His voice was well-known to a generation in Tuscaloosa.

He was on the air in the Golden Age of AM radio in Tuscaloosa at WTBC and WJRD in the 1960s.

He was the voice of Tuscaloosa County High School's football and basketball games for over 20 years. 

Oren "Russ" Russell Chappell, Sr., died July 1 at DCH Regional Medical Center. He was 87.

Russ was born in Pine Apple and raised in nearby Greenville. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a broadcasting degree in 1958, the same year Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant showed up on campus.

Russ began his career as an on-the-air personality at WTBC and WJRD, two AM radio powerhouses in the 1960s.

He then became an advertising executive with Dan Kilgo & Associates. He helped found the Tuscaloosa Ad Club and was its first president.

Russ was chosen as governor of the American Advertising Federation's Deep South District. In 1977, he received the American Advertising Federation's Silver Medal Award for outstanding contributions to advertising and community leadership.

Russ later formed Group One Advertising and the Promotional Group, Inc.

Russ may be best known for being the "Voice of the Wildcats," broadcasting Tuscaloosa County High School football and basketball games for over 20 years. That voice.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said, "Russ brought me to Tuscaloosa and I worked for him at WJRD before joining Tiger Jack Garretson at WTBC."

Russ Chappelle was a part of the lives of many radio people in Tuscaloosa.

I am part of all that I have met.

Jim' Zig' Zeigler's beat is the colorful and positive about Alabama. He writes about Alabama people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

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