Malcolm Street Sr.
Malcolm Street Sr.
Malcolm Street Sr. was one of the biggest supporters of high school football (and other sports) in the state of Alabama. He passed away this past Friday at the age of 92. I was fortunate enough to work with and for this man from 1980-1990 doing radio broadcasts of Anniston High School football as well as the Calhoun County High School Basketball Tournament.
But one of the most enjoyable parts of my relationship with him was the stories he told of Alabama high school football in yesteryears. While traveling on road trips to Montgomery, or Birmingham, or Huntsville, he would tell me stories of broadcasting games from a tree outside Snitz Snider Stadium in Bessemer back in the 1940's or talk about the rivalry between Anniston and Gadsden in the 1950's and 60's.
He used a lot of colorful metaphors during his broadcasts but I always remembered one thing he stressed.... continually remind the audience of the score and time of the game because you never knew when someone would be tuning in or out. In the late 80's, he gradually turned play by play duties over to Mike Parris (now the voice of the JSU Gamecocks) but he would still be at every game. He owned WHMA AM-FM during the 80's and his station had the first post game call in show in the state devoted directly to high school football.
In the 80's, the FM station at 100.5 FM broadcast at a power of 100,000 watt s and at night could be heard in Georgia and as far south as Luverne, Alabama and as far west as Tuscaloosa. I assisted his son Rob Street gather scores and other information and discussed playoff pairings while taking calls from listeners. This show was far ahead of its time. I was truly blessed to have known him. He will be missed.
Funeral services for long time radio legend, Malcolm Bartell Street Sr., 92, will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, December 2, 2008, at Parker Memorial Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Mack Amis and the Rev. Michael Jones officiating. Burial will be in Forestlawn Gardens.
The family will receive friends at K.L. Brown Memory Chapel from 6-8 tonight and for one hour prior to services at the church. Mr. Street died Friday at his residence.
He is survived by his wife, Mildred Phillips Rains Street, of Anniston; a daughter, Martha Street (Lavern) Warhurst, of Hanceville; two sons, Malcolm Bartell (Sharon) Street Jr., of Anniston and Robert Osborne (Kandi) Street, of Oxford; a step son, Hal Montgomery "Monty" (Lisa) Rains, of Hoover; grandchildren, Cindy (Jack) Holbrook, of Los Angeles, Calif., Julie (Michael) Jones, of Cullman, Lara (Brad) Carr, of Anniston, Bart (Jennifer) Street, of Greenville, S.C., Lauren Rains, Connor Rains, Carly Rains, all of Birmingham, Kristin Wade, Brittany Wade, Blake Wade, all of Oxford, Michael (Tanya) Watts, of Oxford, Gayle Kozenski, of Cape Coral, Fla., Justin Wade, of Oxford, Stephanie (Cody) Homesley, of Jacksonville and Court ney Lee, of Eastaboga; 17 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Born in Gadsden on September 20, 1916, Street graduated from Glencoe High School as his class president and valedictorian in 1935. His first football "play by play" came in 1936, Gadsden vs. Sidney Lanier on WJBY. He received his B.S. Degree from Jacksonville State in 1939. With the promise of a $2.50 per week raise (enough to afford to get married), Street was lured to Anniston to WHMA. 1944 brought military service as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve. Returning to radio after the war in 1946, Street quickly climbed the ranks from Sports Director to General Manager in 1947 and president of the Anniston Broadcasting Company in 1965.
Under his leadership the company started the first FM radio station in East Alabama and in 1969 put WHMA TV40 on the air. Street's special love of sports grew as he covered thousands of athletic events including high school and college football, basketball, pro, high school and Little League baseball, golf tournaments and even a soap box derby. Street was the "voice of the Anniston Bulldogs", the "voice of the Anniston Rams" professional baseball team, and the "voice of the Jacksonville State Gamecocks" for over 40 years. Special recognition of Malcolm Street Sr. includes: his induction into the inaugural class of the Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame, the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Jacksonville State University Gamecock Hall of Fame.
Other awards include: 20 Anniston's Man of the Year in 1961, an honorary Doctors of Law Degree from JSU in 1980, the Presidency of the Alabama Broadcasters Association and induction into it's Hall of Fame in 1980, Alabama Sportscaster of the Year, Broadcaster of the Year, The Boy Scouts of America "Silver Beaver Award" in 1966 and the James West Fellow in 1994.
Street also pioneered sports shows with staying power like Coaches Corner, Pigskin Round-up, the Evening Sports Parade and TV40's Jax State Football The Review. Malcolm Street's service to the community began at his church. He served as Chairman of the Deacons and taught a Sunday School class for 58 years at Parker Memorial Baptist Church in Anniston. He was a 60 year member of the Anniston Civitan Club, co-founder of the Anniston Quarterback Club, life member and past president of the YMCA. The American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Heart Fund, March of Dimes, and Jacksonville State University Foundation all benefited over the years from his fund-raising efforts. He was a charter member of the Anniston Quarterback Club , life member of the Jax State Alumni Association and member of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce. Malcolm Bartell Street, Sr. loved God, family and country and served each to his utmost.
The Super 6 State Championships began in 1996. Since then all title games were played at Legion Field in Birmingham until 2009.