Lost John Brown tapes resurface (Basketball)

November 24, 2009

The name John Brown will always carry special significance to Ketchikan High School basketball fans after he helped the Kings win four consecutive state championships from 1965 to 1968.

As a result, he became the first player in Alaska history to accomplish the four-peat.

Now, you can listen to him in action, thanks to Brown’s mom, who taped games in 1967 and 1968 via microphone and a local AM radio feed.

“John’s mother’s comments in the background are often pretty funny,” said Bob Kern of KFMJ radio in Ketchikan. “You can hear her admonishing, ‘John, John, John’ anytime he would foul someone, or you can hear her cheering when K-Hi scored.”

The vintage tapes were reportedly discovered in a storage area, Kern said, and they are the earliest known recordings of KTKN broadcasts.

“We’ve done our best to clean up the static and scratchy audio, and have digitized the games,” Kern said.

Listen to the tapes here.

The broadcasts feature some of Alaska’s legendary sportscasters such as Dick Lobdell of Anchorage, Steve Agbaba of Fairbanks and Mike Owen Hunt and Tom Friesen of Ketchikan.

“They’re a real slice of Alaska broadcast history,” Kern said.

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