James Smith Carney has been called “Moby” ever since he almost drowned in a lake when he was 12 and someone said he looked like Moby Dick splashing around in the water. At the age of 15, he began dabbling in radio and landed his first radio job at WCSV in his hometown of Crossville, Tennessee, playing Sunday morning gospel music for $1.60 per hour.
Since he wanted to be a high school band director at that time, he enrolled at Belmont College (now Belmont University) in Nashville after high school and planned to major in music education. A year and a half later, that was over. He decided he’d rather be in radio.
In 1973, Moby was in Nashville playing big band music at WAMB when gig opened up across town at WKDF. Five years later, he moved to another station there, Rock 106 WKQB. In 1981, he was headed for Tampa Bay’s 98 Rock WQXM to do evenings, followed by stops in Houston (97 Rock KSRR), Dallas (KEGL), back to Houston (KLOL), and Atlanta (Z93 and Kicks 101.5 WKHX).
From 1993 to 1998, ABC syndicated his morning show out of the WKHX studio to some 38 stations, most of them in small markets. When he found out his contract wouldn’t be renewed for 2002, he vowed not to leave the Atlanta area and decided to distribute his show through independent syndication. Two years later, “Moby in the Morning” was launched over the Moby Network and continues today (2013).
A member of the Country Radio Hall of Fame, Moby is also a five-time winner of Billboard’s “Major Market Country Morning Show of the Year” and two-time nominee for the “Major Market Morning Show of the Year” by the CMA. He has also been honored as Academy of Country Music’s “Major Market DJ of the Year.”
1981 - 1981 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)