Maury Farrell, Red Drew, John Forney (circa 1952)

Maury Farrell, Red Drew, John Forney (circa 1952)

John Forney began doing a few play-by-play games for Alabama basketball in the late 1940s. The Tuscaloosa native left Alabama for several years and returned to Birmingham to work in the advertising business.

He was subsequently hired as the color analyst for Alabama football in 1952 working with Maury Farrell. 

In 1964 he became the play-by-play announcer and stayed in that job until 1982. He returned briefly a few years later.

From 1961-66 he was host of the Bear Bryant television show and later was host of the Gene Stallings show.

John Forney, Doug Layton and Joe Namath (photo by Jimmy Bank)

John Forney, Doug Layton and Joe Namath (photo by Jimmy Bank)

Forney was chosen Alabama Sportscaster of the Year in 1960 and 1964.

Forney 4
Forney

Forney was the author of three books. 

As part of the Class of 1998, Forney was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. His bio reads as such:

Born: June 4, 1927 in Los Angeles, California

Category: Media

Forney began his broadcasting career in Tuscaloosa. While in high school and college, he covered University of Alabama basketball games. He was a broadcaster for the Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team in 1948. He spent 30 years with the Alabama Football Network and was the play-by-play man for 19 of those years. With Maury Farrell in 1948, Forney broadcasted the renewal of the Alabama vs. Auburn football game. The 1948 Iron Bowl was the first televised coverage of football in the state of Alabama. From 1961-66, he was host of the Bear Bryant television show and later was host of the Gene Stallings show. He was chosen Alabama Sportscaster of the Year in 1960 and 1964.

Forney died in 1997.

If you've never had the pleasure of listening to Forney, here you go: