednesday, September 20, at the age of 69, leaving behind a legacy that will always ring true in the hearts of his followers. A tragic episode in the life of a guy who made countless people smile and laugh across the airwaves was his struggle with Stage 4 liver cancer that had lately progressed to his esophagus.
When he was merely a 15-year-old rising star in his birthplace of Crossville, Tennessee, Moby’s career in radio got its start. Early on, his love for the genre was sparked, and he set out on a path that would make him a well-known personality in both Rock and Country radio, receiving honours and recognition along the way.
Carney entered the exciting world of Rock radio after finishing college. He developed his skill and made himself a force to be reckoned with in the industry while gracing the airwaves of renowned stations like WQXM (98 Rock) in Tampa, KSRR (97.1 The Eagle) in Houston, KEGL (97.1 The Eagle) in Dallas, and KLOL in Houston. It was a period marked by his vibrant on-air presence and an ability to connect with his audience on a profound level.
In 1991, a pivotal moment in Moby’s career arrived when he transitioned to Country radio, joining WKHX (Kicks 101.5) in Atlanta. This move proved to be a game-changer as he embarked on a successful 12-year stint, including a remarkable five-year stretch in syndication from 1993 to 1998. Carney’s impact on the Country music scene was undeniable, earning him the coveted title of ACM Personality of the Year in 1999.
The year 2004 saw Moby venture into a new chapter of his illustrious career when he launched his own syndicated show, “Moby In The Morning.” This show became a beloved staple for radio enthusiasts across the nation, carrying on his legacy of humor, reflection, and connecting with his audience. It was a testament to his enduring talent and dedication to making every morning brighter for his listeners.
One of the crowning achievements of Moby’s career was his induction into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2012. This prestigious honor recognized his outstanding contributions to the genre and solidified his place among the radio elite. Additionally, he holds esteemed positions in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame and the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, attesting to the profound impact he had on the regions he served.
Behind the microphone, Moby was a larger-than-life presence, known for his wit, humor, and the ability to make people laugh, even on the toughest days. His infectious spirit and generous heart endeared him to fans and colleagues alike. In a brief statement, Carney’s family expressed, “He lived his life doing what he loved; making people laugh and get through the day with some humor and reflection.” It was this dedication to brightening lives that made Moby not just a radio host but a beloved friend to many.
Moby leaves behind a devoted family in addition to a spectacular career. His wife Marybeth, son Jonah Carney, daughter Grace Marie, and a sizable number of nieces and nephews remain in his life. The Carney family is painstakingly putting together arrangements for a Celebration of Life that will honour the man who won so many hearts with his inexhaustible charisma and warmth while they grieve the death of their cherished dad. As soon as plans are complete, information regarding this memorial service will be made available, allowing Moby’s followers to assemble and pay their respects to a guy who made the world a better place.
James Carney’s legacy extends far beyond the radio waves. He was more than a voice on the air; he was a friend, a confidant, and a source of joy for those who welcomed him into their homes each morning. His impact on the world of radio, especially in the Country music scene, is immeasurable, and his absence will be deeply felt. However, the laughter and inspiration he brought to millions of lives will live on, serving as a timeless reminder of the enduring power of radio and the remarkable talent of a true legend, Moby.