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[BN] Chronicles: Reliving Bills glory through sounds of the past

[BN] Chronicles: Reliving Bills glory through sounds of the past

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Van in the booth

Van Miller in the booth at Rich Stadium in 1979.

With each successive win, more people hop on the Bills bandwagon – and more memories flow from the last time the Bills captured the hearts of so many Western New Yorkers.

In the same way we’re reaching to the backs of our closets for clothes we haven’t seen since the stadium in Orchard Park was named Rich – many of us are pulling up fragments of songs and voices and memories that haven’t been kindled in years.

With that in mind, we’ve dipped into the Buffalo Stories audio archive vault to find some classic Buffalo Bills-related audio – some of which hasn’t been heard in decades.

Respect the Bills

An Aretha Franklin inspired song featuring lyrics written about the late 80s Buffalo Bills, with Van Miller highlights mixed in as well as the well-remembered lyric “R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Jim Kelly pass to Andre Reed.” This played often on Magic 102.

An Aretha Franklin-inspired song featuring lyrics written about the late '80s teams, with Van Miller highlights mixed in, as well as the well-remembered lyric “R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Jim Kelly pass to Andre Reed.” This played often on Magic 102.

Fred Smerlas and Jim Haslett promote their radio show on WBEN

Buffalo Bills Fred Smerlas and Jim Haslett joined WBEN Sports Director John Murphy for a raucous call-in show weekly during Bills season in the early 80s.

Buffalo Bills Fred Smerlas and Jim Haslett joined WBEN Sports Director John Murphy for a raucous weekly call-in show during Bills season in the early '80s.

Van Stan seat promos

After years on WKBW Radio, the Bills returned to WBEN in 1979, which meant Van Miller and Stan Barron returned to the broadcast booth for the games. These promos feature Van, Stan, and play-by-play highlights from the late 60s, including from 1969—the only season Van Miller called during the OJ Simpson era of Bills football. Featured is a rare Van Miller call of an OJ Simpson play.

After years on WKBW Radio, the Bills returned to WBEN in 1979, which meant Van Miller and Stan Barron returned to the broadcast booth for the games. These promos feature Van, Stan, and play-by-play highlights from the late '60s, including from 1969 – the only season Van Miller called during the O.J. Simpson era of Bills football.

WKBW 1970s

Jeff Kaye opens the Buffalo Bills Football broadcasts on WKBW Radio in the early 70s, with a cue to Rick Azar, Ed Rutkowski and Al Meltzer. Promos that would run during the game follow with the voices of then-KB Personalities Sandy Beach, Joe Downey, Don Berns, Jack Sheridan, and Bob MacRae on one of America's two great radio stations-- WKBW.

Jeff Kaye opens the Buffalo Bills football broadcasts on WKBW Radio in the early '70s, with a cue to Rick Azar, Ed Rutkowski and play-by-play man Al Meltzer. Promos that would run during the game follow with the voices of then-KB Personalities Sandy Beach, Joe Downey, Don Berns, Jack Sheridan and Bob MacRae on “one of America's two great radio stations – WKBW.”

Van Miller and John Murphy promote Bills football

A great radio piece with Van Miller and John Murphy talking up the Bills and Buffalo in the mid 80s, interspersed with play-by-play highlights. Additional comments from Erie County Executive Ed Rutkowski and Buffalo Mayor James Griffin and some classic WBEN jingles as well.

A great radio piece with Van Miller and John Murphy talking up the Bills and Buffalo in the mid-'80s, interspersed with play-by-play highlights. Additional comments from Erie County Executive Ed Rutkowski and Buffalo Mayor James Griffin and some classic WBEN jingles are there, too.

Van’s spiel in this piece is amazing.

“Hi, this is Van Miller. I do the Bills play-by-play on WBEN Radio – in fact, I did my first Bills broadcast as a kid when the franchise kicked off back in 1960.

“So, I think I know this team and this community as well as anybody, and believe me, the Bills are an institution in Buffalo.

“This is a sports crazy town, a workingman’s town, a chicken wings, beef on weck and beer drinking town. And to a man, woman and child, they love the Bills in Buffalo.”

It’s nice to know some things never change.

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