Tulsa TV Memories: Tulsa pop culture      

  The couch that became Betty's magic carpet.
Betty Boyd on the air at KOTV

Betty Boyd autograph

Betty Boyd (nee Carman) made her first live television appearance on KOTV, December 1, 1955.  She is a familiar face and personality to a full generation of Tulsa TV viewers. KOTV in the 50s

The Betty Boyd Show Some of the shows she hosted: "Woman's Page", "Hi Neighbor", "Boyd's Eye View",  Plan For Action", "Oklahoma Sunrise", "AM Oklahoma" and  "Good Morning Oklahoma".

Betty regularly hosted the local side of national telethons such as the March of Dimes. Her own family was touched by polio, which enabled her to speak with conviction and enthusiasm.

In 1965, she moved over to KTUL, where she was able to emphasize community features. She felt that only the local touch could make a station distinctively different.

Don Lundy said in email:
"The man in the photo is Wirt Cain, a staff announcer who also co-hosted with Betty and was voice over and on camera talent. He left Channel 8 in the late 60s for WLWT-TV in Cincinnati."

Betty Boyd with Wirt Cain

Wirt Cain at WSAI in 1999

10/29/2003: I got to wondering about Wirt Cain's whereabouts, and this time turned up the fact that he starred as the anchorman in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" in 1986! He had quite a fictional news team: Dan Jenkins (of "Semi-Tough" writing fame)  playing a commentator and Kinky Friedman as the sports guy. Here is his filmography at the Internet Movie Database. He is also mentioned on this TVparty! Cincinnati page.

Wirt is shown left at WSAI-AM, Cincinnati in 1999. He is at 55KRC today.

Local television was all live in those early days, so on-air talent was always ready to ad-lib.

Here is Betty winging it on the virtues of Wilson's "Mor" (a competitor with Hormel's SPAM).

Move over Spam! Have some "Mor"!

Betty wrote the only book in existence about Tulsa TV: If I Could Sing, I'd Be Dangerous in 1983 after leaving the TV business as a full-time occupation. It's loaded with anecdotes about her colleagues, mostly from KOTV and KTUL. The book is out of print, but can be borrowed from the library, or sometimes found at Steve's Sundry Books and Magazines (a Tulsa institution).

She wrote the book after discovering in late 1982 that she had cancer. Happily, she defeated it and went on to become an effective state legislator.

In a recent interview with Jack Frank for his video, "More Tulsa Memories", Betty said:
Betty Boyd interviewed in "More Tulsa Memories"

"...I think of the Cy Tumas of the world, and I do miss them, but I have a theory, and I try to remind myself of this: You never lose anything that you ever had. And I still have these people."

Some images captured from "More Tulsa Memories", produced by Jack Frank.
Other B & W images on this site captured from Betty's book.

(from Guestbook 188) Jennifer said:

I finally stumbled across the women's pages and enjoyed reading about Betty Boyd. I went to the charm school she ran at the 21st and Yale Sears, which culminated in a fashion show. The other TV connection is that I went on Wednesday night instead of Monday, because going on Monday would have meant I would miss The Monkees! Definitely one of the experiences that has stuck with me. When pressed, I can still be rather charming.

(from Guestbook 18) Mike Bruchas said:

Betty Boydisms - Betty seemed to coin some phrases I have never lost.

She was big on "Skeedaddling on down" somewhere or another.

I always remember her doing pitches for the Muskogee State Fair with the same slides year after year - wish I had a print of the cartoonesque worm slide that said "Get a wiggle on!" to Muskogee.

When I was at KTUL a few weeks ago amidst the new construction - I told Larry Miller about the fridge behind the studio for props. Betty - when doing her AM Oklahoma Show - had as a sponsor some pie company (Price's?) from some small town in OK that made great pecan and also chocolate pies. We would get a couple weeks' supply in for live spots and after the show, the crew would snarf all down. One Monday I went in to get the prop pie and found all eaten except an empty box. Betty was a trooper - she did the spot but somehow we never showed a pie that day - just an empty box! What a trooper, or as Tuma called her - "The Tulsa Tomato!"

(from Guestbook 24) Betty Boyd said:

Betty BoydThanks, dear heart for doing this. I have known about Tulsa TV Memories for some time, but in my present life, I have flat been too busy to do anything with the NET... much less "surfing" (I hope that's proper language..a 74 year ole lady may not have this new stuff exactly correct!

I especially enjoyed reading the pages about Mr. Zing, Tuffy, Shaggy, etc. Even though John Chick has not physically been with us for many years, I almost never go anywhere that someone doesn't ask about, or comment about, John Chick. Quite a tribute, I think as most of us are put in folks' short-term memory box once we are off the tube. But John will be "forever" I am sure.

I took particular pleasure in writing my small book about Tulsa media folks. It was published in 1983, so things have surely changed for many of those included. At the party given for my "victims" when the book came off the press, the cautious expressions and literally "peeping" into the books was really funny to watch. I'm not sure what my friends expected to find, but since the National Enquirer was full-steam-ahead at that time, I suspect they thought I knew more about them than they wished and the book would "tell all." Not so..just a fun biographical sketch of those wonderful people who brought sound and sight to our living rooms.

I see Bob Hower quite often. He and I shared the honor of being King and Queen of the Tulsa Centennial Homecoming Celebration in 1998-99. What fun! For the past couple of years or so, Bob and the Clear Tone hearing aid people have asked me to participate in commercials (Bob has been their chief spokesperson for a number of years.) I'm looking forward to presenting Bob the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Oklahoma Chapter of AWRT on Oct. 28. The group was nice enough (or desperate enough, I'm not sure which) to present this award to me last year, so I get to help them honor Bob as the second recipient this year.

My life these days is filled with 3 great grandyounguns, 4 grandchildren, 2 "children" and the same wonderful Bill I have belonged to for 56 years. I also keep very busy being a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, going to legislative functions and conferences, giving speeches and seminars....etc...etc....Perhaps, and only perhaps, politics isn't as exciting as TV, but I do enjoy policymaking and am thankful for the sense of timing I learned from newsman Don Norton, the ability to think on my feet I learned from Lewis Meyer, and the proper way to grit my teeth and take someone elses directions I learned from tv directors! How great to be alive!

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