| John Bruce Hathaway, Sr.|
(San Antonio radio personality)
|Born|| February 7, 1938 |
San Antonio, Texas
|Died|| January 28, 2017 (aged 78) |
San Antonio, Texas
John Bruce Hathaway. Sr. (February 7, 1938 – January 28, 2017), was a figure for six decades in radio in his native San Antonio, Texas. His heyday was the golden age of Top 40 hits. At KTSA in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, he worked alongside another San Antonio radio icon, Ricci Ware, who died in October 2016, three months before Hathaway's death of a heart attack.
Hathaway was one of two sons of Wilber Frank Hathaway, Sr. (1902-1986), and the former Florence Maddux (1905-1980). He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1956 and attended Trinity University; both institutions are located in San Antonio. From 1957 to 1959, he served in the United States Army. His long radio career began at the age of thirteen at KITE in San Antonio. Beginning in 1960, Hathaway worked at KPOI in Hawaii, KIBL in Beeville, Texas, and in San Antonio, KTSA, Magic 105.3, KJ97, KONO, KYTY and KCAF/KIBL. In addition, he hosted the television programs Swingtime and Teen Canteen. He was active in all kinds of civic affairs and was the director-emeritus of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. He was also involved in the Fiesta celebration held each April in downtown San Antonio.
As the music format changed to talk radio, both Hathwawy and Ware were considered "politically incorrect." The San Antonio Express-News compared Hathaway to a local version of national personality Wolfman Jack with thick black hair and a trimmed beard. Margaret Mose, formerly a columnist for The Austin Chronicle in the capital city of Austin, called Hathaway "one of a kind, a true Texas legend. His voice is the soundtrack of my teen years." Former KTSA disc jockey J. J. Rodriguez said he would never "forget working all nights, and Hathaway was the morning man" in the 1970s and 1980s. Rodriguez said that Hathaway was also encouraging him in his career development: "if I had to sum him up in one word, it would be 'kindness' ... We need more Bruce Hathaways in this world."
Sports reporter Gary DeLaune of KENS-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Antonio, said that Hathaway "knew more about San Antonio music history than anyone I ever met. Celebrities loved him. Ringo Starr called him every year on his birthday." DeLaune hosted with Hathaway a Saturday morning program called Happy Days on San Antonio radio 810 AM. In the early 1980s, Hathaway partnered with Blanquita Cullum on The Bruce & Blanquita Show on KTSA. Cullum called him "truly bigger than life ... He had so many stories to share about the people he had known, John Wayne, Roy Orbison, and Kenny Rogers.
Music writer Joe Nick Patoski said that Hathaway "was so much more than a San Antonio radio disc hockey. Bruce was San Antonio."
Hathaway was survived by a son, John Bruce Hathaway, Jr., and wife, Sherri; a daughter, Cher Whitlow; two grandchildren, and a brother, Wilber Hathaway, Jr. Services were held in the Coker United Methodist Church in San Antonio. One of Hathaway's pallbearers was Trey Ware, son of Ricci Ware and the KTSA morning anchor. He is interred along with his parents at San Fernando No. 3 Cemetery in San Antonio.