Bill Melton’s voice sounds familiar.
He worked as the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium announcer for a decade and the State Fair Classic football game for 32 years, among many other sports announcing credits.
That’s only part of Melton’s story. Melton also served as Dallas County Treasurer for more than 25 years and is responsible for bringing county finances into the technological era back in the ’80s. Hid work resulted in earning more than $400 million in interest for Dallas County, which gained a AAA bond rating under his guidance.
The Oak Cliff Lions Club this week honored Melton with the award that’s named for him. Yes, Bill Melton was awarded the Bill Melton Oak Cliff Lions Club Humanitarian Award, which Melton founded in 1978. That first award was given, 40 years ago, to Tom Landry.
In a Lions Club luncheon this week, National Football League Hall of Fame member Rayfield Wright introduced the Oak Cliff native in Melton’s own style, which was followed by “The Eyes of Texas” in honor of Melton, a former University of Texas cheerleader.
Melton was born at Methodist hospital and attended Rosemont, Greiner and Sunset, graduating in 1958. His father, Allen Melton, was an attorney and Oak Cliff Justice of the Peace.
“I’m so pleased to see … that Oak Cliff is making a comeback. Oh, what a great comeback,” he said. “Just drive it. What a change.”
He worked a radio announcer in Austin for several years before returning to Dallas in 1966 to serve as assistant general manager of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, which at that time had 1,200 members and was the largest area chamber in the United States.
Serving the county, volunteering on boards of directors including Goodwill Industries of Dallas and WRR radio, he also continued his announcing career.
He also was stadium announcer for the Texas Rangers for six years, the Texas Relays for 40 years, SMU football, basketball and band for 24 years, many college football bowl games, the 1994 World Cup and men’s and women’s soccer games at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, when Mia Hamm led the United States to the first-ever Olympic gold medal in that sport.
He also announced every game, home and away, for our American Basketball Association team, the Dallas Chaparrals.
He’s been a member of the Oak Cliff Lions Club for 50 years.
“It is a solid rock in my life, and I appreciate all that’s gone on here,” he said, noting that membership in the club is steadily growing after years of decline. “Just like Oak Cliff, this club is coming back.”
Here is Melton talking about growing up in our neighborhood.