|February 17 2002 at 16:06:23
Name: Sonny Hollingshead
Location: Sand Springs
Comments: Since we're on the topic of grocery stores, does anyone remember National? There was one on East Admiral at around Peoria or Utica. The small store's sign was still visible from the Crosstown until a few years ago. The building is still standing, but I think it's being used as a warehouse.
There was a National in my other hometown of Slidell, Louisiana when I was
a kid in the mid-Sixties, as well as a Jitney-Jungle and an A&P.
In his slim but meaty book, "Voices on the Wind: Early Radio in Oklahoma" author Gene Allen reports that Laux ("a Tulsa kid") was coaching in Bristow in 1927 when the manager of KVOO (in Tulsa) bought the rights to Western Union-recreate World Series baseball games that October. However, the announcer assigned to do them quit just before the first game. The station manager dispatched an employee to Bristow to find Laux, who asked him,"Can you broadcast a ball game?" Laux reportedly replied, "I don't know, but I'll try anything once!"
Allen writes that Laux got to the station "only a couple of minutes before air time. He could not read the abbreviations the Western Union operator gave him, and he had to follow the score sheet to get the players' names. He did not have time to get nervous and somehow got through the ordeal. He stayed on to become KVOO's sportscaster and in 1938 won the Sporting News' trophy as "radio's outstanding baseball announcer."
Now I have another mystery: there's a photo in the book labeled "1927 or 1928" calling a Bob Graham "KVOO's sportscaster."
Allen's book is very good but I could not fail to notice there's no mention of KOTV in connection with KVOO's venture into television, though it came five years later. The only comment is that when the Skelly-Kerr application waas filed for Channel 2, it was "the only remaining channel." Thia may be the result of financial backing by the Oklahoma Heritage Association which was supported by Harold Stuart and Edward Gaylord. A picture of both is in the front. However, it must be admitted KOTV didn't develop out of an existing radio station. Also, Professor Ben Henneke's name is spelled correctly only once. But I digress.
While searching for more about Gene Allen's book, I stumbled onto this online book: Oklahoma Musicians and The Broadcast Frontier by Kelly Raines. Lots of good stuff about WKY, KVOO, Bob Wills, Danny Williams, the rise of media consultants, television from the beginning through the early 80s, and...Jude and Jody!
From Hoover's Online:
I was helping my dad get his old 8mm films in order. I promised Jack Frank
that I would dig out some footage of the old Lakeview Amusement Park but
it took too long to find it. I did find footage of the old Springlake Amusement
Park. Back in the 50's they had a real steam engine and a horse-drawn stagecoach.
I was able to acquire some old railroad track from the site last summer.
Also, not to nit-pick a little too much, but the suffix "AM" didn't come
in until much later--there wasn't any FM then (and FM stations weren't generally
licensed until after World War II). But I guess we're so used to distinguishing
between the broadcasting systems that we almost have to use "AM" and "FM"
regardless of the period we're talking about.
Off-topic a bit, but a recent trip to the library reminded me that there was a grocery store at 834 N. Sheridan called "Jitney-Jungle". I learned that this had been a popular chain in the deep South since 1919, but sold its remaining assets last year. It couldn't have been around Tulsa any later than about 1960.
Other businesses in that area: Sara's Hamburger & Malt Shop (6518 E. King in the 50s), The Chuc Wagun (1028 N. Sheridan and 11th & Lewis), featuring the Wheel Burger and the Hub Burger, and the Lucky Seven, later the One-Stop Dairy Store (and before that, Dr. Brumfield) at 6626 E. King. Lucky Seven is mentioned on the Pop bottles page.
(Added here on 12/18/2010 from the Tulsa 1957 page: Michael Bates of BatesLine.com had the brilliant idea to create a Google file from the 1957 Polk's City Directory showing Tulsa's restaurants as of 1957, marked with a knife-and-fork icon: Google Map of Tulsa eateries in 1957.)
Dr. Thomas Jefferson (T.J.) Brumfield moved from the East King location to
the small office building north of the Sheridan Road Chuc Wagun around 1958-59
or so. At last report, he was fairly prominent in Las Vegas. (See a picture
of him at the Las Vegas
Institute of Preventive Medicine.)
And the Television Code--WOW! This 28 year old has some memories of sign-offs and music. One of my state's TV stations, WTNH-TV also channel 8 and ABC, used Barry White's "Love's Theme" for one of its sign-offs in the early 1980's. They then went to the National Anthem.
I know KTUL had the Ray Charles America the Beautiful at one point and that's all well and good. But what stations played the SSB (Star Spangled Banner) at sign-off/on and which if any still do it today? Given of course Sept. 11, the need for patriotism has been needed now more than ever. This is a great page dedicated to TV in one of the Sooner State's biggest cities. Keep it up!
Thanks, Robert. Our local PBS affiliate, KOED, Channel 11 still uses "High Flight" as their sign-off (see the 8's The Place page for several sign-offs), but the only other stations here that actually do sign off are the Fox and UPN affiliates, KOKI and KTFO. Anyone know what they are using?
Anyone remember Standing Room Only or the Derrick Recording Studio?
The Gap was in an old house downtown (where the Doubletree now stands) and I think it was open @ 1968, maybe '67. The genesis of many Tulsa bands was there; it's where I first met David Tanner, Rick Durbin, Steve Bailey and the guys from the Hallucinations, Jim Byfield, etc. Pepperland was a great place - it was upstairs @ 38th and Peoria and was owned by Wendell Brown, Tony Brown (no relation) and Captain America, AKA Steve Robertson. It was open, I think, the fall/winter of 1970.
None of these places served alcohol, but with all the great music and a car
to get stoned in, who cared...
Also, the dancers on Dance Party were started by Leslie and Cindy Ashton, two sisters and ballet dancers. I think their brother (John?) was also a dancer. I haven't seen Leslie in years and years - hey Leslie, if you're out there, write in.
I love this web site!
We hope to have more about the Kon-Tiki Koni soon on the Tulsa Tiki page.
Shirley Barbour was my girl friend---actually my first big girl friend as a callow eighteen-year old. She would get up close to the loud speaker in the room of her TU dorm. I whispered softly enough for her to hear, but not loud enough for anyone else to notice. Her friends in the room would quiz her about what she was doing. She wouldnt tell. It was a mystery.
Did he say something to you? a perceptive friend once said. Shirley only smiled. It was driving her dorm-mates crazy with curiosity.
Soon her friends started crowding around the speaker to try to hear for
themselves. One night I guess I whispered a little too loud, because a couple
of Shirleys friends heard it. The secret was out. Her buddies thought
it was terribly romantic.
Steve Smith sent that video to me awhile back with the Dick West sign-off...I will get it out here shortly.
"Another station, now KVOO 98.5 FM, was originally placed on the air by Tulsa evangelist Billy James Hargis; hence the original call sign KBJH, also in the early 70's. The studios were located at Hargis's American Christian College on South Sheridan. The station devoted much of its programming to Hargis's conservative anti-communist style of religious programming. I know, I worked there a short while. However, I was NOT a student at the school. Was sold in the late 70's after the demise of the school and ministry to Stuart Epperson. With the call letters KCFO, they maintained the religious programming until sold again to the KVOO folks in the late 80's"
Several current Tulsa broadcasting mainstays like KVOO's former midday gal Charlene Lewis, Rock 102.3 KTRQ's PD Chris Shannon, Mix 96.5 KRAV's Chuck Stevens and others got their start at KCFO 98.5 FM and 970AM (KAKC was turned to religious talk under the KCFO calls at some point.)Does anybody know if Stu Epperson owned 970 while he owned 98.5?
By the way, Stu still owns the land up on the hill in west Tulsa that the
current studios for 970, KCFO still stands on.
(2/21/2006: neoTulsa's page is available ifrom the Wayback Machine, but
the interview was not captured. Not a big loss).
I'm trying to identify title and composer (and performers?) of an instrumental used in the 1970s as sign-off music for the educational television station (at least, I'm pretty sure it wasn't one of the other local stations). The style was spacey-pop with a jazz touch. It resembled the string background to Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" album. The instrumentation is mostly strings or maybe synthesizer trying to sound like strings, with a wordless chorus (sounds like they're just saying "Oooo") and some subtle electric guitar. The tempo is moderately slow, and the melodic theme gradually rises through a scale; just the kind of thing that floats off into the horizon so the engineer can kill the power to the broadcast tower. I've got this music in my head and it won't go away until I identify it. Any thoughts? Or is this in the "likely hallucination" category?
You've come to the right place, but I must admit that your detailed description isn't ringing any bells for me.
One odd little building that may have had a tiki theme is just west of Sheridan on the north side of 11th. It is round with a simu-thatch roof. It is repainted now but at one time it had a definite grass hut look. It has been a used car lot for years, maybe always, but maybe someone knows the origin.
I always liked the name Scooter B. Segraves. The man behind the name wasn't
any slouch, either. I will drop him a get well wish.
I am THRILLED that they fixed his ticker. Couldn't figure out how to sign the get-well page at kxkc.com, so I emailed him direct. He's at email@example.com for anyone interested.
Yes, the Get Well page appears to have stopped accepting new entries. Pics of Scooter and Robert W. Walker are on the KAKC page, along with RWW's new comments.
As a teacher at Central High School, Miss Ronan was not in the high income brackets. She wore the same clothes year after year, and lived frugally.
In the school year 1948-49, the Southwest Theater Conference, a creation of the depression era Federal Theater Project, held its annual meeting at the University of Oklahoma. She was invited, but said she couldn't attend. Instead, she asked Ted Machler and me to represent her there. Two high school students among the leading university and community theater leaders in the Southwest. I will always remember the appearance of B. Iden Payne, the legendary actor, director, and Shakespeare scholar from the University of Texas. It was a heady weekend for Ted and me.
We were broke, as always, and had no way to get to Norman, but we hitchhiked down. She gave us an envelope which she cautioned us not to open until we got there. Of course, we opened it as soon as we were on the road. It had a five-dollar bill and a note telling us to have a good time.
Every year, the Tulsa Public Schools held dramatic reading contests for students, including all the high schools. Dramatic monologues and poetry presentations made up most of the performances. I decided to offer Oscar Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," a work that was, no doubt, beyond my full comprehension because I knew so little of the background of Wilde's own imprisonment.
Some time later, Miss Ronan gave me a small volume, one of the old Peter Pauper Press editions, of "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," which she had purchased and which she inscribed "Because you read this so well."
Unfortunaately, it was lost when my family's home burned a couple of years later, but it, and the five bucks, still stand out in my memory as acts by a great teacher who took an inordinate interest in the growth and education of her students. I'm sure she did many other similar generous things for other students, never getting public recognition for her kindness and interest.
As somebody once said: They don't make 'em like that anymore.
Added this note to the Tulsa Radio: Central High Alumni; Isabelle Ronan, teacher page.
It works much the same turf as this web site, without the emphasis on
the local. I saw it last weekend, and it was definitely worth seeing. The
theater itself has been completely overhauled and features a new stage, sound
and lighting system. The lobby is decorated with blacklight posters and other
cool stuff. I found the service and the attitude of all the personnel to
Here is her picture from that yearbook.
Not only did this incredible woman inspire so many people to excel in broadcasting and the theater, she enriched the lives of everyone with whom she came into contact. Here is the memory that a Central classmate recently shared with me:
"Although I had Miss Ronan for a teacher, I was never a good enough Thespian to participate in any of her productions. One day I was bemoaning this fact to her, saying that I wished that I had more talent. She said gently, It is not what you accomplish in life that is important. Its the type of a person you are. That made me feel so much better, and I never forgot her words."
Added your comments to the Tulsa Radio: Central High alumni page.
The word we have is that the person you think was behind the camera is not guilty...check this page.
See previous postings on his all night show later on WGN where he succeeded the late Franklin McCormack.
In between were several years on WAIT-AM - for years an FM-quality AM station in Chicago now defunct. See also postings on the reprise airings of John's best shows on a great station in MN!
But the big money maker and new career for John was the American Airlines in-flight music package programming deal plus his national exposure on the Union 76 "Spirit of '76" national radio vignettes.
We lost John too soon......
I hopped on a Greyhound bus and rode for 16 hours to Chicago and spent that shift with him. I was awestruck. I will never forget the old-timers (v/o) announcers doing live commercials in the studio. Such impeccable timing. They even wore ties. John was gracious and encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
Since then I have been doing v/o for educational programs, both audio and video and looking forward to having my own morning show..perhaps "Coffee at 8" at some small station in the North Carolina mountains... dreams die hard. Rest well, John, and thank you for your inspiration and your music. We will always remember you.
Thanks for writing, John. I added your comments to the John Doremus page.
The station KKUL (if I recall, it was an urban format, somewhat unusual for its time) went on the air in the early 70's under the ownership of then State Senator Gene Howard. Gene still practices law (Howard & Widdows) in Tulsa and can give you some interesting background on the station.
Another station, now KVOO 98.5 FM, was originally placed on the air by Tulsa
evangelist Billy James Hargis; hence the original call sign KBJH, also in
the early 70's. The studios were located at Hargis's American Christian College
on South Sheridan. The station devoted much of its programming to Hargis's
conservative anti-communist style of religious programming. I know, I worked
there a short while. However, I was NOT a student at the school. Was sold
in the late 70's after the demise of the school and ministry to Stuart Epperson.
With the call letters KCFO, they maintained the religious programming until
sold again to the KVOO folks in the late 80's.
There, we had just discussed Garry Kemp, a multi-talented Brit who was heard on KWGS and KVOO in the 70s and 80s. Another Brit(?) who owned the Gramophone Shoppe on 15th Street was recalled by several. KELi Radio was discovered to be the subject of a German band's song, and we saw a KELi bumpersticker.
"Beany & Cecil" was a tentative answer to a question posed by Mitch Schauer. Brian definitely answered David Bagsby's previous query about a 60s movie (it was "Wild, Wild Planet").
Lee Woodward remembered a woodcarver who may have carved Tikis for the Jade East, the Tiki Nook and/or the Kon-Tiki Koni. Lee did a bit of totem-carving himself with this fellow in the early 60s. He recalled Art Linkletter's impeccable sense of timing, plus Chili Bowl midget car races at the fairgrounds. The latter topic was introduced by Frank Morrow; Jack Morris was the P.A. announcer at these events.
Kirk Demarais created an amazing animated web cartoon of Bell's "Phantasmagoria" ride. The Camelot Inn is selling all furnishings and memorabilia--the sale still has a few more days to run. Mayoral candidate Accountability Burns' platform was just added above his campaign ad...it's a doozy.
We found out that Lionel, who was first "Charlemane" on Bil Baird's network show in the 50s, also served Soupy Sales as "Pookie the Lion" in Detroit. Ken Broo had a story about Tulsan Tim Blake Nelson, star of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
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