Almost 50 years of memories and stories from Texas A&M’s former play-by-play sports radio announcer can be found in one book.
Dave South’s “You Saw Me on the Radio” chronicles his 48-year career behind the microphone with an emphasis on his 32-year tenure as the voice of A&M athletics. South retired in 2018 as the voice of Aggie football and men’s basketball but still calls A&M baseball games.
“As I would go out and speak to Aggie groups over the last 30 years, I’m a storyteller and I told lots of stories,” South said. “Every time we would, as time went by, especially over the last 20 or so years, people kept saying, ‘Why don’t you write a book and tell some of those stories?’”
From South’s start as a radio broadcaster to a behind-the-scenes look at how South prepared for and called games, this book encompasses many unforgettable stories from South in the booth and in life, too, that many Aggie fans will enjoy and appreciate. South and his wife, Leanne, penned and edited the book in just six weeks.
“Dave is the voice of Aggie athletics,” said Alan Cannon, who wrote the book’s foreword and serves as Texas A&M’s head sports information director. “I go back in time to when he first came in the 80s, not every game was televised, so my grandfather in East Texas would scan the radio dial and when he would hear Dave’s voice he knew he had found Aggie athletics.”
Chapters such as “The Coaches,” “Fans” and “Games” recount the relationships South formed on and off the field and share his perspective on some of the biggest games in A&M history. There’s even a chapter titled “Goofs” where South shares some of his embarrassing moments, including a halftime interview at the 1985 Sun Bowl when South didn’t know he was talking with the Treasurer of the United States.
“I thought he and his wife, Leanne, did a wonderful job with the book,” Cannon said. “At some point, it may get old just story after story after story, but in my opinion, there is not a person that has seen more Aggie athletic events because he’s always been home and away for football, basketball and baseball.”
All author proceeds from the sale of South’s book will go toward the Wounded Warrior Project, a cause South himself chose for a specific purpose.
In the chapter titled “People,” South tells the story of his interaction with a fan named Matt Bradford, a Kentucky basketball fan and retired Marine who came to see the Wildcats play the Aggies in College Station in February of 2013. In 2007, Bradford stepped on a roadside bomb while deployed in Iraq, causing him to lose his eyesight, both legs at the knees and the use of one arm. Since then, South has stayed in touch with Bradford, who graduated from Kentucky in 2017 and has gone on to skydive and participate in half-marathons.
“He and I have developed a relationship and he is a very special young man,” South said. “You would never know he’s had the hardships in life he’s had because he’s so positive about everything, and that inspired me to make the Wounded Warriors the destination for the royalties that we’re going to receive.”
There are plenty of stories that didn’t make the 126-page book South said, which means there’s a possibility another book could be written.
“We’ll see how this book does, and if it does well then we might do another,” South said. “They told me that after you write this book, you’re going to start thinking of stories you wanted to include but you just forgot. If this does well for the Wounded Warriors Project, then there’s a possibility we might do a second book.”
Aside from giving a glimpse into South’s life, South said he hopes people enjoy the stories and get a laugh from them.
“I think laughing is very important,” South said. “A sense of humor is very important and God has blessed me with a sense of humor. I think a sense of humor gives you a longer life and you don’t take life so serious all the time. I love to laugh and I’m hoping people will find some humor in the book.”
Alex Miller is a journalism senior and sports writer for The Battalion.