Tulsa TV Memories GroupBlog 214
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I am summarizing here and playing fast and loose with the facts:
To the uninitiated - before 3/4" U-MATIC AND 1" TYPE C tape machines - there was no non-broadcast standard for lesser formats til EIAJ outta Japan and SMPTE in the U.S. decided on some. 2" quad in NTSC (low band or high band) was the standard or you shot/delivered film prints in the U.S. RCA and Ampex were the only world-wide tape machine manufacturers for 2" - maybe the Germans had something but that was PAL and not the US.
In the 60s - Sony/Akai/Panasonic/JVC tried making b&w cameras and 1" or 1/2" b&w tape machines and peddled them to schools, corporate and hospitals for training/documentation purposes - but you couldn't play a Sony recording on a JVC or any other deck.
In the 70s, Akai came out with a jim-dandy portable mini-reel-to-reel tape machine and single tube camera - which KPRC in Houston used for a while. Sony made consumer color cameras and decks as high-end reel-to-reel consumer portables - I saw one at Neiman-Marcus long before seeing one at NAB. Then everyone in Japan was making them - but all were incompatible with others. You could not edit the material - you could cue it up and air it raw or bump to 2" and edit on 2".
Tulsa Cable had early broadcast 1" IVC decks for studio production - but they were incompatible with stations in town. I remember Ralph Bardgett, either when he left 6 or had interviewed at a PBS station up near Kansas City that had different 2" IVC tape machines...he had told us about them and we marveled.
Lo and behold - in the 70s we got BetaMax and VHS from our friends in Japan for "time shifting" for consumers to tape favorite shows to watch later. There was a big brouhaha about consumers being able to decide when to watch network programming - how would Nielsen meter the audience? (They said the same thing about cable 25 years ago.)
Then came home "tapie" cameras/recorders which killed off Super 8 home movie-making. Phillips and others in Europe and Japan tried using the basic Norelco audio cassette as a tape format that never took off. I think Technicolor also tried a format that never flew. The Germans made wonderful portable Bosch or Nagra mini 1" machines that looked great and did not give a tape op a major hernia when used in the field.
They never caught on because it was in a format called type B and of course - the US did not support type B 1". Places in New York or L.A. used these decks and bumped to 2" to edit. In TV - often the US TV stations' Chief Engineer's mentality was - "I'll buy it when RCA or Ampex sells it."
3/4" got better and better as a production format and Sony/JVC/Panasonic made decks for industrial and broadcast users. There was a lot of grumping that the Japanese were trying to take over US TV and "dumb GMs" were contributing to it! Throw in here Magnavox/MCA/Discovision or Pioneer's video disk (or disc) efforts, too.
Then Sony took BetaMax - revved up the tape writing speed and improved the stock and gave us broadcasters BetaCam, and Panasonic gave us MII. JVC made a format that was called Digital-S which looked good but was incompatible and you could NOT erase the tape - you could record over something but it could not be bulk-erased.
Add Sony/Panasonic and others trying to develop disk recorders/readers/writers - pre-dating our CD/DVD burners (and our Macs/PCs) - which of course were incompatible with each other. Throw in 20 years ago - about 5 early HiDef prototypes including the Sony/Muse HD 1" system that worked in Japan. Add about 20 variations and rocket to mini DV/DVCam and DVCPro and now here comes solid-state or digital tapeless memory. All of this in our lifetimes.
Can you imagine folks in 10 years - trying to find ANY of the above-listed formats to make copies from? Oy! Think of all the crazy or short-term formats we have used for recording in TV and consumer use in just 35 years!
To answer Señor Bruchas, all my contacts at the Peabody Awards have pretty much dried up and blown away. I did get invited to a Peabody reception 6 or 7 years ago, but I think that was on the basis of an acquaintance with the late head of the R-TV department and Peabody director Barry Sherman. Since Barry died too young, and all the profs I had Way Back When have either shuffled off this mortal coil or retired, my U.Ga. connections are limited to watching the football team.
They used to sell copies of Peabody entries. but only for academic research purposes. Don't know if that has changed or not, you might try Peabody.uga.edu. When I was a poor student, the "archives" were a storeroom over the roof of one of the control rooms adjacent to a tv studio. Not sure it had a/c or not--no doubt they've by now recognized the value of that treasure trove of audio and video recordings dating back to the 40s. Hopefully there's still a 2" VTR capable of low-band color somewhere in Athens.
And now for something completely different...
Friends, how long has it been since you had a rich, thick, steamin' bowl of Steve Bagsby? Well, that's too long! Whether you're an Oklahoman or long, long removed, get your hands on Steve's "Talahina Hula" CD. Ten bucks and cheap at twice the price, if only for the photo of the Artiste on the back cover. When the sun is right in the sky, and the volume is set just so, you can close your eyes and for a moment, it's noontime 60-some years ago and you're listening to Bob Wills on KVOO. (You do, however, have to provide your own "aaaah-ha"s.)
Seriously, and no kiddin', friends, this is a great recording and you should buy it even if you have to get the money by not buying those baby chicks by mailing 98 cents in coin to XERF, Del Rio, that's D-E-L-R-I-O, Texas.
Love that Caps Lock.
My fellow shade, P.B. Shelley, and I are enchanted by your plans for a musical version of my novel, DEATH IN VENICE, which I believe you call SHELLEY WINTERS IN VENICE. (My lawyer and agent will contact you shortly. You can fix it up with Shelley and Shelley.) (This being Hwood, you'll have to deal in WEBm, who is not the shade posting.)
You might also be interested in our latest project (Hollywood never dies!): To the Moon: Ralph and Trixie, Ed and Alice. It's sort of a re-make of a classic.
I wonder if we haven't just received a visitation from the ghost of Mr. Percy Bysshe Shelley, who wrote "To The Moon", and passed away in Italy in 1822?
The Library of Congress has 1" and 2" machines to archive stuff from - but monthly they are being "gifted" historical footage in those formats. In my many travels - had access to 6 of the Bing Crosby studio taped b&w shows and never got to make a bootleg of any. My favorite had Bing, Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and I think Rosie Clooney on 1 show!! Bing willed them to the Univ. of Georgia but they represent the epitome - to me - of early quality b&w taped programming. Need to ask John Hillis if he has any contacts at U of GA - would love to have a show on DVD!
Bartlesville's Price Tower is being honored at the National Building Museum in DC from June 17 to Sept. 17 and I hope to get by there and enjoy a homage to one of Oklahoma's most unique structures.
You can play the demo (or download it) at:
The TV season here in Hollywood continues to be pretty grim for multi-camera shows. The merger of UPN/WB/Paramount/CBS has eliminated a good many sitcoms in favor of episodic/reality projects. I feel blessed to be doing two shows in the fall....many people in all departments have no work at all. Let's hope that this is just part of a trend, and that things will improve in the future.
OK....I'm off to Pink's to have a chili-dog. That will lift my spirits....!!
Mike was press secretary to Nevada senator Chic Hecht in the early 80s. The article deals with Hecht's historic 1982 upset election victory over Sen. Howard Cannon. Sen. Hecht passed away May 15.
The chapters about Mike's career as a Tulsa radio and TV reporter and anchor are specifically relevant to this site, but I found the entire book fascinating reading.
I've just spent a couple of hours at your site, TelevisionChronicles.com. It's a pleasure to read your in-depth stories about several short-lived but distinctive series I've never forgotten. I share your enthusiasm for the book, Fantastic Television, by Gary Gerani.
Edwin Fincher or Sonny H. - you know the market - any ideas???
The Stories of the Century was a series and the one mentioned with the Mazeppa theme is Season 1-episode 9: the Dalton Gang. Don't own it yet but found a copy at MoviesUnlimited.com.
The Movies Unlimited version is on VHS. Here is the entire series in DVD on Amazon.com for peanuts: "Stories of the Century".
From this document, http://www.forces.org/evidence/files/bryden1.htm, dated 1996:
While gutting the home for a remodel I found 2 of his original shows on 1 inch magnetic tape. I would love to see what is on these tapes and get a copy in a format that I could watch.
Me, too. I have the prospect of a 3/4" tape machine soon, but 1" is a rarer bird.
On another subject, I was doing some "homework" for an upcoming edition, watching an old western called ""Stories of the Century." In the episode (fittingly enough) about Oklahoma's Dalton Gang, the soundtrack suddenly burst forth with what we tend to remember as the opening theme to Mazeppa's Uncanny Film Festival, during a scene involving a runaway stagecoach. That, of course, got me thinking about the gang at Tulsa TV Memories, and how I had failed to let them know about the new online incarnation of Television Chronicles.
Bill, thanks for the link and welcome back. Bill sent in a copy of his Uncola card back in 1999, the first one I had seen since the early 70s.
And yes - all of our lives now have more of the gizmos, time-wasters and entertainment toys we never could have dreamed about 30 years ago. Part of being the American consumer-driven society.
Think of the culture/consumer shock going on now in China. They even have WallyWorld there! I keep waiting for them to demand American-made electronics and stuff. I read - because Sun Yat-Sen drove a 1938 Buick 70 years ago - Buicks may become the most popular American car there. Can we even remember a Chinese-made anything - for sale or even wanted by American consumers 30 years ago?
You are right - maybe I am an anachronism - listening to radio, but then an iPod or home computer (especially when the power goes out) won't help get you tornado warnings either...though I wish I could think up a scheme to corral all the old 8-track machines, clean them up and EXPORT them to China to sell as "classic American technology"!
Did or did NOT the Net Neutrality thing pass tonight? Am afraid of having to pay quite a bit for net access. Have had the Verizon $17.95 a month DSL and love it - but formerly it had been too expensive. Though I live 6-7 miles from AOL HQ - my service had gotten worse and they jacked up my minimal service rates to $3 less than Verizon's DSL.. My only complaint so far - on Memorial Day - it was AWOL for 7 hours.
I still use rabbit ears (really a $40 Terk antenna) for teevee - can't afford cable or a dish Still no iPod and my cel phone is 3 years old and without Tetris!
The storm that blew through yesterday morning heavily damaged their Ferris Wheel. I was saddened to hear it was damaged, but what really bummed me out was when the reporter said it was built in 1926 and was the 24th Ferris Wheel built! I had no idea it was that old. Just think of the stories it could tell. Hopefully it's not a complete loss and can be salvaged.
KOTV.com has the video of the report.
BTW they run "TV licensing" PSAs - reminding folks to pay their monthly license for at home viewing - so as folks won't have to go to court...Funny about us and our "free TV" = especially if paying el grande cable bills!
Last night at 1 am on the way home - the weather guy on WTOP was having a bad night. He announced: "...that ended our rainy spell and all looks good up-coming for the weekend coming up..."...Oy! It hadn't rained since Saturday! Guess he was looking forward to the weekend...up-coming that is.
When you see all the images come in on this page, the main site will be back up.
In observance of "Mark O' The Beast Day" (6/6/06), I just decided to call this page a "GroupBlog" rather than "Guestbook". The new term is more accurate than the old, and I don't even have to change the abbreviation from "GB".
The server for this "GroupBlog" is in Greece, and Athens weather is predicted to be clear and sunny.
By the way, I ate some delicious Greek food for lunch last week at Jim's "Never on Sunday" Coney Island at 21st & Harvard. Hope they are doing OK after the storm.
The House Committee on Rules is now deciding whether to allow an amendment onto the floor that would put meaningful and enforceable Network Neutrality language into the COPE Act. Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma (202-225-6165) is a member of the Rules Committee. He could stand a call from you telling him that you are for Net Neutrality. More about this important issue at SaveTheInternet.com.
New at the TTM Flickr page: a photo of Carl "Zeb" Bartholomew, Scott Blaker and Don Lundy, taken last Saturday. While you are there, also check out the photoset of the Captain Ben reunion at McNellie's, which included the Captain himself, Windy O'Day, Tuffy and Zeb.
From John Wooley and Matt Gleason's column, "Sounds like ours", in the 6/1 Tulsa World, a blurb about Daddy A Go Go's latest album with cover by Gailard Sartain.
Later note: the site was back online before 4 pm, 6/7.
The word "among" is rapidly being phased out. Everything now is "between," no matter how many things are being compared.
"None" has become a plural noun. It is rare to hear, "None of the drivers HAS passed the test."
I cringe when I hear the nominative pronoun used when it is the object of a preposition, as in "The race is between HE and the blue car."
The prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition has been dropped. That's just as well, I guess. Adhering to that rule could result in some very awkward sentences as in "Ending a sentence with a preposition is a practice up with which I shall not put."
Which reminds me, the line between "shall" and "will" has been almost completely blurred.
Have I become just a crotchety, old man? Where is the line between defending correct English and submitting to popular mis-usage that apparently is rapidly becoming accepted?
Tangent here...Gee - we all look the same now world-wide...sitting at work and digitizing video of Indian game rangers, animal control types and Army troops - working on wolf control in India. ALL the non-Army gov't types wear chinos, polo shirts, oxfords or hiking boots - clothes right off the rack at Target almost - if India has Target stores. The men all wear "gimme" baseball hats with either commercial sponsor tags or agency tags or Nam-type boonie hats. These guys would be unnoticed on the street in Tulsa except for their accents. Somehow all the Army drivers and gun escorts look unwilted in fatigues in the heat - shorts for most - and little Army folding hats. Good boots for them though. Most toting double barrel or pump shotguns and they know how to use them.
It's the agrarian peasants that "look Third World" with flip-flops, baggy shorts and worn Nike/surfer/videogame t-shirts -- wait a minute - that's what most US adolescents are wearing! Funny how the world dresses!
I thought you might enjoy a picture of it!
The 1926 Webster's Dictionary was long cited as the best source, followed by Fowler, then a host of other, lesser authorities such as the NBC Announcer's Handbook, and whatever that thing was that Ben Henneke wrote.
Unfortunately, there's no single correct source.
I remember seeing the word "argyle" in the NBC Handbook pronounced as "ar-jile," which would have driven any Scotsman to drink, if he wasn't already doing so.
And advertisers had their own rules. For instance, Peter Paul Mounds candy bars dictated that the word "almond" be pronounced "ah-mund," with no "L" lurking around.
In the early 1960s, the Webster's Third Dictionary came along and raised hackles among the traditionalists who wanted a prescriptive, rather than a descriptive dictionary. Major battles raged amid the literati and the academics who focused much of their attention on such trifles as the word "ain't". (Dizzy Dean once famously stated, "A lot of folks who ain't sayin' ain't ain't eatin'.")
NBC News president, Reuven Frank, who fancied himself as God's executive editor, proclaimed that we peons in the news ranks were to hew to the 1926 version and ignore the new Third.
This led me to (anonymously--I wasn't a complete fool) post a memo on the newsroom bulletin board saying that we had a hard road ahead: The 1926 edition didn't contain such words as "nazi," "jetplane," "atom bomb," "penicillin," and many, many more. This memo was not received with favor by the bosses.
Of course, at the time of the Falklands War, Frank ordered that we say "Argentyne," as the Brits do, rather than "Argenteen." I stepped into it again sending a note from an unknown author quoting a popular song of his youth about "Tangerine" a hot babe whose name rhymed with "Argenteen." Like Queen Victoria, he was not amused.
Who said we haven't made progress?
I have trouble saying "despicable" with the accent on the first syllable. I feel like Sylvester the Cat trying to talk with a mouthful of crackers.
J MO - Howlin' Dawg