Courtney Haden

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Courtney Haden (born September 20, 1950 in Homewood; died January 6, 2017 in Birmingham) was a writer, cartoonist, radio personality, copywriter and columnist known for his ability to discourse extensively on any subject and to weave gems from his extensive historical knowledge of music, culture and politics into finely-structured anecdotes and polemics.

Haden was one of six children born to physician Hugh Haden and his wife, Carmetta. He graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1967 and briefly attended the University of Alabama to study broadcasting, but dropped out when he found work at a radio station. For eight years, before anyone thought to verify if he was still a student, he contributed regularly to the Crimson White.

Haden began working as a writer, voice-over artist and producer at Boutwell Studios in 1976 and he later became a partner in the business when Ed Boutwell retired in 1984. He and fellow producer/voice actor Greg Bass formed the "Greg and Courtney" morning-show team on WKXX-FM (Kicks 106) from 1981 to 1984. They moved the show to Rock 99 in 1991. The duo was fired in 1993.

Haden's columns appeared in a long succession of alternative newspapers. In the 1970s he wrote for Southern Style. In 1980s he contributed to the Blue Note, The Birmingham Reporter, The Southsider, Boz Art, Creative Loafing, Blue Note and I Cover the War. In the 1990s his writing could be found in Fun & Stuff and Black & White. In the 2000's his columns appeared in the Birmingham Weekly and later in Weld. He also wrote for Birmingham Magazine. In 2014 he and Bass produced a documentary about the 16th Street Baptist Church for WBHM-FM which won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.

Haden died from a brain aneurysm on January 6, 2017 at UAB Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Kim Bryan, step daughter, two grandchildren, his mother, sister, four brothers, and numerous nieces and nephews.


  • Garrison, Greg (January 13, 2017) "Radio wit, studio exec who spoofed 'Rocky Top' for Finebaum kept Birmingham smiling." The Birmingham News
  • Barra, Allen (January 15, 2017) "Remembering Courtney Haden" Weld for Birmingham