Tulsa TV Memories GroupBlog 219
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I almost got a tear listening to the great Kenton-like chart Maynard and his men were playing on what seemed to be a blurry kinescope.
Experiencing the Ferguson Band again took me back to one of times I caught the Kenton Band at the Cimarron Ballroom at 4th and Denver in Tulsa. The brass and reeds are still tingling in my ears across the decades.
A story I always connect with seeing Kenton at the Cimarron was a remark made by the lady who was with Tulsa trumpet man, Scott Senter, that evening. She hadn't seen Kenton before and wasn't a big devotee of jazz. She, herself, was a very proficient keyboardist with perfect pitch, and was a music student with me at the time at TU.
I said to her, "Well, what do you think of this Kenton sound filling the Cimarron Ballroom?" With a twinkle in her eye, she said, "Well, it's really interesting music...and they sure do play in tune." I said, "Yes, they sure do."
Stan Kenton was born in Wichita, but moved to Denver as a child, and moved on with his parents to La La Land. His sound, which preceded Maynard's Kentonesque ensemble, is a pure example of West Coast Jazz, some of which at the time was referred to as Progressive Jazz.
I always considered it to be just a stone's throw away from Third Stream Music, which is a combination of jazz and classical music; a place where my true musical heart lies.
I guess I have to thank guys like Stan and Maynard for helping shape that taste that's been with me since the mid-50s.
Delmeaux de Gillette du Coffeyville
I remember me and date Maureen Pagano braving a wintery drive to "Taley-claw" to see Woody Herman and band there in a fantastic concert in the 70s. I found out whatever Music Dept. was there did a lot of band clinics but someone had to budget for bringing in big name groups there.
I had a Maynard CD somewhere here but for those of us now dabbling in iTunes
- what Maynard numbers would y'all suggest acquiring?
Jeff had spent the last years of his life as a sound engineer for two of the major news networks, primarily working with Dan Rather.
You can read more about him and view a picture on the Tulsa World web site under Music in the Spot section.
Jeff was a wonderful person and will be missed by all who knew him.
I remember Xebec as one of the top bands at the Blue Onion in Norman during my years at OU in the early 70s.
Sometime during the many years I resided in Green Country, I had the absolute pleasure of digging Maynard and his tight and incendiary band down at Tahlequah. I think it was on the campus there. Terrific. Wow.
And George also mentions another long swinging jazz great: the incomparable Dave Brubeck. Since I've lived in Sacramento, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave some years back when he performed with the Sacramento Symphony.
At a reception after that concert, I visited with Dave a bit more. He said to me, "Did you hear that extra melody I was putting in on such and such (one of his standards which I can't think of right now)? I said, "No, I missed it, I'm sorry. He said, "It was 'California Here I Come.'" He told me that, at that time, he hadn't been back to California in quite a while and thought he should lay that melody in to the piece he was already wailing on.
By the way, Mr. Brubeck and his Quartet are playing this weekend here in Sacramento as promoted by the Jazz and NPR News station that is a sister to the classical FM on which I have a daily music program.
Dave is getting up there; I think he's about 86, but his easy-going way may give him more time here to spread yet more pleasure with his artistry.
One of my favorite ballads by Dave is called, "Strange Meadowlark."
Delmeaux de Gillette du Coffeyville
We had the pleasure of Mr. Brubeck's company at our Greenwood Jazz Festival in the 90s. I can't believe how many jazz greats we got to see during Barbara Swiggart's tenure as chairman.
I remember the afternoon before the concerts some of us got to watch the rehearsals. Brubeck was so laid back he welcomed us to come up on stage and stand around has he tickled the ivory as only Brubeck could.
I still have about half a dozen Maynard Ferguson LP's including "Message From Birdland." It was classic Ferguson who could hit the high notes better than anybody at that time -- or since.
If Tom Birmingham still lives in the Tulsa area or contributes to this fine website, maybe he can help fill in the blanks of my sometimes fuzzy memory. Again, there were two shows as I recall and neither was a sell out.
Maynard Ferguson circa 1960
I guess he's screamin' those super-C's with ol' Gabe right about now.
Sounds like a candidate for the TV's Greatest Horror Hosts webring.
"The funny thing about the Meadow Gold sign on 11th Street, was it was placed there by Meadow Gold as a jab in the belly of the Hawk Dairy Company".
Coincidently, they are dairy companies as well.
It's a cow-eat-cow business.
It is still making the film festival circuit -- winning three and was shown at Cannes in 2006. It won the Gijon, Spain Film Festival late last fall, won the Urban Culture Award at the Brussels Film Festival earlier this year and a couple of weeks ago was chosen the Best Screen Play at the Benicassim Film Festival. also in Spain.
"Tube Poker" is running on Current TV now in the U.S which is in New York, Seattle and other selected markets with Comcast. It's edited to about half the length (8:11) to fit Current TV requirements. And although the editing chopped off all of the news segments, hits by viewers wanting to see the complete version have skyrocketed on the "Tube Poker" website.
The short film is also available on my website (GeorgeTomek.com). It seems to be generating a lot of interest which is good because there may be other plans for it down the line.
Switching gears, the University of Tulsa has always been an outstanding school
and I was very fortunate to escape the University of Illinois and get my
degree there. It was tough to see the baseball program go away, but the emergence
of other sports and women's athletics is great. And, led by the football
program and finally finding a suitable home in CUSA is icing on the cake.
Here's to another and bigger bowl victory next January! Go TU!
Order 'em at CharlesChips.com.
After looking around on the net, I think the name of the painting is "Visions of Yesterday", but I can't find a reproduction of it anywhere. If anyone can point me in the right direction, please do.
How about right here?
This site is just absolutely filled with wonderful nostalgia and memories of my youth in almost every aspect; so my hat is off to the Webmaster as well as those who have so much given of their time, talents and careers in Tulsa!
What strikes me interestingly enough, removed now from Tulsa for a good number of years, is the constant references to what life was like in those early days in the Tulsa media of all phases.
Living in Cincinnati now, allows me to realize what Tulsa lost in many respects from the time the town was born. Namely, the loss of so many, many unique and wonderful old buildings, structures and facilities that were torn down and razed all in the name of "progress".
Wow, we lost the Ritz, the Orpheum and Rialto to what??? Parking lots and other "new" skyscrapers?...and for what? We lost some of the heritage that the original founders built into Tulsa that made it what it was.
It seems now that Tulsans are striving to re-capture some of that which remain intact and hopefully not destroy all of the past.
I'm so very happy to have found this site and each and every day I seek out comments, interesting aspects of Tulsa that are imparted by so many great people that I had such pleasure in growing up with on TV and the various forms of media.
Thanks and keep up the great work.
You're welcome, Charlie.
We Tulsans are a fortunate lot to have Gilcrease, Philbrook and Woolaroc
in our backyards. (p.s., I can't remember the name of the painting.)
Less familiar than the Meadow Gold sign to most Tulsans is the Apache Circle sign that could be found east of Cincinnati across from the old Jitney Jungle. I saw a sign company removing it a few months ago. They said a collector had purchased it. It was in remarkable shape for such an old sign. Of course, the old Jitney Jungle had an unusual landmark. It was a large sphere on a tall pole. That is still standing, but for how much longer?
It is good Mike took the advertisements for the pills off the GroupBlog.
I didn't know it was spam, I just thought King Lionel had come out of retirement
and was trying to pick up a few bucks hawking pharmaceuticals.
On another note, I need some help. There was a painting at Gilcrease when my family used to go there in the 60s and 70s that I couldn't find when I took my kids to the Museum last year. I asked some of the staff and they couldn't help me.
The painting showed an older Native American bent over a plow working, while
in the sky you could see his daydream of his younger days on horseback riding
the plains with his tribe. Does anybody know the name of this painting and
Hopefully they've replaced the neon and fixed the clock.
If they "suit your fancy", you will be delirious when you visit this URL at Biography.com. The following original commercials are viewable: Veg-O-Matic, Mince-O-Matic, Tidie Drier, Miracle Broom, Pocket Fisherman, Bottle & Jar Cutter, Mr. Microphone and more!
It can now be told: as a teenager in 1971, I made and audiotaped prank calls impersonating the fast-talking pitchman (probably Ron Popeil's father, Samuel J. Popeil), and "selling" these products to hapless Tulsans selected mostly at random from the phone book.
Westinghouse won a court case against NBC in 1965. They opted to swap for a larger market(Philadelphia) Channel 3, moving the KYW call letters there. The Mike Douglas Show came along to Philly.
Initially, it was broadcast by the Group W stations, which numbered five at the time. A couple of years later. Group W Syndication put it on more than 170 stations across America.
Production of the show moved to L.A. in the late 70s. It ended its syndication
run in 1981.
For so many of us in Tulsa and at other OKC stations, Channel 4 was a better place to work than moving to Dallas. The pay might not have been much better than Tulsa, but there was always a sense of direction in what 4 did.
Though I am told folks often quaked with fear when Lee Allen Smith came down the hallways, 4 was THE superior News, Engineering and local programming leader for sooo many years back then.
I interviewed several times with Spec Hart, Ernie Schulz and Darrell Barton but never made the cut - but boy - I wished I had.
I was always impressed that by the cafeteria, there was a lightboard with 35mm slides of ALL employees with their names. You could put faces to names.
I think too there was access to the Oklahoman Credit Union so employess could buy cars; us TV folks then often didn't have good credit or made a lotta money.
I could go on and on - but CORPORATE CULTURE at WKY-TV/KTVY was a big plus!
I go back somewhat beyond the Sixties and the place with which I was familiar
for out-of-town newspapers was Harold's News Stand and Bookstore, just south
of the Sixth and Main intersection. It was operated (probably owned) by a
man named Sam, but I cannot recall his last name.
Tod worked at Channel 8 in the early 90s, and was with Channel 4 in San Diego
at the time. Raised in Oklahoma, three-time Emmy winner, and a very genuine
and easy-going person. He will be missed.
I have before me THE OBSERVER, 18 July 1965, from London.
Whatever this venue was, and I recall in being in a Downtown hotel, I purchased this copy after my family had dined at Bishop's, of happy memory.
Does someone recall this venue?
(Goodness knows, I love the Web, wherein I can access news-sources all over the planet, but what a pleasure it was in those far-ago days, to hold in my hands a newspaper physically published in London, England, then voyaged across the Atlantic, and ending up in Tulsa.)
And read: "Today's weather Sunny. Long sunny periods, except Western Scotland
and Northern Ireland where it will be most cloudy, with a little rain at
times. Temperature will be near normal. OUTLOOK: Little change."
Mary Hart and Danny Williams introduced Hope, Mike Douglas and Tanya at the big event to a packed house. Marty was advertized, but could not stay for the nightime show. One person out of 10,000 asked for their $5 ticket to be refunded due to Marty not being there.
At noon that day, there was an OKC Chamber luncheon with guest speaker newcomer Jane Pauley of the Today Show. During the lunch break at the taping, Mike Douglas and his wife Gen and I took chopper four, under threatening skies, to downtown OKC for him to make an appearance at the chamber luncheon. It was discussed as to whether we should do that. It began to sprinkle. All went well.
As we flew over downtown, I pointed to the Skirvin Hotel and Mike was thrilled to see from that view where the Skirvin Tower was. It was the home of WKY Radio where he started his career as a staff singer.
Thanks, Bill. Here is a page on this site about the beginning of educational TV in Oklahoma, part of a 1967 TU master's thesis by Gregory Corarito.
Mike Douglas worked at WKY-TV sometime during the early 50s as a staff
singer/announcer. Don't think he stayed long.
He was a July 4th guest on "The Early Show" (watch the segment with Harry Smith at CBS News).
All your stories make me smile. Thank you for keeping his memory alive!!
Michele, you are welcome. Thanks for writing.
It aired on WGN TV in Chicago way way back when - probably about when Jim Ruddle first went to WGN.
Don Lundy can probably set us straight on this - but I think Avco TV - later Avco Embassy --- started by Crosley Broadcasting - was the syndicator I believe. Like the CBS-owned Dinah! show - I recall it aired in either a 90 min. or 2 hour version.
Some markets only carried an hour and Avco provided cut-down shows that often
plugged guests that were left on the cutting room floor! Greg Leslie may
have worked the show when Mike Douglas took it on the road to OKC in the
70's - I think WKY/KTVY-Tv provided the remote truck. Bob Hope and I think
a 3 year old Tiger Woods were guests. Hope loved OKC. So did Mike Douglas.
I think Mike Douglas' wife was from OKC, too! Smaller world all cornected
to OK, eh?
The only thing I remember is that the DJ kept playing the part of the live Lynyrd Skynyrd album where the lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant, was saying "What song is it you want to hear?" He kept playing that part over and over, and I can't really remember why, but I do remember that it was funny. I even taped it at the time, but there's no telling where that tape is now.
I know that's not much to go on, but I'm hoping that that might trigger someone's
Leafy Bark got a new home at the Tulsa Historical Society. There are pictures and movies of the event. We heard what was on the original menu of St. Michael's Alley. We learned more about another 60s Tulsa folk coffee house, the Dust Bowl.
Some had drinkin' on their minds, as evidenced by discussion of the songs "Hey Bartender", "Mr. Bartender" and "Six Pack to Go". A semi-related topic: RIDESHY.
George Reeves "Superman" episodes are viewable online, and a new movie about the actor is coming soon. He paid Tulsa a visit in the early 50s.
Now-retired ex-KOTV cameraman, Carlos Hernandez, is doing some fly fishing in Arkansas. Michael and Joe, grandson and son of SEVCO's Joe Pierre, checked in.
The GroupBlog and other pages got a new logo.