FAYETTEVILLE Bob Cheyne, who was the radio voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks during the golden era of football at the university, died Saturday from complications with pneumonia. He was 86.
Cheyne was the first "Voice of the Razorbacks" for 22 seasons from 1948 to 1969 while also serving as the university's first sports information director. In the 1950s he and his wife, Jennie, were influential in laying the groundwork for what would become the Arkansas Razorbacks Sports Network for radio and he was inducted into the Razorback Sports Hall of Honor in 1996.
He was named the Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year six times by the National Association of Sportscasters during his tenure with the Razorbacks, serving as the play-by-play announcer for football and basketball.
As SID, Cheyne was credited with compiling the first list of all football lettermen dating to when Arkansas began playing the sport in 1894. In 1954 he located the three surviving members of the school's first football team and had them honored at halftime of the Homecoming game.
Among the notable games he broadcasted were Arkansas' monumental 1954 win over Ole Miss in Little Rock, 22 consecutive wins spanning the 1964 national championship season and 1965, and the 1969 Big Shootout between the No. 2 Razorbacks and No. 1 Texas.
Cheyne left the UA to work as director of advertising and public relations for Cooper Communities - working primarily with Bella Vista Village, Hot Springs Village and Cherokee Village - and in 1977 he co-established the advertising agency Cheyne/Cooper & Associates. In 1985 he was hired by Sam Walton to work as the first director of marketing for Sam's Club, where he later became the vice president of marketing before retiring in 1997.
After his retirement from Sam's Club he spent 14 years working for KBVA-FM in Gravette as a senior account executive before retiring again in 2013.
Cheyne was a veteran of the United States Navy, where he served as an aviation radioman during World War II. After his discharge he was the sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times while obtaining a degree in journalism from the UA.
Funeral services for Cheyne will be held Thursday at Bentonville's First United Methodist Church.
Information from Cheyne's obituary was used in this article