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Blakeview: Wayne Mack

From Vernis McGlinn to The Great McNutt

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Twenty-five years ago this week, one of New Orleans' best and most beloved voices went silent when broadcaster Wayne Mack died. Mack, an Illinois native whose real name was Vernis McGlinn, came to New Orleans in 1958. He joined the early staff of WDSU-TV as an announcer and soon took over the duties of sports director, anchoring sportscasts there for 15 years. He was also one of the co-hosts of the fondly remembered Midday show, interviewing celebrities and kibitzing with the women who made up the show's studio audience. Children of the 1950s and '60s remember Mack as "The Great McNutt," a wacky movie director character who hosted an afternoon show and introduced The Three Stooges shorts with the words "Lights! Camera! Action! Start the cotton-pickin' program!" To New Orleans Saints fans, Mack is remembered as the radio play-by-play announcer for the team for the 1976-1981 seasons. His sense of humor helped pull fans through many of the Saints' miserable performances during those years. On the rare occasions when fans would celebrate a victory, he'd proclaim, "They'll be dancing on the tables tonight at Pat O'Brien's!" Mack later wrote the definitive history of the team's early years, The Saga of the Saints. He died April 1, 1993. Later that year, he was among the first group of inductees into the New Orleans Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

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