RIP Howard King, Voice of Michigan Stadium from 1972-2005

Submitted by M Fanfare on May 4th, 2016 at 4:44 PM

Sad news per Carl Grapentine's Facebook. Howard King passed away this morning in Traverse City at age 83. He was the Michigan Stadium PA announcer from 1972 to 2005.



Edit: Since there seems to be some confusion, Mr. King was never the Michigan Marching Band announcer. That has been Carl Grapentine since 1970, and Carl also took on the PA duties in 2006 after Howard King retired.



May 4th, 2016 at 4:54 PM ^

He was the classic voice of Michigan Stadium.  RIP Howard.

Carl is carrying on the tradition very well and still managing to be the voice of the Michigan Marching Band.

Everyone Murders

May 4th, 2016 at 5:06 PM ^

I hope that Howard's family is able to take comfort in knowing that he was part of the fabric of many glorious afternoons at the Big House.

Somewhere in Slippery Rock, I hope the fans have the decency to raise a toast.


May 4th, 2016 at 5:27 PM ^

Wasn't it, "Good afternoon, and welcome to the University of Michigan Football Stadium for this,..."?

And then he followed that up with the precise numbered meeting between the schools. An indelible part of my childhood, undergrad, and alumni experiences on Saturday afternoons at Main & Stadium. RIP, Howard.


May 4th, 2016 at 5:43 PM ^

Gosh, that is etched in my mind forever. Grapentine does a good job, but I've missed King since the day he retired. The pause after "Good afternoon,..." always gave me chills. You knew Michigan Football was about to transpire. I'm glad Carl honors him in that way to this day. There's something about legendary public address announcers for whom I have massive respect & admiration. I welled up when Budd Lynch passed away in 2012, and by gosh if someone's not chopping onions again today.


May 4th, 2016 at 5:12 PM ^

RIP, Mr. King.

His was the only voice I've ever known at Michigan Stadium. I haven't been to the Carhedral since Bo's last against OSU. It's been too long...


May 4th, 2016 at 5:53 PM ^

I left Michigan in 2005, and while I like Grapentine and of course heard him narrate the band countless times, Howard King is the voice of the Stadium to me. I remember hearing him announce plays while walking to the Stadium just a few minutes late with my Dad, as a kid. The sound was magical. And I remember his "Good Afternoon" call in early September that signaled the start of football season, and the "Good Afternoon" call that gave you chills before a game against Ohio State.

I still say Good Afternoon in much the same way. It may have started as a conscious effort, but now it is just the way I talk. 

He was terrific. I still miss hearing his addresses.

Bando Calrissian

May 4th, 2016 at 6:06 PM ^

I love Carl and all, but Howard King will always be the voice of Michigan Stadium for me. 

"Good afternoon and welcome to the University of Michigan Football Stadium..."


May 4th, 2016 at 6:21 PM ^

iconic voice.  If I'm not mistaken he also did the PA announcing at Fisher Stadium for baseball occasionally.


I've always marveled at how Howard King and Carl Grapentine sounded so similar.


May 4th, 2016 at 6:54 PM ^

My wife won a Kiwanis auction a few years ago for me. I met with Howard and he recorded the greeting on my cell phone. Opening with Good Afternoon, and welcome to the University of Michigan Football Stadium. Proclaiming who he was and touting his years as the voice of the Stadium. We briefly chatted about his wife and their years in Ann Arbor. He offered to redo the greeting on any phone if I ever wanted. Wish I had taken him up on it. It was the best present from my wife ever. Irreplaceable. RIP Mr. King.

True Blue Grit

May 4th, 2016 at 6:52 PM ^

to Howard King in the stadium back in the mid 70's.    May he rest in peace and enjoy eternity in Michigan Valhalla with Ufer, Harmon, Kipke, Crisler, Schembechler, Yost, Friedman, et al.  


May 4th, 2016 at 7:03 PM ^

This is so sad.   He was the voice of the stadium during my time there.  Carl for us in the band and Howard King for the rest of the game was a great combo.  Will always have a nostalgic place in my heart for both of their voices. 


May 4th, 2016 at 8:47 PM ^

Once again, you are a part of the largest crowd to be watching a football game live anywhere in the United States......................First time my buddy heard that he said the hair on his arms were standing on  end. 

Actually, that has been one of my biggest pleasures, introducing so many of my friends to at UM fan's Saturday at a home game. He was definitely a big part of it.


May 4th, 2016 at 7:22 PM ^

Former MMB member here. I love all the people who have mentioned Howard's classic "Good afternoon..." followed by the pause where the band would answer him. Loved doing that as a member of the band.

A year or so ago, there was a thread that listed all the great Michigan football traditions, large and small. I can't remember if "Good afternoon" was part of that list, but it should be.

Rest in peace, Howard. We'll all carry your voice in our memories. Go Blue.

Team 101

May 4th, 2016 at 9:51 PM ^

My favorite was "Kicking Off for Michigan Number 6 Ali .. Haji... Shiekh!!!   He made it sound like he was trying to hold in a sneeze and then it all came out at once.


May 6th, 2016 at 12:08 AM ^

I attended the '81 game vs. Indiana (the first meeting back in Ann Arbor after AC's epic game-winning TD catch/run 2 years prior (haha, mostly run!). I was a kid in attendance with my family when my oldest brother was an undergrad. We were in the student section, and I remember they did something unique when AH-S was introduced and preparing to kickoff. Something besides the "Ohhhhh" and forefinger circles thing. I know they bowed to Bo. Hell, maybe they bowed AH-S too! My memory is fuzzy, but I recall being enamored with both Ali's name and the student section's reaction.

As mark4mich mentioned below, it was also fun to hear King say "Biakabutuka". I attended every game in '93 as a recent graduate, and hearing him say that name after Tim's first carry of the season caused a collective, audible guffaw from the student section. For a while after, there was still an audbile gasp. But we certainly weren't laughing anymore.

Maize Craze

May 4th, 2016 at 11:07 PM ^

Reading all of these comments makes me feel really young. My first game was in 1999 but I didn't start going regularly until 2005. Carl is really all I remember. I just pulled up some clips of Mr. King. I definitely would have enjoyed him.


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May 5th, 2016 at 7:17 AM ^

I do not know if others in this thread have commented on this, but the Howard King announcing style fro basketball is a kazillion times better than what we have @ Crisler right now