Longtime announcer of the Fort Worth Rodeo
“The new Dickies Arena is this: It’s bigger; of course, it’s better. But what they’ve done is gone beyond the state of the art in technology. Wait ’til you see the new scoreboard, wait ’til you hear the new sound. Wait ’til you see the new lights. And of course, the new marble. This is the taste of the finest new building in the world.”
You know the voice. If you haven’t heard Bob Tallman at the rodeo, you’ve probably heard a commercial he’s voiced. For much of his career, Tallman traveled nearly 300 days a year to announce at rodeos ranging from the biggest, including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas, to small two- and three-day events in small towns such as Snyder. A nine-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Announcer of the Year, he is also an inductee in the PRCA Hall of Fame and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, among his many honors.
Did You Know
• Tallman was raised in the tiny town of Winnemucca, Nevada, where his family owned a lumber company and raised cattle. He attended school in a one-room schoolhouse through fifth-grade.
• During his youth, he loved to ride horses, compete in local rodeos and participate in 4-H activities. He continued to compete at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. In 1969, as he was getting set to for to compete in calf-roping at a small rodeo in Nevada, he got his first gig behind the microphone after complaining about the announcer. The rest, as they say, is history.
• In 1977, he announced for the first time at the Fort Worth Stock Show rodeo in Will Rogers Coliseum. He had a ponytail and he didn’t want to cut it off. “W.R. Watt said, ‘Get you some rubber bands, stick it down your shirt.’ And I did.” He no longer has a ponytail.
• He lives the Western lifestyle. “I live on a ranch near Poolville that’s a menagerie. Horses, cows, ducks, pet rabbits, old horses, colts. We do embryo transfer. We’re in the field of reproductive physiology. It’s a big science, but we make testing babies and then we birth them. Then we give them to their owners and then we raise beef, angus beef, in Texas. And I’m proud to say that I’m a part of that 2% of the world in agriculture that feeds the 98% of the world who eat. I’m very blessed with that.” He also produces Bobby T’s Beef Jerky in several flavors.
• He likes – make that loves – Fort Worth. “Here’s what Fort Worth does. They figured out how to build [Dickies Arena] right the first time, then they backed up and stepped over and said, ‘We’ve got to make it better than just right.’ ”
• How does he like the new Dickies Arena? Tallman said he recently visited the Roman Colosseum while on a trip, and that he announces rodeos in some of the greatest venues in America. And Dickies Arena tops them all. “There are not enough colorful adjectives – to tell you the honest truth – to describe it. I call it Bass Hall with dirt in it.”
– Robert Francis, FWBP Staff, archives