Curtain Call: WJTT's Magic might have been a dancer

photo Magic Crutcher

MAGIC CRUTCHERHometown: Chattanooga.Education: Chattanooga High 1981, Chattanooga State.Family: Son, Anthony.Vocation: On-air personality at WMPZ-FM 93.5 and music director and assistant program director there and at WJTT-FM 94.3.FAVORITESMovie: "Diehard."Book: The Bible.Actor: Denzel Washington.Performer: Prince, LL Cool J.Song: "Living For the Love of You" by Isley Brothers.Expression or quotation: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Back in 1981, radio personality Magic Crutcher had a choice to make after high school.

She was in the Upward Bound program, which offers students a jump-start on college by introducing them to career opportunities. Her first choice of classes, dance, was unavailable, and she was left to choose between a sewing class or a radio class. Sewing was out, so she signed up for radio. It proved to be a life-changing decision.

"Literally, every day I was late to class because I was trying to hear a song, but I never thought about going into radio," she said. "It just never entered my mind."

Her first day in class at Chattanooga State Community College, however, her mind was changed, and soon she was offered a part-time gig at WJTT.

"It was instant," she said of her love for working in radio. "I took an immediate love to it."

She has worked in radio ever since. Just this week, she moved from behind the mike at WJTT to sister station WMPZ. She is also the music director and assistant program director for both stations.

Q: When did you start in radio?

A: The year after I graduated from Chattanooga City High School. I started into the broadcast program at Chattanooga State and was hired part-time at WJTT.

I was doing the radio thing at Chattanooga State too. It was college radio so no one was listening. I would call my grandmother and tell her to listen. She would say, "Well, hurry up because I have to watch my programs on TV."

Q: Some people like the music and some like the technical part of it. What was it you liked about radio?

A: I absolutely have a love for music and I did love the technical part. It could be the fact that I love people and I try not to meet any strangers. It's the joy of making other people happy, I guess.

Q: I know that you got to introduce LL Cool J before his show at Riverbend. In fact, I heard from [co-workers] Eric Foster and Jay Holloway that you made it clear you would be the one to do that.

A: That's true.

Q: Do you like meeting the artists?

A: That was one of the highlights of my life and we are still good friends. There are still a couple of people I'd still love to meet and over the years I've met lots of celebrities, but this is what I do.

Q: WJTT is one of the few stations where artists still do studio visits. Do you enjoy that?

A: We are. We do have artists come by and that is because of the relationships we have with the labels. Myself and [operations manager] Keith Landecker have worked hard to build those relationships.

Q: You just started a new gig at Groove 93. After all these years of being at WJTT, were you nervous and how did that come about?

A: I was a little nervous actually. This is an entirely different station, but with music that I am familiar with. I got a nice welcome. The listeners are people who grew up listening to WJTT and Groove 93 plays the music they grew up on, so I know a lot of them already. I think I am going to love being there. Plus, it is just down the hall and I still work with Power 94, so it's the best of both.

Q: Did you ever consider leaving town for a different market?

A: I've thought about it, but my love of Chattanooga keeps me here and my family is here. It sounds fake, but I really do love Chattanooga. I've traveled and been all over, but I love it here.

Q: Is there anything you haven't done that you'd like to try?

A: Maybe it's because of my fear of it, but I'd like to try TV. I love being behind the mike but I'm absolutely the deer in the highlights.

Q: Do you have a moment or an event that you are most proud of?

A: I had a chance to go to Paisley Park Studio when Prince had a 1999 party. He is like my favorite artist ever and to be invited and to be able to go was pretty special.