Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 127
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|Time: April 17 2003 at 17:28:23
Name: Wilhelm Murg
Location: Looking up at the KJRH Tower
Comments: The radical thinkers I thought of as I wrote those words were people like J.S. Bach, Haydn, C.P.E. Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Wagner, Chopin, et al. We remember them because they radically changed the way we think about music. One of the most tiring things about classical music after the CD boom hit was that the works of every unknown Baroque composer were dug up and recorded, not because it was interesting or even noteworthy, but because it was what most people thought of as "classical music," ergo, it could be marketed on the radio to people who loved beautiful music but didn't know the first thing about it. While I have no problem with people listening to whatever they want to, there's something just downright cynical in that kind of marketing. NPR (which I find boring) at least attempts to educate and give the audience the chance to hear new music once in a blue moon (in the Jeffersonian spirit of educating the masses)
I mentioned people like Stockhausen (whose essays have never made any sense to me) because I enjoy listening to his music. As a Native American, and in Native American music there is no Western key or annotation, I probably have a different take on music. Most avant-garde music is an endurance test and like all genres, the bad outweighs the good (for every genius that made a record there are a hundred wannabes), but there are many brilliant moments in post-modernism, like John Cage's haunting "In Land," or Philip Glass' song cycle "Songs of Liquid Days," which may seem a little alien at first, but it's a lot more interesting than listening to that same concerto Telemann rewrote 100 times. There's more to making great music than just being in an orthodox key.
Stables Lounge didn't go out of business - it disappeared! Being so far in the back of the strip mall with such a small sign, no one noticed when it vanished. The last time I heard anything about it would have been in 1989 or so, when the laws were changed and they had to either change to nipple wax and g-strings, or stop serving alcohol altogether. I believe they were trying to fight it on the grandfather status (that they were open before the law changes), but obviously it didn't work out.
The Stables Lounge turned into "The Break" Sports Pub maybe in the early 90s. It's listed in this year's phone book, but I don't believe they are in business any longer.
|Time: April 17 2003 at 16:41:02
Name: Debi Crowe
Location: Sparks, Nevada
Comments: What a great website! It brought back great memories. Been gone 10 almost 11 years now, and I miss Tulsa terribly.
Thanks again for the memories.
You're welcome, Debi.
|Time: April 17 2003 at 14:13:43
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
Comments: Sorry to be cryptic. Tango Uniform refers, in an oblique way, to the initials of a common phrase meaning a venture has failed (gone Tits Up). Pardon my French...or is it 'Freedom Speak' now? Actually, I guess it could also refer to my old employer, TU.
|Time: April 17 2003 at 13:56:00
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY
Comments: Well, I guess I should have been there for that record shop. Lordy, lordy, to think that I have been listening to classical music all these years not realizing that it's "the history of radical thought."
All the while, I thought radical thought came from people named Marx: Karl and Groucho.
The problem with radical thought is that it kept trying to outdo itself and just became damned tiresome. Once you've painted a woman's breast as a cube, and used elephant dung for canvas matte, once you've "composed" a piece of music where the same sound is repeated over and over for eight hours or so, or went Artie Shaw's "Traffic Jam" one or two better, there's not much left to do.
I was once on a panel at a national convention of classical composers, at Northwestern University, and they all wanted to know why nobody, outside of universities, wanted to listen to their efforts.
"Simple," I said. "People don't think it's
|Time: April 17 2003 at 11:24:09
Name: John Hillis
Location: Stuck in the Past
Comments: Ah, Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey"... The end of that for me was Homer & Jethro's parody. "Sugar." My favorite line was "And I surprised her with a racehorse/ When it wouldn't run, she called it LBJ."
Guess you had to be there.
Sappy though it is, "Honey" is one of those "guilty pleasures".
|Time: April 17 2003 at 04:35:52
Name: Wilhelm Murg
Location: ...same Bat place...
Comments: I am amazed at the amount of debate that old article on record stores, "Turning Base Vinyl into Gold," has caused (Ironically, I think that was also the first article I published in the late Infinity Press). Okay, sorry for thinking David Hedges was English, but I never met anyone from the Midwest who even wanted to talk like that! The guy pronounced things like Sir Ralph Richardson! (But his food always smelled very Midwestern, as noted in the article)
Personally, I think everyone's correct. Hedges had a head full of knowledge and I used to pick his brain. Hedges' sheer snootiness actually helped me to understand what should be expected in a recording. At the same time, he was very, very stiff and he could be a prick, but I always thought it was more from a lack of social skills than bitterness. Hedges just didn't have the mythic cowboy-coolness that it takes to get along in Tulsa, he had the air of a carpetbagger, and the Snidely Whiplash moustache to go with the role.
I have heard many tales of how classical music was distributed in Tulsa before Hedges (and later Peaches) came in. I understand that there was a classical record store in Utica Square in the 1960s (in the middle of the south side of the shopping center) but I don't remember it. Other reports are that Nonesuch Records (Elektra's budget priced U.S. label that recycled recordings from Europe) were the only classical albums you could find, and they were "dumped" in record stores (placed in a bin without any filing). Personally, I remember my mother going through the classical bin at TG&Y and being thrilled on the rare occasion when something she actually wanted showed up. TG&Y usually only kept 10-30 titles, and almost all of them were on Columbia Masterworks or RCA Red Seal, though once in awhile a London/Decca Phase 4 issue would accidentally pop up.
The first time I ever heard of the Gramophone Shop was on KOTV. I remember Clayton Vaughn, Lee Woodward, and others were making fun of Bill Pitcock because he didn't like any of the music they reported on (Ella Fitzgerald, ZZ Top) so a few weeks later he did a report on Hedges to show Tulsa what kind of music he liked. (Last year I mentioned it to Mr. Woodward and he said that Pitcock's wife was British, and that she probably lobbied for the report). Personally, I thought the idea of a classical record shop sounded pretentious, then...
In 1979 I bought a copy of Lionel Salter's "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Classical Music: A Guide to Composers and Recommended Recordings" and it was like a whole new world opened up to me. Salter never recommended anything on CBS or RCA unless it was something he just couldn't get around (like Bernstein's CBS recordings of Gershwin, Copeland, and his own work, or Rubenstein's Chopin series on RCA). That's when I met up with Hedges; to find these recordings I needed some help. He had nearly every recommended title right there waiting to be bought. He didn't just have one Schoenberg album, he had every available Schoenberg recording that met with critical approval (and he kept a card file with all of the pieces and their ratings from the various magazines at the counter - it wasn't based on his own taste). I think I first went there because he was the only place in town that had a complete version of Kurt Weil's opera "Rise and Fall of The City of Mahagonny" (where we get "The Alabama Song"). He also had a large selection of early music, such as Gimell recordings of the Tallis Scholars and avant-garde recordings of music by Boulez, Cage, Glass, Stockhausen, etc.
Personally, I got along with Hedges. I asked him about recordings I grew up with that were missing from his store and he would out why they he didn't carry them. I checked out a few of his recommendations and he was right; Sir Georg Solti's Wagner had a lot more "transparency" (you can hear all the instruments) than Eugene Ormandy's recordings, Karajan's Beethoven was far more focused (and about two minutes faster) than Bernstein's recordings.
On the other hand, I noticed that Hedges attracted a lot of pricks. Here we are many years after and, looking back, I really think The Gramophone Shop was more than just a record store. About fifty percent of the people who shopped there seemed to be TU music students, but the other half were the tragically pretentious. Hedges wasn't just selling records, he was selling snobbery. In those days Tulsa had the most absurdly pretentious crowd I had ever seen in the arts, and they were all showing up a little overdressed to go record hunting. The Gramophone Shop was a place where xenophiles could go to pretend that they didn't know about pop music (like that's something to crow about!)
The recording medium and economic structure of the music industry was radically changing. Big business was out to kill the independent record store and the CD was out to kill the LP. I always figured Hedges saw the writing on the wall; he either had to replace his entire inventory with CDs or go out of business, and he bowed out gracefully. I don't remember the last time I went to The Gramophone Shop, but I remember why I stopped going; CDs had just started coming out and Hedges could not compete with the majors in selection or price. The idea of a classical music store was attempted again in the early 1990s by the guys who started "It's a Classic!" (I apologize that I can't remember their names) which was a fine store (on 31st Street between Harvard and Yale) but it fell because it could not compete with the majors.
The idea of an American intellectual who only listens to classical music is also a thing of the past. The young people I talk to who are into music usually see the brilliance of both Mozart and Robert Johnson, and they are also used to large selections, so a small classical shop would seem impractical today.
Classical music is not dead, but to paraphrase Monty Python, it's "Not a'tall well." There was a boom in the early days of the CD, but that saturation was part of the downfall; once you have a CD of Beethoven's 9th that you like, you never need to buy another one. The excitement and sense of history that drew me nearer and nearer to the fire is gone. Classical music stations (like that horrible station we had in the late 1990s) turned classical music into Muzak for the cluelessly pretentious. All meaning and relevance was drained out and replaced with "beautiful, relaxing music." Rather than sell classical music as a history of radical thought, it has become a soundtrack for overpriced coffee sippin'. Sadly, I can see why so many intelligent young people are turned off by the whole genre. On an epic scale, the pretensions of David Hedges were amplified in classical music for so long that it imploded. I interviewed the violinist Corey Cerovsek when he came to perform with the late Tulsa Philharmonic and he said you release classical albums today to give something to your friends.
As for being called an "Oakie": I'm sure most readers noted that this spelling is incorrect. The part of Oklahoma history that is seldom mentioned is our classical music tradition. Because of oil money, the Brady Theater was filled with "Okies" sitting around watching Caruso while people in other "major" metropolitans were sitting around watching "Okies" rope cattle (and wanting to be the cowboy because he was so cool!) Maria Tallchief, born in Fairfax, became George Balanchine's muse, because she also had that Indian coolness going on.
IN OTHER NEWS!
I have that single by the Emcees too! I never found anyone who knew anything about it. I always prefered the surf instrumental on the other side (it's in storage and I can't even remember the name of it!) I think my cousin found it in a record store in the 1960s where some of the local DJs traded in their old vinyl. I would love to know if those guys are still around.
Please define "tango uniform."
|Time: April 16 2003 at 22:55:17
Name: Wade Harris
Comments: I have a 45rpm record by a group from Tulsa called the Emcees; it is on the Cimarron label and is titled "Wine, Wine, Wine" (in reality it's Sticks McGhee's old song 'Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"). Does anybody know who these guys were, who played on the record, and when and where it was recorded?
Thanks ahead of time...Wade
|Time: April 16 2003 at 20:23:58
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
Comments: In an effort to add as few ergs of inertia as possible to the Gramophone issue; I don't feel that affectation and over-education are a replacement for courtesy.
...and speaking of venerable Tulsa institutions; does anyone know
when the Stables Lounge went tango
|Time: April 16 2003 at 09:38:32
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: In the backyard, planting a tree for my honey.
Comments: Speaking of record shops, there is a good vintage vinyl shop next to the The Guitar Store on 11th. The owner also buys records. He bought my entire Bobby Russell collection and paid me top dollar. Three cents!
In reality, I never bought any of Russell's records but they were fun - and they made money.
Now to complain! I don't like being called an Okie, or even an Oakie. It is as offensive to me as any ethnic or gender slur. If a nickname is required, I'd sooner be called a Sooner (the cheating scoundrels!). On the other hand, my wife likes being called an Okie, so you can call her that.
Before I go, I do want to thank Donata for straightening me out on the difference
between aesthetics and anesthetics. No wonder my students fall asleep when
I try to teach them about the artistic qualities of music. They think aesthetics
|Time: April 15 2003 at 13:50:41
Name: Donata Guerra
Location: Cary, NC
After recovering from my attack of "tongue in cheek", I did a search on The Gramophone Shop's David Hedges to find what had become of him. A few years ago he had indicated a retirement to Eufaula; it seems his activity today corresponds to what we knew and loved about him. Details of his curriculum vitae are in this news article.
It would be wonderful if someone from this board who's still in beautiful Tulsa might make contact with him.
Donata Lewandowski Guerra (former Tulsalite)
|Time: April 15 2003 at 13:29:53
Name: Donata Lewandowski Guerra
Location: Cary, NC
Comments: I'm writing in response to comments about the "Englishman" who supposedly was proprietor of The Gramophone Shop. During a too-brief Tulsa sojourn from 1976 to 1979, I became good friends with David Hedges, who was not English, but did hail from the Mid-West.
David was a classically-trained actor via a Canadian university, so I can understand why some "Oakies" might confuse him with the "real" thing, considering that his forte was Shakespearian drama (including the role of _Hamlet_). As far as his knowledge of classical repertoire was concerned, that certainly was the "real" thing. At this point I would tend to look askance at the injured feelings of folks who felt their "supposed" classical music appreciation superiority was not adequately appreciated by a "supposed" Englishman. ;-)
Seriously, David Hedges was an amazing intellect, as well as student of aesthetics (folks, don't confuse this word with "anesthetic")! The whole reputation of your state vis-a-vis the rest of the nation rests on such confusions! And Tulsa was such a charming and beautiful city, with wonderful, dashing people, as I recalled it!
Ms. Guerra is referring to a paragraph in Wilhelm's article "Turning Base Vinyl Into Gold" and comments near the top of Guestbook 100.
|Time: April 15 2003 at 11:17:38
Name: Wilhelm Murg
Location: behind the funeral parlor, next to the root beer stand...
I have always heard of a Smothers Brothers routine based on "Honey," where they tour Honey's house, but I never saw it. Billy Joe Winghead does an obnoxious cover of the song.
From the group discussion archives of spectropop.com, Jim Cassidy said:After being forced to listen to this bathetic 7-inch slab of schmaltz for weeks when it was a hit, I was delighted to see it skewered and flambe-ed on The Smothers Brothers TV show. In the sketch, a solemn Tom Smothers leads a group of tourists through the original "Honey" house, where we see a TV set piled high with used tissues (recalling how Honey cried at the "late, late show" movies) and a huge hole in the living room wall from when Honey crashed the car.
|Time: April 14 2003 at 17:54:35
Comments: Mazeppa once did a bit with Bobby Goldsboro's hit record, "Honey" (here are the lyrics). You may recall that it was a tear-jerker somewhat along the lines of the movie "Love Story".
Mazeppa lip-synched it, but the record often got stuck, particularly on
the line, "...and I surprised her with a puppy...". I've never been able
to listen to the song since without thinking of that.
|Time: April 14 2003 at 08:47:45
Name: Janice Lyons
Comments: For all of those who have been a part of the Tulsa Easter Pageant, I just wanted to say we had a great production this year along with great weather. We had a pre-show of a Christian praise group from Dove Ministries. We had a great time and all are ready to get to work for next year's production. As for me, I am glad that everything went well because my son played Jesus and I was very nervous about them dropping him while raising the cross. Channel 6 did show a portion of our show on the news Friday night. For that we thank you very much. If anyone is interested in becoming a part of this Tulsa Tradition since 1936, just send me a email and I will give you all the details.
|Time: April 14 2003 at 00:02:34
Name: Gerald Underwood
Comments: Some of the shows you have in this site really jog the memory.
|Time: April 12 2003 at 20:27:00
Name: Mike Bruchas
Comments: More non-TTM stuff - take a look at the stories and pix from Iraq on www.digitaljournalist.org this month. Neat stuff!
I may be up to DC for some short term free-lance work on a proposed daily
TV feed to Iraq from DC - to go up on Saddam's home satellite system in Iraq.
It started yesterday and its unknown how long it will feed programming -
we presume USIA/IBB is the client but I haven't been told enough - as I am
not on payroll yet.
|Time: April 12 2003 at 17:16:14
Location: off track
Comments: FYI to Mike Bruchas: I remember the Amtrak train that was occasionally busted for serving alcohol while rolling through Kansas. The Kansas attorney general was the one leading the crusade. He would board the train with his agents and news photographers to arrest Amtrak personnel for violating Kansas' laws against liquor by the drink. Amtrak claimed that it was exempt under federal interstate commerce law. I think the whole thing died down once the AG left office.
I do remember the same attorney general tried to take his legal principle one step further. He asked airlines that served alcohol on coast-to-coast flights to board up their liquor while flying over Kansas airspace. They ignored him and he never boarded any LA-NY flights to attempt a bust.
One other thing: today the Kansas City Union Station has been remade into
a showcase with a museum, shops, upscale restaurants, etc. I think you can
even catch a train there too at 2 am or something like that.
|Time: April 10 2003 at 19:51:22
Name: Wilhelm Murg
Location: At the library today, fighting off hobos
Comments: I can't get a fix on Galusha's birthday, but I believe he was in his mid-thirties, give or take a few.
He was 32, according to the World.
|Time: April 10 2003 at 17:26:46
Name: Stephen (Steve) Black
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Comments: Recently, my brother Phil gave me the heads up on this incredible site. In the past couple of days since I started to read the archived postings Ive been warmed with memories of Tulsa TV in the 1950s and 1960s. My dad (Jim Black) joined the KTUL-TV sales team in 1954. I believe Bud Blust was the GM and Bill Swanson was the sales manager who hired my dad. Bill and my dad were to work together for years until my dads death in 1968.
I worked on the camera/floor crew circa 1964- 65 in between stabs at a higher education. I later worked for KOCO-TV while finishing up at OU. A few years back I ran across an 8X10 glossy of my colleagues and me of the Channel 8 floor crew surrounded by Don Grady (My Three Sons) who was in Tulsa at the time promoting the show. Except for Kenny Kerr I couldnt recall the names of the other men in the photograph. If any of you guys read this please feel free to contact me and let me know what youve been up to in the past 38 years. I would include the photo herewith, but it seems to have been lost in a recent move from Hollywood to Santa Rosa, CA where I now live.
I have so many memories of good old Channel 8 so Im grateful for the hard work that goes into mounting and maintaining this site.
For anyone who might be interested, I graduated from OU in 1966 and after a year at Lowe Runkle Co in OKC - writing and producing commercials I went to New York. There I worked as a promotion writer at LOOK Magazine before striking out for Hollywood where I wrote and produced along with Henry Stern network comedy and dramatic shows as well as TV Movies. A couple of years ago Henry and I accepted an invitation from CBS and Proctor and Gamble to return to New York and headwrite the vintage soap opera, As The World Turns. After that stint, we caught our breath, wrote a novel together then jumped back into series TV. I finally had enough hard work for one lifetime and Im now living in Santa Rosa, California, north of San Francisco where Im reinventing myself as a writer of fiction. I love the freedom of not having a network executive telling me to "make the guy likeable," even when the guy happened to be an axe murderer.
It would be great to hear from any of the Channel 8 folks from that era.
And thanks to the webmaster who makes this site possible.
Stephen (Steve) Black
You're welcome...congrats on your TV career; more detail would not be unwelcome.
|Time: April 10 2003 at 15:43:04
Name: Mike "Timely" Bruchas
Location: More rr news
Comments: BTW the OKC Santa Fe station is still the Amtrak depot (now for the Heartland Flyer) and I hear it was re-habbed a bit - is down by the Skirvan Plaza. One time many years later I came back from Chicago on the SW Chief that then came thru OKC - Demi Rosenthal - then working at KOCY - picked me up.
This was the train - that for a while during liquor by the drink - that state revenue agents would arrest bar-car attendants for selling alcohol after crossing the KS state line. I think Amtrak stopeed selling liquor at all on this leg of the trip.
The other station in OKC I am not sure if it was the Rock Island westbound depot or what - was restored into offices in the late '70's and I think is near the Fairgrounds - a very cool station that was saved.
BTW - near Cushing is or was a family run rail museum. I cannot remember
the name but I did a KidsNews story on it for KOTV after discovering it in
'77. When I was in OKC later - I think the man's son took over as a docent...
|Time: April 10 2003 at 15:29:28
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Livin' on Tulsa Time in NC midst rain/snow
Comments: The Santa Fe had used their former freight office for a depot for I don't know how long. I arrived in Tulsa there in Aug. '69 before TU's Fall semester. It was a stub track as I recall and sometime in the night - they turned the engines probably at a Y switch track - for the next day's Northbound trip. The train was either early or late - from KC depending on connections.
When I was in Tulsa we had the Santa Fe station, the drug-filled carcass of Union Station, and the Midland Valey station over by KOTV - where the American Freedom Train was parked in '76.
A few years later I took M,K,& O Greyhound to KC Union Station to catch an overnight train with a roomette to Chicago - I had worked that day but figured out if I left at 5 or 6pm on the bus - I could connect via cab to Union Station in KC. I think Amtrak did not serve Tulsa by then. Got there at midnight and sweated meeting the train - it was 2 hours late from the West due to weather - back then the station was a shell of itself and had porno theatres in it and NOWHERE to get food or drink after 9pm. In fact they locked up the bathrooms.
Jane and Blythe Hobson have been raving about the Heartland Flyer from OKC
to Ft Worth and maybe this year I will try it. They ride it several times
|Time: April 10 2003 at 13:51:32
Name: Dave Rigsby
Location: somewhere else
Comments: There was a John Galusha in my sister's class at Jonas Salk Elementary in the early 80's...same guy?
|Time: April 09 2003 at 05:38:45
Name: Wilhelm Murg
Location: Behind Weber's Rootbeer
Comments: Tragic News
Tulsa artist, writer, and filmmaker, John Galusha died on Saturday, April 5th. John is best remembered for his 2000 film YELLING MAN, where he followed a man around downtown Tulsa who stayed at the YMCA and yelled random thoughts at people. Galusha turned his little snippets of digital video into a media blitzkrieg. Yellingman.com was a top rated site by Yahoo and received millions of hits, the Brady District was covered with Yelling Man stickers, and 800 people attended the premiere. Galusha was an early contributor to the late Infinity Press and returned in its last years as a co-writer of the popular satirical marital advice column "Jill & Bob." His art work can be seen at yellingman.com. John was both a friend and an artistic ally to me and Outline Magazine. Our condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
My favorite memory of John was turning him onto the film ROBOT MONSTER in the Infinity Press office the day I met him. The film is a personal favorite of mine and is considered one of the worst movies of all-time; the creature is a 300 pound man in a gorilla suit with a diving helmet on his head adorned by TV rabbit ears. We were talking about how film doesn't have to be perfect, or even well made, to be valid and I just happened to have received ROBOT MONSTER on DVD to review that day. I popped it in and we laughed at the same parts with about the same intensity. That's when I knew John got the jokes, not only in the film, but in life itself. John was one of the good guys and he's impossible to replace.
Memorial service will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church, 5838 S. Sheridan, at 11am on Friday, April 11th.
With the help of the Wayback Machine, here is yellingman.com as it was December 4, 2000.
|Time: April 09 2003 at 00:19:54
Comments: Archived Guestbook 126, where we just learned that the last passenger train departed from Tulsa in 1971.