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Carey's many hats suit him well

Jack Carey
Jack Carey is one country guy who wears many hats.

You may know him as the mid-day man at KBOB-FM (99.7), a Quad-Cities radio veteran who has done well in the market for over two decades. Or you may know him as a country and gospel recording artist who has recorded several CDs and opened for nationally-known country performers. Or you might know him as a guy who frequently donates his time and efforts to charity, in a display of his faith as a Christian.

One thing is certain -- if you've lived in the Quad-Cities for a while, you probably know who Jack Carey is. Meeting him in person, you realize that Carey isn't much different on-the-air than he is off. He's amiable, energetic, passionate about his beliefs, and talkative.

How did he get into singing? ``When I was younger, I remember watching Robert Goulet on CBS singing `If Ever I Would Leave You,' and being knocked out,'' Mr. Carey said in a 1997 interview. ``I sang that song constantly, and that was when I knew I had something. Later on, Eleanor Woodruff, my music teacher in grade school, made me believe that I could sing by giving me the chance to do it in front of people.''

Who are some of his other musical influences? ``Musically, I've always admired Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and a host of others,'' he said. ``Outside of music, Abraham Lincoln is a very profound figure in my life.''

Inside of music, Mr. Carey had quite a thrill a few years back when he had a chance to see a singer he admires greatly. ``One of the biggest thrills I had was at the Palmer College's 100th anniversary bash in 1996 when they gave me front row seats to see Ray Charles,'' he said. ``I think he's a national treasure. When I see guys like that play, I can't help but see the tapestry that has brought them to where they are today.''

Part of the tapestry that makes Mr. Carey's music unique is its gospel flavor. His beliefs influence both his professional life and personal life.

``Of course they influence them profoundly,'' he said. ``I want to do what is right because right heals and evil destroys. And I've been up to my neck in both. What I'm trying to get across though, is that there are problems that hit all of us, but through an allegiance to understanding, we can solve all of them.''

Mr. Carey has several projects in the works for the future. In addition to his music and other work, he's also planning a book.

``I'm compiling the first draft of my autobiography,'' he said. ``I have a story to tell and my wife got me into it. She said `You'll want to leave something to your kids, so why not write about your life?'

-- By Sean Leary (February 2, 1998)

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