Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 181
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KTBA signed on in the summer of 1973, just preceding KMOD as an Album Oriented Rock station.
Who're you working for these days?
Seems I've heard your voice on KBEZ not too non-recently.
They wanted to know what year KAKC FM changed it's calls to KBEZ.
I thought that 92.1 was KAKC FM, though. What's the real story?
BTW - John Hillis has made the annual pilgrimage to that Mecca of broadcasters - the NAB Convention in Las Vegas this week. He needs to give us chairbound folks a "scouting report" on what he sees.
We are trying to convince part owner GOD TV or majority owner here - HOBBY
LOBBY - into buying the new Sony mini DV HDV camera which shoots in PAL or
NTSC or HD in either format and downconverts the latter for use with AVID
gear. For you tech-geeks, go to www.digitaljournalist.org and read Steven
Trent Smith's testing of it. No - this is NOT "Tulsa" Steve Smith - he is
up in Harrisburg, PA area.
Oh my gosh, Hurst, what a thrill to find one of our KTUL crew. You do know why I ran camera, right? - Yeah, the front office gave a party and didn't invite us, so we had our own, now you know the rest of the story. :)) I thought to run camera was a piece of cake - wrong!
I knew one day this was all going to catch up with me, now tell me, were
you in on our 4th of July celebration when Swanson (mgr) called the station
and said he could see the fireworks from his house?
The "Louise Bland Show" was a great show and was so much fun to work on. In those days I was a member of the floor crew and was a camera operator, etc. for the show. Louise truly had a great sense of timing and was a genuine soul with a good sense of humor. She was not afraid to tackle any chore and even operated a camera on "Don Woods Weather" one night. She did pretty good even though the populace might have been concerned that an earthquake was in progress...during the show. :-) She was truly a pioneer in the industry and was a natural talent.
Tulsa TV Memories is a marvelous contribution to the communications industry and Mike Ransom is one creative sensitive soul. Thanks Mike.
Thank you, Hurst.
Actually, the other numbers they played were probably as good as their signature
song. Good band.
* Yes, the University Club Tower is quite a piece of work. It always reminded me of the round Capitol Records building in Hollywood. Years later when I saw the Capitol Records building I was stunned at how much shorter it was than its Tulsa counterpart. I think KMOD had its studios in the penthouse of the University Club Tower in the 60s. Yes, it would be a good place to live up there. I'd also settle for the penthouse of the rectangular 2300 Riverside tower down the street.
* And word has arrived that John Fred of Playboy Band fame has died. He was from Baton Rouge, La. The newspaper there has an interesting obit.
Could I get a copy? I lived on that stuff in the 70's! Never could find a recipe that did it justice.
Thanks a million times!
You started my Monday off great!
I can't believe the old Route 66 maps are worth something (ref: Rte 66 festival, Guestbook 164) I have old ones from the early 30s and just put them under glass as a conversation piece in the hall!
Does anyone remember the cheesy "Wall's fire sale" on Archer? My older sister drug me there on a weekly basis. It smelled of moldy cork. They even opened another store for awhile somewhere else in Tulsa.
Also, what was the name of the circular apartment tower on Riverside Drive? I swore I'd live in the penthouse when I grew up, and now I can't remember the name of the place.
Why did they tear down the KELi space ship?
I came in to do the Sun-Up News and get the assignment desk going for the day. Being from Chicago and an avid hockey fan the Blackhawks were in the race for the Stanley Cup. Long before cable or the Internet, the first thing I did coming into the newsroom was check the scores from the night before. I became so distressed to see that Chicago had lost that I slammed the plexiglass door protecting the paper roll where it came out and broke it into half a dozen pieces. Then I quickly realized no hockey game was worth losing a job over. Don't remember how I wormed out of what had happened, but nothing came of it.
Those damned machines were noisy as all get out. KOTV had three or four as
I recall. Broadcast and print journalists have no idea what they missed from
"the good old days." OK, maybe they do.
Just heard from Mike Miller, he was telling me Roy Pickett had died. Does anyone know the details?
Mike B. You had asked about Hurst, well I've tried to reach him via email listed but was returned.
Louise, Roy's niece, Linda Bean, let us know in Guestbook 180 that Roy had passed away. Several readers wrote in with their memories of him.
Bill Payne is still GM here, and quite hands on at the time being. Too bad I don't think I'l be in the running for the $350,0000 morning host spot at KRMG!
BTW...I recall reading here someone else on KTFX years past hating country
music...some of this new stuff is so indifferently produced, it makes you
wanna program Patsy Cline all day long.
Ahh, those great steamed buns, grilled dogs and that Cincinnati-style chili... I make a fair non-authentic version at home with a chili recipe which I make in large batches and freeze for continued use, Hebrew National weiners, locally-baked fresh buns and finely-chopped onions of un-known origin. But, somehow, it's just not the same. (sigh...)
So what's the state of "Coney Islander" in Tulsa these days? I seem to recall that there were several locations for a while. I often stopped-by the one on Lewis near Wilson Jr. High School, or the one across from the Admiral Twin Drive-In and, of course, the downtown location.
Yeah, I know this may have little relevance to TV and radio...but perhaps not... many of us "lived" on coneys during our stints in broadcasting and/or theatre in Tulsa. I could do six easily, and have eaten more on occasion. Ahhh...to have one now...
Another Coney I-Lander is at 71st and Memorial. It seems as good as the downtown Coney Island to me, but lacking the fine view of the always-active Orpha's Lounge.
If your Mother says She Loves you....CHECK IT OUT!
Here is a satellite photo of the intersection from map.google.com.
At 'GN, they used about five carbons. The rolls, naturally, were large, and because of the additional layers, ran out quicker. Somebody was supposed to bird-dog the wireroom and make sure there was plenty of paper, but, like every good plan, it had hiccups. We had a bank of machines with AP, UPI, INS, regional wires, then A wires and B wires for AP and UPI, plus City News, which was a 24-hour local wire paid for by Chicago newspapers and broadcasters.
When the paper started running out, and the wire room drudge was off chatting
up a receptionist, or smearing his hands with pizza grease in the cafeteria,
it was necessary to change the rolls yourself. No big deal, except that the
carbon rolls quickly transferred their special qualities onto your hands
and clothes and a fifteen-minute trick in the wire room left you looking
like a coal miner, just before going on the air. When the red light went
on, you didn't know whether to say "Good evening," or fall on one knee and
What a thrill I'd get when doing a newscast on radio only to have the teletype bells start clanging that a big story was breaking. When the newsman was lucky the story would finish typing while the newscast was still in progress. That was usually pretty easy to determine since it was pretty easy to hear when the story was finished. At that point we could rip the copy and read it live - feeling that maybe we were getting it on the air first.
The CBS NewsAlert was a wonderful device. I worked along with Dave Deforest and Richard Dowdell at KWON back 30 something years ago. Later at KCNW we were fortunate enough to have a slightly newer version of the device that gave digital codes regarding the breaking story. These would give us such information as when the network feed would begin - and how significant the story was.
The next incarnation of KCNW (KXXO, Tulsa's first Newstalk radio) we saw a later version of that system. This was truly 'high tech' news!
Courtesy of Dennis Yelton, aka Chuck Morgan
My family moved from Tulsa in 1967 (my father taught at McLain High School) but because I sang with the Tulsa Boy Singers, it seems like we were always around the television and radio stations. I had a mad crush on Betty Boyd. Probably also had one on John Chick, too.
I haven't stumbled through the full site, but was remembering the Treasure Hunt that KTUL did at one point in the late '50s or early '60s. It had people crawling all over Lookout Mountain with shovels. I remember that a guest celebrity that day was Nick Adams (TV's Johnny Yuma in "The Rebel"). I was star struck.
I suppose I'm morphing into one of those old fogies at whome I used to roll my eyes as a kid. But it does seem that something golden is missing about local television these days.
We have a picture of Nick Adams and Louise Bland from the Treasure Hunt with her comments. Hurst Swiggart remembered it, too.
In this episode, Joe E. led the the audience in singing "Take Me Out To
The Ball Game". I was reminded that Mazeppa once showed Joe E. Brown's 1935
baseball movie, "Alibi
Ike" (story by Ring Lardner).
Cyberpunk author and futurist Bruce Sterling "re-coined" the word a couple of weeks ago at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin. He defined protocrats as "the digital avant-garde eager to embrace forward-looking technology and ecological solutions".
Sorry, Mr. Sterling, we in Tulsa are the avant-garde when it comes to
Edwin does have a thing for flashing lights...read about the 1973 late-night local TV show, MAINTAIN.
The honored webmaster has spoken. I guess I should have read down further on the KVOO-AM page.
The Hindenburg? Wish Doc Lacy were still around today so that I could rub
Does anyone else remember the "weather watch"? One of the buildings downtown had colored lights shining on its top at night to indicate the weather. It went something like flashing green for rain, solid green, red for storms. I don't remember exactly what they were.
Scroll up a little from Gary Shore and read all about the NBT Weather Teller.
In TV - we had telop and balop slides thrown up on the network lines in the '70's in national programing breaks to forewarn us when they could.
When visiting Dave DeForest doing a weekend gig at KWON in Bartlesville way
back when - I first saw CBS Radio's "NET ALERT". CBS later had a TV version
of their radio "NET ALERT" in the '70's which transmitted data on a line
of video which KOTV had a b&w monitor for. Heaven help a TV master control
operator away from his/her post when a SPECIAL REPORT came up unannounced
and was not immediately "taken to air".
I hadn't thought of the question for years until I saw Jim Ruddle's and Don Norton's postings on the KVOO page.
There actually was a fourth gong, or tone, if you will, that NBC had prearranged to use at certain times to recall and alert their news staff in time of crisis or emergency.
What were the times that it was used?
The first time was at the start of WWII - on Dec. 7th, and the second time was at the time of the death of FDR.
Makes you wonder how we ever got along without email, PDA's, cell phones and the other pocket wonders that make our life so easy (?) nowadays.
According to this link from the KVOO-AM page, the first use of the fourth chime as an emergency alert was just after the Hindenburg crash on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst, New Jersey. It was sounded again during the Munich crisis in 1938, with the news of the Pearl Harbor bombing on December 7, 1941, and just before the announcement of the D-Day invasion, June 6, 1944.
I just love Hanson. You can e-mail me. Write back.
Hanson is going to be in Tulsa for Mayfest this year, Friday night, May 20, on the Tulsa World Spot stage.
I was no longer in Tulsa at the time she worked there, but got to know her later when she came to Chicago to work in the NBC Television News Bureau, and was right across the hall from me in the Merchandise Mart.
A wonderful personality and a hard worker, I don't think she was terribly happy with the place. I completely lost track of her after I left Chicago, but hope she landed somewhere more enjoyable.
Does anyone know what happened to her?
I was the last Program Director to oversee 74KRMG under the ownership of Swanson Broadcasting, Incorporated. Gerry Swanson was President of the small company, which, at that time, owned stations around what used to be known at the "oil patch."
I started work for 74KRMG in December, 1984. At that time, the station was #7 in the ratings. John Erling was the top dog in the morning, but the station had nothing going for it the rest of the day. Working with Mike Crusham, who was then the General Manager, we got the ratings up to #1 by the Winter book of 1987. An AM station that had been pronounced dead was not only still alive, but was at the top of the market.
The radio industry has always meant a lot to me. I started my first part-time radio job as a high school sophomore. Today, I serve as a Regional Vice-President of Programming for Clear Channel Radio, the largest operator of radio stations in America. Through it all, I can honestly say the most gratifying - and most fun - radio job I ever held was at 74KRMG. Even if no one in Tulsa remembers who I was, guiding 74KRMG back to premiere status in the market remains one of my fondest memories.
Thanks for putting up an interesting web site. It brought back a lot of happy reminiscences.
Apparently it was not an April Fool joke as I had thought that John Erling is stepping down from his on-air position. The press release:
TU students and faculty were important performers in the orchestra. I know
of one Central student, Mary Ellen Fenn, who was good enough to play violin
when she was a junior. One Central music teacher, Mr. Gates, also played
Roy Pickett, radio talent and technician who did sound recording at the Nuremburg trials after WWII, passed away. We heard from his niece, and many chimed in with their personal memories of this gentleman.
Joel Genung caught up with Oklahoma's first TV meteorologist, Harry Volkman, on his visit to Tulsa.
Guestbook 180 has much more of interest than
I have summarized. Please check it out for yourself!