“Wild Bill” Curry is gone

He was the first radio voice for the Carolina Cougars of the old ABA based out of Greensboro. He used to work for WTHP 98.3 FM out of Thomasville. He was “Wild Bill” Curry to me and he was known as the “Mouth of the South” to many other sports fans who listened to the radio. His sidekick was Bob Lamey who now works in Indiana on 1070 AM and does the Pacers and Indianapolis Colts work as well.

The Carolina Cougars used to be broadcast on the old WBIG home of Bob Poole and Bill Curry was there. Curry was a wild man and he did the UNC Tar Heels before Woody Durham stole the Heels and then “Wild Bill” did the Cougars until he left to do TV in Pittsburgh and that’s when Lamey took over the Cougars’ radio broadcast.

“Wild Bill” Curry is gone and here’s the report from Caulton Tudor of the News and Observer by way of www.charlotte.com:

Bill Currie, nicknamed the “Mouth of the South” during his days as a popular radio and television personality in North Carolina, died “a Tar Heel fan to the core,” his daughter said Tuesday.

Margaret Currie Granger said her father, 83, died at 11:40 p.m. Pacific time Monday in an Olympia, Wash., hospital as the result of a brain hemorrhage.

“He never lost that famous spirit of his, and he certainly never lost that deep love for Carolina football and basketball,” Granger said.

Born in High Point, Currie attended Catawba College. Witty and irreverent, he did the radio play-by-play for North Carolina football and basketball during much of the 1960s.

“He was one of those one-in-a-million characters,” said former North Carolina football coach Bill Dooley. “I would bet that Bill probably had more funny stories and jokes than almost anybody in the world. You couldn’t print any of them, though. They weren’t exactly meant for mixed company.”

One of Currie’s more memorable lines occurred during his broadcast of N.C. State’s 12-10 win against Duke during the 1968 ACC basketball tournament in Charlotte. In the days before the shot clock, neither team forced the action. The halftime score was Duke 4, N.C. State 2.

Currie advised listeners that the action was about as exciting as “artificial insemination.”

“That line may not have been in good taste, but it was one that a lot of people still talk about,” said Woody Durham, who took over Tar Heels broadcasts the following season. “As a humorist, Bill had very few rivals, if any. You never knew exactly what he might say, but he definitely had a way of keeping your interest.”

Bob Lamey, now the voice of the Indianapolis Colts, was Currie’s color analyst in those days.

“People thought it was all just Bill’s act, but that was just who he was,” Lamey said. “When he was working at WSOC in Charlotte, he kept a casket in his office. I’m not kidding. Almost every afternoon, he’d get in that casket, lie down and take a nap. … Talk about freaking folks out.”

2 thoughts on ““Wild Bill” Curry is gone

  1. I worked for Bill when he was the Manager of WRAL AM-FM Radio in Raleigh from 1958 to 1962 when he and Ray Reeves started selling the Carolina (UNC) sports events because of the advertisers support in Raleigh.

    To quote Bill “Tempus Fugit” and “Don’t let your deal go down, nawsir.”

  2. You had to work with him…to know him.

    Did a UNC game with Bill….back when Bunting was an on the field team….

    Bill…. and I worked together at WSOC TV…. He made life happy… He was…as I recall…preparing to be a minister…in his early days.

    “Don’t go near the foot of the cross….that is where they are nailing.”
    That life size picture of the casket….with Bill in the casket….right eye open .and looking at the camera..was on his office wall….. Made to take to the TV reps….to give them an idea of just what Wild Bill was. “Sweet Old Bill.”
    Bob Lamey had a photographic memory….and kept stacks of three ring notebooks…with stats…and records…

    Bill would list a few words…to remind him of what he wanted to broadcast…each word would then produce his remarkable broadcasts….
    Rowdy Richard Raley was one who was his team.

Comments are closed.