Charles Hanson

hansonA widely known personality who made his mark on Wisconsin radio over a 45 year career, he was especially noted for his 29 year tenure at WISN-AM, Milwaukee, where his easy warmth, ready wit and sidekick ‘Shaky’ were a morning drive time staple from 1956-86. His early broadcasting career included service at WWCF-FM, Madison and WAPL-AM Appleton radio stations, as well as WBAY-TV, Green Bay and WISN-TV, Milwaukee. He retired from his afternoon show on WOKY-AM, Milwaukee, in 1990, as one of Wisconsin’s legendary entertainment figures.

Charles Hanson passed away on September 17, 1998.


  1. jeff brandt

    Thanks for the video! I listened every day starting when I moved to Milwaukee in 1970 to the end of his show. I loved it and still smile thinking back on it. Here’s to you Charlie, and Shakey!

  2. Florence Hanson,

    My dear Father in Law, that was so talented, and adored by his family. An honerable, very human man, we used to hold hands when we went to church. I learned alot about devotion from my adopted family, and our children did, as well. Betty, his wife was a huge part of his sucess ; she made it possible for Charlie and Shakey to thrive.

  3. Bob Geniusz

    I remember him saying, “Put a Dotch (his way of saying Dodge) in your Gratch (garage pronounced to rhyme with Dotch) He had at least 3 other characters but I do not remember all of their names.

  4. Ted Grob,Jr

    I would like to buy the CD, The Best of Charlie Hanson. The only copy I have found so far is at Marquette U. I can listen to it, but not buy or copy it.

    I would also hope the family would put Shaky up north during hunting season on U-Tube so we could all enjoy it.

    That was a classic.

  5. Lynn yeazel

    Can you tell what year and what age Charlie Hanson died? I grew up I peshtigo, watched him on Wbay and worked at what.

  6. For Dan,

    Your dad was the only one of his kind. Many have tried to copy Charlie and Shaky. In 1990, I lost my job in New York. I cam home after 17 years of being away and was so surprised to fin him on WOKY. While mapping a strategy of looking for a new job at my folk’s kitchen table, I flipped on their kitchen radio. Your dad was on the radio and I popped in a casette, recorded all of the show except for the commercials and the music. I got a few segments down at the Idle Hour Cafe and Shaky’s new girlfriend, Ernestine Borgnine. It was a difficult time for me, but you dad lightened my load in a way that cannot be described. He made me laugh and changed my outlook on my plight. I hoped to meet him one day and tell him face-to-face what he meant to me all those years, growing up in Milwaukee.


  7. Randy cox

    Charlie Hanson was an original. I remember growing up in Racine in the 60’s and 70’s listening to him because my parents always had him on in the car when my dad went to work or my mom at the house.. I heard him by accident. I usually listened to WOKY, but I also loved listening to WISN in the mornings. I fell in love with shakey and wish I could find a CD of him now. He was part of my life and miss those days. The world was a better place when Charlie was in it. God bless him and Shakey

  8. Anonymous

    I am a long-time, major-market radio host. People like Charlie have touched so many people’s lives over the years. And these are the true entertainers, because besides making an average salary, there is little else fine performers like Charlie want in return. Like he said, and I agree, it’s an honor just to have you listen. That’s what makes fine radio people tick. They’ll never win a Grammy, or be in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, but gosh what would we do without them. Thank you, too, Charlie, as you had touched my life each morning when i got up to dress for school – dreaming that one day i could be on the radio, and then following in your step. Way to go, Charlie. There is interest in getting Charlie’s CD from various people on this chat. Maybe his son would be able to make that available again. It’s a legacy worth sharing 🙂

  9. l hickey

    where can i find the song ‘sweet sause’ that charlie used to play on the radio?

  10. Thor Hanson

    Really great to read all these nice comments about Grandpa Charlie on his birthday.

  11. You were awesome Charlie and so is your family; especially your daughter😅

  12. Michael Hanson

    Miss you often Grandpa Charlie. Say hi to my dad up there for me.

    Love You.

  13. John Blaies

    I grew up in Waukesha and listened to Charlie and “Shaky” from the late 60’s into the late 80’s. I was friends with his son Chris, who I also worked with at the Sunset Carwash, in Waukesha. From time to time, Charlie would bring in his yellow, with a black vinyl top, ’73’ Camaro for a wash. A beautiful car!! What a great guy, both on and off the air!! Great memories….

  14. Gary Fuiten

    At my 1st job in my late teens I’d turn him on in the morning & listen to him all morning. One skit he did, that for some reason sticks in my head, is when he pretended to sneak up to a open window outside City Hall during a Council meeting with a Mic to listen in on what was going on and all you could hear is yelling, arguing and furniture being thrown around. I don’t know why but I found that so funny at that time.

  15. Dan Hanson

    Here’s the thing with Shakey: My Dad almost never used the ‘Shakey’ voice at home…so when I would listen to “Shakey” every morning…that character seemed pretty REAL to me…along with all the other characters he played. Often, when I would meet my friend’s parents they would get really excited that my dad was “Charlie Hanson!” They always wanted to know who Shakey was! I’m not kidding….they would be kind of disappointed when I told them that it was just my dad doing another voice. And….I believe “Charlie & Shakey” essentially created the two-person morning drive-time announcer format…at least in the MIlwaukee listening area….and I also believe he was the only one that could ever pull it off alone! He did like to remind me however, that “WISN only had to pay one salary:)

  16. My parents listened to them also. My Dad having his coffee and my mom making lunches for 8 kids!! . Also loved the music back then.

  17. Catherine Catalane Bury

    Charlie Hanson was one of the finest, dearest people I have ever known. When I was just starting out in radio in Milwaukee he would say things about me on the air even though we were on different stations. I was the flying traffic reporter at WTMJ Radio opposite his morning show on WISN Radio. I had never met him but invited him to my wedding in 1981. At the reception, my sister Mary Grace walked me over to “someone who wanted to say hello.” Since I had never seen Charlie I didn’t know who he was at first. Then he said “Hello Kate” in his sweet and gentle voice that I only knew from hearing him on the radio. We hugged joyfully, finally meeting in person. From that day on, Charlie Hanson was not only a dear friend, he became an advisor . He was like a father to me since my dad had died years earlier. Charlie and I would talk on the phone for a long time. After my husband and I moved to St. Louis and then on to Houston, Charlie would write to me sending letters wishing me well and giving me good career advice. Charlie was not only a gifted and talented broadcaster, he was a beautfil writer.I saved all of his letters. I was devastated to hear he had died. Here it is, 2023 and I still think about that dear man. I will cherish the memories of our ‘father-daughter’ friendship for the rest of my life. I also knew that Charlie and his wife Betty had six sons. I came from a family of six girls. And all of the Catalane sisters loved Charlie Hanson.

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