Authors. Stanley Sharp (left) of Booneville and Hoyt Purvis have released a a book chronicling the history of Arkansas Razorback sports broadcasters.
Stanley Sharp of Booneville is a co-author of a newly released book that chronicles the history of the men whose voices, more so than their faces, are recognized throughout the state.
Entitles “Voices of the Razorbacks” the book Sharp co-wrote with Hoyt Purvis was unveiled recently in Little Rock with Sharp and Purvis signing copies of the book at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in Little Rock.
Butler Center Books published the Purvis and Sharp work that bears a subtitle of “A history of Arkansas’s iconic sports broadcasters.”
The book, Sharp says, is largely excerpted from his master’s degree thesis Sharp completed through Purvis’s guidance while Sharp was completing a masters in journalism at the University of Arkansas.
“Three-fourths of that book is my graduate thesis,” said Sharp. “If that book had been my graduate thesis it would have been about three times thicker than it is. Before he edited my graduate thesis it would have been about six times thicker than it is. I’m a little too prolific.
“So (Purvis) did the editing part and put it together and made it a more functional read for what the publishers wanted.”
A 1988 Booneville graduate, Sharp, said he grew up listening to some of the men portrayed in the book.
Sharp interviewed many of the men who were behind the microphone for Razorback broadcasts. He was, however, unable to interview Paul Eels, as perhaps the most recognizable voice in Razorback history, had passed away.
As a result a lot of the material about Eels was easily located through media coverage of his passing.
“I interviewed (current announcer) Chuck Barrett, and Bob Cheyne, who was the oldest one,” said Sharp. “I interviewed two guys who died shortly after I interviewed them. Bob Fulton was the first broadcaster to put the Razorbacks on the radio, on three stations, two in Little Rock and one in West Memphis; and Cheyne, who was the founder of the network.”
The network also fed the interest.
“I got quite a stir because when I interviewed people they got to talking about it on their shows,” said Sharp. “They talked about it on a Razorback basketball broadcast and (Purvis) got excited about it then.”
Besides transcribed scripts of games, including the seven overtime football game in Kentucky, and the book is also complete with the artwork provided by the Pryor Center and UA media guides, Sharp said. Among those is a photo of Pat Summerall, a UA player who became a national broadcaster.