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Barney Hall
Born: June 24, 1932
Died: January 26, 2016 (Age 83)
Born in: Elkin, NC

 

Barney Hall was an American sports commentator for Motor Racing Network, formerly calling NASCAR races. Hall has commentated races for over 50 years. Hall is considered as one of the best NASCAR commentators of all-time, and MRN director David Hyatt stated, "Motor Racing Network is ‘The Voice of NASCAR’ and Barney Hall is the voice of MRN."

Career

Hall was born at Elkin, North Carolina in 1932. After serving four years in the United States Navy, Hall's career started in the 1950s working for local radio stations in Elkin, particularly at WIFM-FM for 13 years. He became the first person to work on the public address system at Bristol Motor Speedway, which was stated as "dumb luck". When Motor Racing Network started in 1970, Hall became a turn announcer, before becoming a booth announcer. Hall has commentated all but three Daytona 500s in his career, and in the1979 edition, Hall introduced his catchphrase, "flag-to-flag coverage of The Great American Race." In 2007, he was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame. On May 23, 2012, the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced the creation of the Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence, named for Hall and former MRN reporter Ken Squier. On July 5, 2014, Hall announced that the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona would be his final broadcast.

 

Barney Hall: 1932-2016

By: MRN Staff on January 26, 2016

STATEMENT FROM DAVID HYATT / MOTOR RACING NETWORK PRESIDENT

“It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that Motor Racing Network must today convey the passing of our friend and colleague, long-time MRN anchor Barney Hall. For many of us in the racing and broadcasting industries, Barney was more than just ‘The Voice’ who brought us the NASCAR action each week on the radio. He was an inspiration, a teacher and mostly, a friend. Barney was a consummate professional whose style and honesty made him one of the most revered voices of the sport and perhaps the most trusted reporter of his day.

“In a world that can have its share of egos, Barney’s humor and humility kept everyone around him firmly grounded. His smooth and easygoing delivery was the mark by which others were measured. His co-anchor, Joe Moore, once commented that ‘Barney was the calming force in the midst of a raging storm and simply by listening to him, you knew there was safe passage through it.’ Barney Hall was the true voice of NASCAR and although his own voice has gone silent, his presence will live on in the many current motor sports broadcasters who learned at the knee of such a great storyteller.”

CONCORD, N.C. - Hall of Fame broadcaster Barney Hall, a cornerstone of MRN’s NASCAR coverage since the network’s founding in 1970, died Tuesday from complications following a recent medical procedure. He was 83.

At the time of his death, Hall was in the company of long-time companion Karen Carrier – the love of his life.

Hall was born on June 24, 1932, in Elkin, N.C., the town he called home his entire life. After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy and served four years of active duty, during which Hall launched his radio career. He would return to his hometown and work as a disc jockey at radio station WIFM for 13 years.

Hall was widely known for his calm voice and unmatched storytelling. He was part of MRN’s award-winning race coverage since the network’s debut in 1970. Prior to that, Hall served as Bristol Motor Speedway’s first public address announcer, called his first Daytona 500 in 1960 and missed only four broadcasts in the 57-year history of "The Great American Race."

One of those was the "500" won by Matt Kenseth in 2012, when illness sidelined Hall. But as NASCAR returned to Martinsville Speedway one month later, fans once again heard a comforting, familiar voice over the airwaves.

Barney was back in the booth.

Hall remained an integral part of the network's NASCAR coverage throughout the next two years. On July 6, 2014, he worked his final race - calling Aric Almirola's rain-shortened win at Daytona International Speedway, which returned the iconic No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports entry to Victory Lane.

Hall's voice was heard on a number of special broadcasts in the months that followed. The National Motorsports Press Association named Hall its Broadcaster of the Year in 2014. He and MRN producer Darrell Smith teamed up to win another NMPA award in 2015. Barney was inducted into that organization's Hall of Fame in 2007.

In May 2012, NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame jointly announced the creation of a new award to honor the media’s contributions to the success of the sport. It carried the names of two legendary MRN broadcasters: Barney Hall and Ken Squier, who were also the first recipients.

Hall was recently recognized by the Motor Racing Network with an appreciation award for his 45 years of service.

Mr. Hall is survived by Karen Carrier, the love of his life for 35 years (1981-2016), an aunt and several cousins.

The Motor Racing Network family wishes Barney Hall Godspeed.

Radio Commentator Barney Hall Dies At 83

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Barney Hall, long known for his work as a commentator with the Motor Racing Network, passed away Tuesday due to complications from a recent medical procedure. He was 83 years old.

Hall began his broadcast career in the 1950s working at local radio stations in North Carolina.

Hall joined the Motor Racing Network first as a turn announcer and then moved to the booth in the late 1970s.

Hall called NASCAR events from MRN’s booth for more than 50 years, before retiring on July 5, 2014 following the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Int’l Speedway. In 2013, the NASCAR Hall of Fame created the Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence, naming Hall and Ken Squier as the inaugural recipients.

Hall’s NASCAR broadcast career began almost by accident. The recipient of free tickets as a local radio personality, he started attending races in the late 1950s. He first Daytona 500 in 1960, and was offered $75 for a weekend of public address duties at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway months later.

That led to a job with what was known as the Daytona 500 Network, operating out of WNDB in Daytona Beach, Fla. – a forerunner of the Motor Racing Network.

“First and foremost, I want to offer our most sincere condolences to the longtime love of Barney’s life and best friend for more than 35 years, Karen Carrier, and their families on Barney’s passing,” said NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley. “Barney’s accomplishments and contributions to NASCAR are immeasurable and without parallel. Covering NASCAR for nearly 55 years through seven decades, he became known by millions as ‘The Voice of NASCAR.’ He was that recognizable voice that you would hear with every broadcast. You may not have known the face, which he would joke with his ever-present wit that it was ‘made for radio,’ but his voice was unmistakable.

“Whether you met him or not, you felt like you knew him. His easy, conversational delivery made you feel like you were listening to one of your closest friends or relatives tell you a story – the story of the very NASCAR race he was describing. He could paint a picture that would make Picasso or Rembrandt proud and tell a story that would awe Hemingway or Twain. He was not just a trusted voice to listeners and race fans, he became what many believe is the most trusted journalist in NASCAR by the sport’s competitors for decades. Barney has also tutored dozens of broadcasters throughout his career, many of whom you hear on the air today on both radio and television.

“Barney achieved one of the ultimate compliments for his life’s work and honored his commitment to NASCAR when the sport named the award for media excellence presented annually at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony after him and another legendary broadcaster and former colleague, Ken Squier. Hall and Squier were the inaugural recipients of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence in 2013. NASCAR has lost its most recognizable voice and one of the greatest broadcasters ever of any sport; and I have lost one of my dearest friends. His legacy and legendary calls of NASCAR racing will live in our minds, our archives and at the NASCAR Hall of Fame forever.”

Barney Hall left an indelible mark on NASCAR and broadcasting

·        Ryan McGee   --  ESPN Senior Writer

Barney Hall wasn't ready to go.

He thought he was. The radio man had traveled the world as a youngster in the Navy. He'd traveled the United States as a broadcaster, chasing and covering the NASCAR circuit. He'd seen so much more than he could have ever expected as he grew up in Elkin, North Carolina, a hamlet of barely 4,000 people sandwiched in the hills of Wilkes County, where moonshiners first birthed stock car racing.

On this particularly rough summer day somewhere over southern Michigan, Hall had been telling the story of that life to a fellow broadcaster, former race car driver Dick Brooks. Brooks, in his trademark denim overalls, had recently joined the team at the Motor Racing Network, the national NASCAR network that Hall helped start in 1970.

Hall and Brooks were hitching a ride to Michigan International Speedway in a plane being flown by racing legend David Pearson ... and Pearson was still really new at flying.


 


Just a crazy thought....
Barney Hall was the Barney Oldfield of Broadcasting....
Both never to be equalled.

 







 

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