News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact
Mitchell with Carl Wayne Mullins in the background at WTLS' 50th anniversary

A voice that won't be forgotten

By Michael Butler

Jack Mitchell was well known for his work in broadcasting in the Tallassee area. He died on Friday at the age of 72.

Mitchell got his start in radio as a young teenager at WTLS in the late 1950s.

"I think I was about 14 or 15-years-old," Mitchell said at the station's 50th anniversary reunion in 2004. "I told Ned (Butler) I wanted to be an announcer. I hung out at the radio station as much as I could after school and on the weekends. One Saturday, Ned was sick. He said, 'You know how to work this board? I'm going home and go to bed. You take over.' I thought I was in hog heaven."

Mitchell was on the air at WTLS in 1963 on the day of the assassination of president John F. Kennnedy.

Mitchell in the 1960s at WTLS with a Beatles album among the stack of records on the playlist

"Don Tucker was a part-time announcer. I would come in and do the afternoons. He would do the noon news," Mitchell recalled. "The AP machine was ringing. (Don) said, 'The president has been shot in Dallas, Texas. One report says it probably was fatal.' All radio and TV stations went solid Kennedy for four or five days. We did the same."

Mitchell had several jobs in radio and television. He co-hosted the "Coffee Break" morning show with Ronald Brantley in the 1980s on WTLS. It was later broadcast on cable television.

In addition, Mitchell was the play-by-play voice of the Tallassee Tigers on radio broadcasts. One of his famous calls came in Tallassee's win over Stanhope Elmore in 1983 to clinch the school's first ever playoff berth.

"The Tallassee Tigers are in the state playoffs," Mitchell exclaimed. "Listen to that crowd. How 'bout them Tigers!"

The game is popularly known for the "Jo Jo get 'em off the goalposts" call by color commentator Timm Timmerman.

"Everybody's on the field," Mitchell announced. "12 Stanhope Elmore players jumped on a Tallassee Tiger. They have police on the sidelines. They say it's over. The officials are leaving. The Tallassee Tigers are in the state playoffs."

Services for Mitchell were held on Monday at First Baptist Church in Tallassee.

Mitchell's THS/Stanhope '83 Call

Send Comments