Carey in 2007
|Born||March 15, 1928|
Mount Pleasant, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||April 12, 2016 (aged 88)|
Rochester, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||Michigan State University|
Carey was born in Mount Pleasant, Michigan on March 15, 1928. His parents were Joseph P. Carey, a geography professor at Central Michigan University, and Ida B. Carey. He graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1946, attended Central Michigan from 1946 to 1948 and then Michigan State University from 1948 to 1950, graduating with a B.A. in Speech, Radio and Dramatics.
His broadcast career was interrupted in 1950 with the outbreak of the Korean War. Carey was drafted in October 1950 and served in the Fourth Infantry Division, the first NATO division. He was a squad leader staff sergeant in a weapons platoon.
Carey was on the original announcing staff of WCEN, Mt. Pleasant when it went on the air August 8, 1949. After completing his college degree in June 1950, Carey returned to WCEN. In 1949, he was part of the first broadcast ever made of a Central Michigan University football game. After returning from serving in the Army in October 1952, he resumed his announcing and sportscasting duties at WCEN. In April 1953, Carey moved to WKNX in Saginaw, Michigan to become the afternoon disc-jockey. He also worked on WKNX-TV and did the first on-camera commercial for that station. During his stay at WKNX, Carey was program director of radio for two years. In June 1956, Carey joined the announcing staff at WJR in Detroit, Michigan and worked there until his retirement in January 1992. He was a staff announcer from 1956 to 1965 and became Assistant Sports Director in 1958. Carey originated and hosted a Michigan High School football and basketball scoreboard program for 35 years. He was a member of the Associated Press All-State and ratings panel for 20 years.
After producing the Detroit Tigers Radio Network from 1964 to 1971, Carey joined Ernie Harwell as a play-by-play announcer for the team in 1973 and spent nineteen seasons calling the games until his retirement after the 1991 season. For sixteen of those years calling Tiger baseball on radio, he also handled the engineering for the broadcasts. Paul's last Tigers broadcast was on the closing day of the 1991 baseball season in Baltimore. It was the last game played at Memorial Stadium, and a number of famous former Orioles returned for post-game ceremonies. During a WJRW (Grand Rapids) interview in October 2012, Carey said, "That was an emotional moment for me.
"They were closing (the stadium) up, said Carey,"and they took home plate out, and carted it by helicopter, I think, out to the new Camden Yards field. But it was a very emotional moment for Baltimore fans, as it was in our Tigers' broadcast booth. Because all these great old Orioles came running out to their positions.....and I was trying to do a (post-game) scoreboard show at the time, and I couldn't do it, because I was just fascinated by the old Orioles who were running out onto the field."
Carey also served as a play-by-play announcer for Detroit Pistons' basketball for six seasons (1969-1973, 1975-76 and 1981-82). He did pre- and post-game shows for the Detroit Lions' games in the late 1950s and early 1960s, from Tiger Stadium (from a WJRW/Grand Rapids radio interview with Paul on Oct. 22, 2012). In 2012, Carey was named the third recipient of the DSBA's Ernie Harwell Lifetime Contribution Award. The award is named after the Hall of Fame Detroit Tigers announcer. Harwell was the first winner of the award. John Fountain won the second award. The award honors an individual from the broadcast industry who has contributed outstanding time and effort to the betterment of sports broadcasting through a lifetime body of work.