Edwards signs off as Bulls' public address announcer

The Bulls gave an emotional send-off to longtime public address announcer Tommy Edwards during Saturday's game. Edwards and his wife plan to move to California to be closer to their three children and four grandchildren.

Edwards became the Bulls' announcer in 1976 and has had three stints with the team. Of course, many Chicagoans remember his dual career in radio, first as a midday disc jockey on WLS, then as Larry Lujack's comic foil during the popular "Animal Stories," era in the 1980s.

"In the beginning, I didn't like him," Edwards said of Lujack. "When I first got to Chicago, he was about to leave WLS and go to WCFL and I went in to shake his hand, introduce himself. He said, 'I don't shake hands with people from New York.' I went, 'What?'"

Edwards had moved from New York, but he's actually from Topeka, Kan. Even after the rough start, Edwards admits he would listen to Lujack's afternoon show on WCFL after he got off the air on WLS. Lujack was known as "superjock" back then, one of the best-known personalities in the history of the profession, and eventually returned to mornings on WLS.

"When he and I became friends, he was such a loyal friend," Edwards said. "It wasn't until I hung out with Larry in the studio before I went on the air and at the end of his show that we started doing stuff on the radio together and we just had a chemistry.

"He was such an incredible talent, but when he had somebody to play off of and be a foil, he was even funnier and that's what I tried to do. I realize some of the questions I asked were pretty stupid, but that's what he wanted. That's why I think 'Animal Stories' was so much fun."

Same old songs:

One of Tommy Edwards' biggest contributions to the Bulls was suggesting "Sirius/Eye in the Sky" by the Alan Parsons Project as the introduction music. Obviously, that one stuck.

Through all those years as a disc jockey, starting as a teenager in Topeka, were there any songs he hated to play?

"'Brandy, (You're A Fine Girl)' (by Looking Glass), that drove me crazy," Edwards said. "Probably (his least favorite). I heard that so many times."

G-League success stories:

Two Bulls had big nights when the Windy City Bulls opened their G-League season Friday with a 129-111 win at Wisconsin. Denzel Valentine produced 25 points, 18 rebounds and 8 assists, while rookie center Daniel Gafford added 20 points, 3 steals and 3 blocks.

Both Valentine and Gafford were back on the Bulls' bench Saturday, but didn't move up in the rotation, at least not in the first half.

"I think they can gain confidence and conditioning (in the G-League)," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. "I don't think it's as big a jump system-wise as maybe it's been in the past.

"I think that helps. I think it gives confidence that he (Valentine) is in shape. His conditioning and his effort were good and it gives confidence to him that he can have the ball in his hands and do some positive things."

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The Bulls bid an emotional farewell to public address announcer Tommy Edwards at Saturday's game. Edwards has held the job off and on since 1976, but is retiring to move to California. Daily Herald file photo
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