Monday, January 19, 2015

R.I.P. Longtime Boston Bruins Voice Bob Wilson

Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson, the longtime radio voice of the Boston Bruins, died earlier this week.

He was 85-years-of-age, according to The Boston Globe.

Wilson served as play-by-play announcer and color commentator at different times for the Bruins’ radio broadcasts for more than 20 years, including their Stanley Cup-winning campaign of 1971-72. He retired in 1995.

“On behalf of the Boston Bruins organization, we are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Wilson,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement. “For a generation of New England hockey fans, Bob’s legendary voice was synonymous with the Bruins and he will always be a part of our club’s history. Our thoughts are with Nancy and their children during this difficult time.”

Wilson worked at various radio stations in the Boston area, including at WCOP in Boston, where he was a top-40 disc jockey in the late 1950s. By the mid 1960s, he became a staff announcer at WHDH 850 AM (now WEEI), where he worked as the analyst on Bruins' games and was the weekend sports anchor on the then WHDH-TV Channel 5, the city's CBS affiliate. From 1964-67, Wilson served as the color commentator for the Bruins' radio broadcasts alongside radio voice Bill Harrington. In 1967, he succeeded Jim Laing as the radio voice of the Bruins, his promotion coinciding with the team's rise to a Stanley Cup contender, led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. However, when the Bruins departed WHDH for WBZ 1030 AM in 1969, Wilson was put out of a job. He left Boston and joined the sports staff of St. Louis' KMOX, and missed Boston's 1970 Stanley Cup triumph.

In the summer of 1971, he returned to Boston when WBZ restored him to the radio play-by-play post after Boston hockey broadcasting legend Fred Cusick switched from radio to WSBK-TV and the Bruins' TV network. In Wilson's first year back at the Bruins' microphone, he called Boston's 1972 Cup win. He then continued as the team's voice through 1994 when he chose to retire during the 1994–95 NHL lockout.

He later worked part-time hosting a music program on 104.9FM WLKZ in New Hampshire's Lakes Region where he had become a longtime resident.

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