Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 166
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Mom & Dad bought 5 acres from Cyrus Avery back in 1948 and it was a known "watering hole" for two reasons. It also was a bootlegger, and there are still buried tanks that were probably mash pits. In the 30s everything burned to the ground, and several old trees still show the scars of the intense heat.
The well still has cold (52 degree) clear water even in a draught, and I
still dream about using it for a cheap source of cooling (maybe in distilling).
In my home (which also served as a hospital), open windows and ceiling fans were the early source of cooling. At night, we would sprinkle the bed sheets with water droplets as a cooling aid. We eventually got the evaporative coolers and they worked really well when placed on the sunny side of the house.
Then the real deal came along when a hometown entrepreneur named Curtis Mathes produced the first Freon-refrigerated window units. For the front of their cabinets, they used beautiful woods. The Mathes family went on to great success and riches, sold out and went into the hi-fi business, producing large entertainment centers etc.
The aftermarket auto industry also produced an evaporative side window mount unit for cars. Usually placed on the passenger side, one would not want to sit beside it unless one wanted a shower.
One of the first true refrigerated car units was one I did radio commercials for in Fort Worth in 1954-55. It was called "Clardy." Its main unit went in the trunk and was the size of a steamer trunk. It had two air outlet tubes that stuck up behind the seat; the compressor (under the hood) was the size of a Norton motorcycle engine, but heavier.
Rear window Venetian blinds became a must. Before long, some people implied
that their car was air-conditioned by using masking tape to "create" the
blinds and dummy plastic tubes in the back window; blithely driving around
with their windows up and sweating like hogs!
Quik Trip did a good job of shaking the image of the dirty, over-priced
convenience store but Git-N-Go could never quite pull it off. The GNG pumps
sat empty while QT had people waiting in line.
An original neon sign, a vintage gas pump, and other paraphernalia will be sold at a public auction at 8316 E. 73rd St. (the former Git-N-Go corporate offices) Tuesday night.
Git-N-Go opened in Tulsa in 1958, a couple of years before Quik-Trip.
I borrowed the World's courtesy photo of the sign from today's paper and did a lot of work on it, result at right.
You know, I wish there were a "Neon Park", a collection of old Tulsa neon signage of the past...
Actually, such a thing is in the works.
Bill Stokely (of billboard fame) collects signage from gas stations, bars, drug stores...and has about 300 good ones so far. He stores and restores them in his warehouse, and plans to open a barn-style building to display them. He will rent the space out to car clubs, wedding receptions, etc.
Many of his rescued signs and neon clocks are on display in his company warehouse near 169 and the B.A. He particularly likes anything car or beverage-related and is still on the lookout for old Tulsa signs.
I hope he succeeds.
Actually, the two window units did okay until we'd had over 100 degrees for
about two weeks running. Then we'd all huddle directly in front of the airflow
(including Fred the cat, who would take a break from his otherwise feral
ways) and breathe air that did not require gills to extract the oxygen from.
After about the middle of September, it was great to have one again, but there wasn't much hope except for a rainstorm from the 4th of July until the last dog died in late August.
I started elementary school at a time when schools around here weren't air conditioned, and had forgotten how hot a pair of new jeans could really be until I put on a pair and went outside this week.
It was fun to get in front of the blower and adjust the vertical metal louvers to hit you full in the face; there was a distinctive sound and smell (from the wet pads, no doubt). I'm trying to remember the brand we had, maybe Artic or Olympic...
Two questions: #1 Is Johnny Donut still working for Delmo Gillette Entertainment
Services? #2 Can Lionel travel with Lee on the
He was a film critic in his days at KFOR, KOCO, and KOKH. He now occasionally
co-host the "Hello Oklahoma" morning show on KSBI, broadcast channel 33 in
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Dino Lalli has resigned as director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Commission effective Sept. 7.
"There are some opportunities down the road I would like to take advantage of," Lalli said Tuesday.
A native of McAlester and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Lalli said he planned to pursue a job in television or in the film industry.
Dino has had this job for 5 years, before that he was at a Los Angeles TV
station, before that KOCO and KFOR in Oklahoma City.
Sitting and watching a black and white TV in an efficiency apartment just outside Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana with my spouse of less than one year, making very little money as a lowly Air Force recruit.
Who'da thunk I'd be back here 35 years later married to the same woman and
in the TV bidness?
Cameron Crowe's movie "Elizabethtown," scheduled for release sometime in 2005, is currently in the production stages. According to Oklahoma Film Commission spokesman Dino Lalli, the Sooner State is one of several states chosen for filming. The bulk of the movie is a "road trip" and the two main characters in the film will be making several stops, including some in Oklahoma. One of the locations that is reportedly scheduled for filming is the Oklahoma City Memorial, sometime in early August.
Five or six different locations throughout the state were chosen with the
help of the Oklahoma Tourism Board over the past three months. Exactly which
locations are being filmed in Oklahoma has not been released at this time.
The movie includes Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon and Alec
Baldwin...and Gailard Sartain, who plays the town (Elizabethville, Ky.)
Is that 6 degrees of separation from Harry Volkman?? I even can sense some of his old joke or pun punchlines "incoming" when home in Chicago with my aged folks - especially when he has to tease some event video on-air on WFLD...
The Tulsa Police are featured in a story on the CBS national newsfeed to affiliates today - on tasers being sold by Sharper Image.com. TPD is acknowledging that it may not be legal to carry one as a civilian. I did not recognize the KOTV reporter nor was her tag line given.
Dave Harmon replied:
Here is a possible 2003 sighting.
Chris was the recipient of a crank call made in early 1971 by the webmaster (at age 17), who was impersonating a mutual acquaintance. Chris heard this recording for the first time today...and remembered it!
Courtesy of Dennis Yelton, aka Chuck Morgan
There were a few years in the late '70's when Tulsa radio seemed to change almost daily. Some of it kinda blends together after a few (25) years.
I also remember KTFX putting the listeners live on the air. If I'm remembering correctly, they changed from KKUL (K-Kool) to KTFX and went CHR sometime in the late '70's. Anybody recall what KKUL's format was? I'm thinking it was maybe a light AC. When KTFX became the Country Fox they continued to put listeners on the air during the physical format flip. Some of the kids were not too happy...One kid actually called in (at about 11:30pm) and told the jock to stop talking and play some music...This was back when format changes were still done without the general public finding out what was gonna happen, I guess.
More radio questions... When did KWEN (Queen/K95) go CHR? They got a little wild for a while, there. They were also putting listeners on the air right after the format swap.
Seems like KMYO (Cameo)/KSNE-Sunny 93 picked up KWEN's old format...Was KMYO at the old KBEZ frequency or is "EZ" still there?
Further confusing the issue here...wasn't KMYO/KSNE owned byt KELI?
Sorry about the inadvertent essay question... Been a lot of years ago...Thanks!
What's so special about that? One of the women is Lee Woodward's daughter, Valerie Naifeh.
The show was filmed in a 20,000 sq. ft. mansion in Pasadena, California
and consists of various challenges from cooking, designing, fixing, creating,
and being a mini-Martha.
BTW has KMUS signed on with Radio Disney from their new Sperry site?
No, Crazy Steve was on KTFX "The Superfox" when they were Top 40 in 1977-9. I heard that they beat KELi in teens/young adults in several books and probably were the reason why KAKC flipped to MOR in 1978.
I have no idea what Crazy Steve's real name is and what he's doing now - Anyone here know? He was probably the wildest DJ any Tulsa radio station had in the late 70's. A real "Teen Jock" that would drive parents up the wall but the kids loved.
I remember him pulling stunts like playing Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" over
and over one night for about 2 hours when it was a brand new song. Plus he
had the usual "Crazy Line" call in time where he'd put people over the air
to say hi to friends - but he had no tape delay or pre-recorded it, it was
100% live, which is unthinkable now. But I don't remember anyone cussing
him out. Anyone here remember him?
Clyde Clifford was the host of Beaker Street, which left the KAAY airwaves long ago. But Clifford (who in real life is a fellow named Dale Seidenschwarz) now does the show once each week on Sunday nights on a Little Rock FM station, with all the old albums back in play.
There's a web site commemorating all this at BeakerStreet.com. It includes MP3 files of the past couple of years of shows from the FM station and three or four files from some 1970-71 shows on KAAY. But they're all at least 10 MB, so if you're on a modem be prepared to tie up a phone line for awhile. (I haven't; if you do, let us know how the programs sound!)
Thanks, Dave, I will try them out.
Because of this large coverage area, several major broadcast companies offered tons of money to buy the network, but the Lockes insisted that the station remain independent and air the same type of family friendly programming.
Enter Brady Brus, longtime OKC meteorologist and his sister Brenda Bennett, longtime OKC radio personality. They formed a company and purchased the network. Since then, they have become a very good source of statewide severe weather coverage. I would encourage everyone to strap on the old UHF loop sometime and tune to channel 33 to see what they have to offer.
Thanks, Erick, added your comments to Links page 1.
Cleaning out our garage, we came across several boxes of my mother's old magazines and newspapers. Among those was a magazine called Tulsa dated March 6, 1980. The inside first page said it was the official publication of the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber. The magazine is filled with interesting Tulsa things including an article by David Stanford titled "Johnny Martin Show".
Mr. Martin was the favorite of both my mother and father. They began and ended our days with KRMG and the article brought back so many memories of that very unique time and Mr. Martin's very special program. A feature box within the article is headed "Remembering the Martinisms" and I thought you and other readers may remember these as I do:
"Martin the Musical Missionary"
The one line I remember very clearly was "another song momma used to sing and if you don't remember that it's past your bed time" I also remember him saying "pay yourself first" and having my parents explain how important that was to me - good advice it turned out to be.
For all our listening to KAKC, KELi and KRAV (they did our thing!) I am very happy that my parents shared this wonderful person with us. The morning person was a gentleman named Adams, I think, he was very upbeat and had a good sense of humor about everything. (More from Chuck Adams in Guestbook 154...webmaster)
It's a shame we don't have radio like that any longer, at least we do not here in Florida.
I'm planning to expand the radio side of the site in the future, and Chuck Adams' comments will definitely be featured. I added your comments to the Johnny Martin page.
I compared Bruce McFadden with Roy Orbison earlier in the guestbook. In response to my clumsy comments, Mr. McFadden wrote a very funny, and very gracious letter, to me.
I was trying to say that Orbison had a stunning voice but his physical appearance was not over the top. I remembered Bruce's voice as being very impressive on KORU but, as a college student, he still looked very young to me, not "roly-poly" per my early comment (bad choice of descriptor).
Now please excuse me. I've got to go wash out the taste of dirty socks out
of my mouth again.
But on to what I'm truly here for...I am curious as to what Jerry Vaughn is up to these days...I fondly remember him on KRMG's afternoon drive...I also have audio tapes of him with Hal O'Halloran doing ORU BB games during the NCAA run in the mid-70's...
Also remember Bob Losure doing traffic in "Traffic-Bird 74"...on the TV end, I fondly remember Don Woods as he attended church at the same place I did...I remember Gary Shore tracking the tornadoes in June of 1974...
Back to KRMG, I remember John Erling coming to Tulsa and starting the "Tulsa Mountains" craze...in fact, I still have a few of those bumper stickers...btw, whatever became of his predecessor, Watson Jelks?...Erling was an occasional visitor to my DQ at 61st and Peoria...
And the Johnny Martin memories here were
breathtaking...I will NEVER forget him...
Speaking of Star 103, with former 14k/92k jocks Wavy Davy Michaels and Mel
Myers, I spent the weekend in Austin, and another former 14k/92k jock Bo
Chase is on the oldies station there.
My CW McCall story - he or Chip did voice-over on a very neat and ambitious video for the Durango and Silverton RR in Durango, CO. Shot in the early '80's on video with mucho helicopter footage - it was great. Beautiful. I learned of it and got a viewing copy. The railroad sent us a 1" copy to use for air. KOCO aired it 4-5 times as late night movie filler (we think it was done for post-train ride video sales, too). Unfortunately I never saved a copy and folks at KOCO were less enthusiastic about "steamers" than I, so our air copy was "bulked".
Now as for Chip of Mannheim Steamroller - with ties to Oklahoma indirectly
- he is very creative but there are other "eccentric" things about him that
I know but can't post here. But I love his musical work - just wishin' the
CD's were cheaper!
Wasn't KAKC the one with Mike McCarthy and Crazy Steve?
I kinda gave up on "Fun Lovin' KAKC" when KRAV put that AM oldies station
on the air, (which subsequently went satellite, as oldies stations seem to
tend to do.) I'm thinking it was KFMJ (been a long time...;-) ) before they
renamed it KRAV AM. (Later KGTO)
I spent a few years in Tulsa radio at KAKC, KELi, and KXXO (remember the "all disco all the time" format?). My first radio job was at KAKC in the engineering department, working for Larry White (anyone know where he is?). One of my more enjoyable jobs there was running the board for The Un-filmy Can Festival with Jim Millaway, Gary Busey and occasional appearances by Gailard Sartain. Joe Henderson gave me my first real on-air job, at KELi, in 1976. I started out on weekends and was soon "promoted" to midnight to 6 am. My only claim to fame in Tulsa Broadcast History would be the year I set the world's record for the Longest Underwater Broadcast. KELi gained use of the SCUBA divers water tank in the IPE building during the Tulsa State Fair. Since I was the only jock that was a licensed SCUBA diver, I was elected to do the stunt. The total time was 9 hours, 1 minute, 35 seconds (not sure how I remember that).
Other than those 15 minutes of fame, I would probably qualify as one of many nondescript disk jockeys in T-town radio history. I grew up in Tulsa listening to Scooter B. Segraves, Dean Kelley and the like. It was truly exciting to meet and work with them in the industry.
Great job on your website. I will check back from time to time and see what you have added.
PS.. I still have a 1430 KELi Win-dough scraper !!?
Courtesy of Dennis Yelton, aka Chuck Morgan
Courtesy of Dennis Yelton, aka Chuck Morgan
I was working MOR radio in Ponca City when "Convoy" came out -- I must've heard it a gazillion times. It wasn't until years later that I found out C.W. McCall was not a real person, and that the man behind all the musical accompaniment was Chip Davis, the man who -is- Mannheim Steamroller.
Here's a link:
But "Convoy" was a great piece of work. And I had forgotten its reference to Tulsa:
"By the time we got into Tulsa town
And then there was the line about how they "rolled up Interstate 44 like a rocket sled on rails." Wait -- you're having trouble recalling all this? Just go to the site with the lyrics at:
Breaker, 10-4 and all that.
He is in the process of converting to FTP for delivery of the audio, since
that will save on the ISDN charges.
One of the others (Danny Dark) prompts the following queries:
I never met or knew Danny or remembered his real name. I was familiar with his voice which was one of the premier ones in broadcasting. I once heard that he did everything for "Kraft" products that Ed Herlihy didn't do as well as a ton of other voiceovers.
The other thing I heard was, that early in his career in L.A., he was assaulted and as a result he lost and eye and his face was disfigured. This event then, took him out of a potential TV career and left him to make a tremendous success in voiceover work. Perhaps someone can enlighten us all on the career of this gentleman.
Would I also be correct in saying that Denny Delk is now the premier V.O. man from early Tulsa broadcasting?
Part #3 now. Having heard the same voice that does KOTV's voiceovers---all over the United States and realizing in some cases that he can be working almost in "real-time," who is he and when does he have time for a life?
The Golden Drumstick's previous incarnation as the Casa-Del club was illustrated by a couple of mementos. Two mentions of the original owner of the Drumstick, Bill Latting, were found in a remarkable personal journal (available online), covering Tulsa from pre-statehood to the 1980s. Mitch Latting wrote in about his Uncle Bill and his father, Bob, who hosted a KOTV kiddie show in the 50s while also running the Drumstick.
That recalled The Flying Chicken, a fried chicken delivery service in the mid-50s. Other eateries were named, and Elmo's Grill was remembered in detail by Gary Chew, who also wrote an early review of the controversial film, "Fahrenheit 9/11", for this site.
We learned that, at the 1958 USGA Open in Tulsa, Dave Harmon was a caddy and Lee Woodward was a dandy.
George Tomek acted a key role in "Tube Poker", a short film shot in London recently. Chris Sloan told us that the scientist's workshop in the movie "UHF" was his real-life office at the time.
We were sorry to hear of the passing of Ken Rank and Danny Dark.
The creator of "Tootlevision" in Tulsa, Harry Tootle, threw his headgear into the presidential ring.
Well in advance of the 4th of July, Jim Ruddle got the ball rolling with a dynamite tale from his Tulsa childhood.
There is much more...please check it out in Guestbook