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ETSU Hall of Fame: Voice of Bucs’ has just about seen it all
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Editor's note: The following Johnson City Press story is the second in a series of six daily features profiling the 2013 ETSU Athletics Hall of Fame class, leading up to the induction ceremony Sunday at the Millennium Center in Johnson City. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., and tickets may be purchased by calling 423-439-4343. ETSUBucs.com is providing an excerpt from each day's story courtesy of the Johnson City Press.
By TREY WILLIAMS
Press Sports Writer
Not that the humbly understated Norm Davis ever lobbied for it, but he spent 50 years talking his way into the ETSU Hall of Fame.
Davis will be officially inducted on Sunday, and news of his selection silenced the only public address voice most Buccaneers fans have ever known.
“I guess, for the first time, I was speechless,” Davis said. “I thought, ‘This is amazing.’ … I got tearyeyed.”
Davis, who has four degrees in education from ETSU, came to Johnson City from Bakersville, N.C., to start college in 1958. He began doing ETSU football and basketball games in 1963. He did football until it was stopped following the 2003 season, and has done every basketball season except two, which he’s fairly certain were coach Leroy Fisher’s final two seasons in the mid-1970s.
He hasn’t taken any money for his task since 1977. It’s a labor of love for the refined, soothing voice that’s echoed through the Minidome for decades.
Davis began at the ETSU radio station, and soon was working weekends at WJSO. There’s no trace of a Southern or Appalachian accent, although he says might be the first in his family who can make such a claim.
“My own family members had a hick accent,” Davis said. “I was very, very Southern. I started working at the campus radio station with Ed Carter and Johnny Wood … and we kindled a real interest in broadcasting. And I’ll never forget the first tape I made. I still have a copy of it. It is so Southern that I said, ‘I’m going to lose that accent.’
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