or anyone else who can answer. The article on Light Horse Harry Jones mentioned the PA announcer at War Memorial in 1965. I’m sure I haven’t heard that voice in at least 40 years, but it is still one of the most iconic voices rattling around in my head today. He wasn’t exactly Mr. Golden Pipes or the most energetic voice to ever blare through a speaker, but he will always be The War Memorial Stadium voice to me. My question is: Who was he? How long was he the voice? When did he announce his last Razorback game? What became of him?
I think a man named Hippo Crafton did PA at War Memorial Stadium at one point. I’m not sure if it was him, though.
Here’s a story I found on Hippo; says he was “very active” on the War Memorial Omission, but doesn’t say whether or not he did the game announcing. Sounds like an interesting fellow, anyhow.
Crafty Hal Crafton, Hippo’s son, starred with Marvin Delph on Conway’s state championship team in 1974.
No, it was not Hippo Crafton. He was owner at United Motors in Conway. Was appointed to stadium commission for many years. Hippo’s son Leo, now a Conway dentist, was my college roommate at UCA and introduced me to Jean Ann. I am very close to the Craftons.
I ate dinner many times in the Crafton home. All great meals cooked by Dorothy Crafton. Afterwards the talk would be Razorback football. Hippo never did the PA.
My brother Butch confirmed my thoughts, although I wasn’t 100 percent sure. Butch said the announcer in War Memorial Stadium was Bud Pyron. I knew Bud and he’d usually come find me in the press box in the later years of my coverage at UA games in War Memorial. Good man and he did have the pipes.
My memories of the P.A. announcer at WMS always go back to:
“Jim-my Plun-ket passing com-PLETE to Ran-dy Va-TA-ha.” Repeated again and again.
Yeah, I remember that night well and I think you did a good job of recreating Mr. Pyron’s distinctive cadence. We came Oh so close to pulling that one out after trailing all night. Montgomery stopped inches short of a first down in the red zone. I also vividly remember Mr. Pyron giving us the score of the Olympic basketball final in 72. I believe this was the night we were thumped by the great USC team that featured a roster full of future NFL stars. He told us that the US had defeated “the United States of Soviet Russia”. That is what he called them. Of course, we later found out that score did not hold.