Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 168
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UNCLE LAFF'S LEGACY - 2:33 mins.
This animation can also be seen online at his site, Secret Fun Spot. Kirk shot a live-action feature of this story in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. It is really excellent, and available on DVD with all the extras.
The bumperstickers were first seen on this web site!
The movie is available for free checkout at the Tulsa Library. You can reserve it online if you have an up-to-date library card, and get an email when it arrives at the branch of your choice.
Speaking of TV of my youth, the TiVo grabbed an episode of Good Eats, the Alton Brown hosted show on the Food Network. The topic was chili. He spends most of the show dressed up as a cowboy, with the hat and scarf... and all a sudden, I point to the TV and say, "UNCLE ZEB!" The wife didn't get it, even after I explained Uncle Zeb the third time. But there's a resemblance between the two. If someone can get some screen captures you can compare. Heck, the voice was actually pretty close, too. I have expected him to look right at the camera and say "I'LL BE LOOKIN' FOR YA!"
A li'l joke o' mine was seen on BoingBoing today. The editor's comment to me about it via email: "GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAANNNNNNNN!!!!!"
A little story that popped into my mind and maybe Bruchas can comment: KOTV had a PT photog-pilot named Henry (Lile) who owned his own plane. He'd fly and shoot occasionally and sometimes just provide transportation for the sports boys to get to a game.
One time during tornado season, Henry called and told us he had some great aerial footage of an actual funnel he'd just shot. He brought it in and it was great...and of course, we played it in every cast! Next day, the insurance agent that had the policy on his plane called and cancelled it. He'd been watching the news and felt Henry was careless in flying too close to the funnel and they didn't want to pay any claims in case he got "sucked up."
I left Tulsa and anchored 5 years in Buffalo (now there's a change!) then anchored in Kansas City. After that, managed to combine anchoring with ND in smaller markets in AR and PA. I never found anything I liked better than TV news so I'm still doin' it... ND & anchor at KRCR TV, Redding, CA for the past 9 years.
Glad you made it back here, Gary.
The only Tulsa connection I can think of is that David Cross, who plays doctor
and wannabe actor Tobias Funke, appeared on the final episode of Beef Baloney
while performing at Austin's SXSW Festival.
Tim Schmitz (Dick's son, and the host of this web site) insisted that I watch it, and it is the best comedy series I've seen for quite awhile. As I mentioned to Lowell, it occupies a comedic space somewhere near the movies "Best in Show" and "Office Space" (two other Schmitz picks), but is uniquely hilarious.
You can catch it on BBC America if you have digital cable, or on
I grew up in Tulsa, graduating from Rogers High in 1966. Did lots of theatre and such, as well as music.
In response to a past guestbook entry about Sonny Gray's Rubiot, the Quartet members around 1965-66 were Sonny Gray-piano, Kenny Quinn-vibes, John Rigney-bass, Dave Reynolds-drums and Suzan Gray-vocals. I was a regular at the club and subbed for Dave Reynolds on several occasions. I remember the first tune I ever played with the Quartet was "Witchcraft"...
I have no idea where Dave Reynolds might be these days. He was quite a good drummer, but I believe that all the other members of the Quartet still live in Tulsa(?) I also remember a trumpet player named Tommy Lokey who would sit-in on occasion. I really liked his Miles Davis-ish sound. Funny, I remember he used to complain to me about his dental problems, and how it affected his playing.
I still own the Gretsch drum kit that I played back then. It's a round-badge series with Rogers hardware that I bought at Saied Music while I was a music instructor there.
After a somewhat varied path of employment over the years including NYC, D.C., and a stint at the PAC in Tulsa in the late '70's I landed here in the L.A. area working in television. I attribute any skills I may have to all my mentors in Tulsa. I hung-out at KVOO radio with Jack Moore, Jack Bushnell, Ernie Frisco, Dick Charles, Bill Ryan ("Kaleidoscope"), Don Cummins, Don Gilbert and Jack Campbell. Jack and I still correspond after all these years and chat about "Sleepwalkers Serenade" and such. Our mutual musical tastes have not changed much over the years!!
OK...enough of this rambling. Would love to hear from anyone who shares interest
in the music/broadcast scene in the mid-to-late '60's. Thanks for the great
website, and for the many memories.
I, too, was saddened to hear about the loss of Rockin' John Henry. I remember
meeting him years ago at the KELi studios at the
Fairgrounds (the spaceship). What a loss - my thoughts and prayers are
with his family and friends.
I must've missed the news about the Tulsa TV Icons event at the Tulsa Press Club. Was it covered by any of the local stations??
Yes, I saw coverage on 6 and 8. I was in attendance, and with all the people there, I would rate it a smashing success.
Oklahomans in Greece...Guard Young is a gymnast from Norman. In fact, I think he's on OU's gymnastics coaching staff. In this week's team competition, he was counted on when one of the big guns went down due to injury. I think an OU track star will be running for her home country when track and field competition starts next week.
Definitely not like the days of Shannon Miller, Bart Conner, et al.
Boston Ave was almost full for the service - amazing how many folks Bill knew, even the Minister said he was not expecting such a large group.
The gathering at the Mayo was very nice - open bar, band, food catered via
Bell's and Bill's favorite restaurants and clubs. Apparently Bill's drink
was Cuervo Tequila, someone furnished probably 100 pint bottles as "keepsakes"
if you will. There were several murals of pictures - the pic of you and Bill
I took at the Bell's "office" was there. The family encouraged everyone to
take home pictures - should have grabbed a few of Bill on the front porch
of the house on Carthage but did not... did not see any KTUL alum, at least
any I recognized.
Mister B referenced the RCA TCR-100 Video Cart Machine a couple of entries below. This was an early-70's attempt at primitive automation of commercial breaks. Instead of rolling film or little reels of video tape on different machines, which required every one to be fired up individually and manually, the TCR had two-inch wide video tape inside red plastic cartridges. Each spot was on a different cart.
The break would be programmed into the monster's primitive memory, and, with much mechanical noise, the conveyor belts would turn, vacuums would whoosh, the cart would be sucked into the innards of the machine, and the spot would play.
KOTV, of course, being a Corinthian station, didn't have one. Instead, George Jacobs and Chan Allen devised a cut-rate video jukebox using 3/4 inch videocassettes. A cue tone on one of the two audio channels would roll the next cassette machine in the row. The video quality was much, much worse than the two-inch RCA, and many's the break when the intercom cracked with the cry "HEAD CLOG!" when dirt from the tapes would wipe out a spot being played back.
Now, this is all done with big ol' hard drives, even in the dinkiest of stations. Much more reliable, much less entertaining.
Does Tulsey or Oklahoma have any Olympic contenders in Greece?? With so many Americans of Greek descendent over there - can any Coney-I-Lander be open??????
P.S. -- the Tulsa TV Icons celebration was a lot of fun last night! I'm sending a picture with Jim Hartz, Chris Lincoln, Carl Bartholomew and Gailard Sartain.
By the way, I'm still hoping to find that KTUL Cartoon Zoo postcard I promised way back when. It just hasn't turned up in my old belongings that I've gone through. I'm still hopeful, though, since I did find my autographed picture of Pat Quinn from his Oilers days, and my brother recently uncovered his autographed photo of Stan Musial, along with a Sky King autograph, both of which had gone missing for some time.
Now then, can any informed person tell me what the status is on the Mazeppa DVD? I sent Gailard and Mary Jo an e-mail, but I've been out of touch with them for awhile, too, and I guess they changed ISPs or something, because it bounced back.
I heard from Mary Jo last night that the first DVD is just now complete and the others will be available in the future. Watch Mazeppa.com for more details.
"Opie" was his nickname for his red hair and Opie-escent manner! He was an audio and staff engineer at KOCO in my daze there and a great (then) kid! Now he is still a great guy.
Somewhere I have a picture of him INSIDE an RCA TCR 100 video cart machine!
TL Mobile does sports, corporate TV and religious event support. His Dad
was a longtime OKC FD member....
I know what he would want, he would have wanted the music to live on. There are no stations in the Tulsa area who will continue to play music from the "roots of Rock N Roll". I know KOOL plays one record an hour from the fifties, or so they say. It is going to be up to the friends and John's fans to keep the music alive. E-mail KOOL, write, phone, visit, take up petitions, whatever needs to be done!!! John would have done it and did do it for us. Now it is time for us to give something back to his legacy. I have already sent an e-mail and made one phone call. Tulsa, I NEED YOUR HELP!!!
If Rock N Roll could survive the plane crash that killed Buddy, Richie, and BB then we can make this happen.
One last item, in 2007. they are going to uncover the car and the time machine.
I know that John was waiting to be there. Now he can't be there when it happens.
However, we can be. So let's all go down to the excavation site and be John's
It was always amusing to see a guy come to TU from out of state. He would always look down on 3.2 beer, and loudly proclaim that this "watered down stuff" couldn't get anybody drunk. He didn't need to say that again after waking up with a hangover the next day.
The old saying was that the Drys had their law and the Wets had their liquor. All that was needed to buy booze was to have some money and the ability to make a phone call. Shortly, you'd have a knock on your door. Any three-year old could theoretically buy alcohol. I frequently heard that some students helped put themselves through college by bootlegging
There were some places in Oklahoma where you actually could buy whiskey by the drink. In Spavinaw there were bars where you could get almost any kind of mixed drink. But, usually there always was the charade of carrying your booze into a night club, making sure that the brown paper bag or special, booze bottle holder stayed under the table. You would then be served set-ups. Everyone knew what was going on, but everyone played the game. I never heard of anyplace being raided.
I was in the Navy when Oklahoma finally became a wet state. I understand
that this occurred when the anti-dry governor decided to change the law by
enforcing it. When he dried up the state, the boozers screamed. That did
it. After that, Jesus could change water into wine and not be put in jail.
This gave me a much more interesting story on my next newscast.
One significant memory is the day Bill, as manager (not sure of the precise title) of the recently-opened Performing Arts Center, gave a tour of it to a class I was in at Edison. Although it had been many years since I'd seen him, I found myself thinking about him just the other day. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Bill, hi, good to hear from you again. Bill alerted Gailard Sartain (one of tonight's Tulsa TV Icons honorees) to the existence of this site way back in Guestbook 11. At that time, he sent a scan of his Uncola card, which David Bagsby spruced up for us. He was also the editor of Television Chronicles, a magazine geared for TV addicts, collectors and scholars.
To this hardcore Rocker, John was a living legend, and I loved to listen to him talk about music and music history in his gentle, soothing voice.
There is no one like John in radio.
We all love John, and may God bless his family.
I posted a review on this website last October about an unsung film that I just noticed is starting a run now on the HBO Channels.
It's "Owning Mahowny," starring that mighty character actor, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, along with Minnie Driver and the indefatigable John Hurt, who is nigh onto amazing in this one.
I think the now defunct Westby Cinema, that was in downtown Tulsa, played it about the time my review was posted here.
If you haven't seen this one, keep your eye out for it. It's a fact-based flick about impulsive gambling. I loved it. I hope you will too. Web Meister Ransom has kept my thoughts on this movie intact at this address.
That's "Owning Mahowny," now in, what I'm sure will be, many many repeats on the HBO Cable Channels.
Chew says Ciao for now.
Since I have lived in different areas around the country, and use to work in the broadcasting field, I feel I can state with authority, that John's knowledge of music, different genres, etc., is as good if not better that the leading experts in the field. This would include Dick Clark, Dick Barclay, Machine Gun Kelly, and Wink Martindale or Gary Owens. I think it was Ral Donner who sang about "You Don't Know What You've Got Until You Lose It."
John taught us well about his music. We will eventually get over the sudden
shock of his death. We may even forget about him for a moment or two, or
until we hear an oldie playing somewhere. Then we are brought back again
asking, now what was it John said about that tune? John, if you are visiting
"Tulsa Memories," which I am sure you are, you are gone but will never be
forgotten. Good-bye my friend. Skip
The slogan was "Winning a Place In the World" and the jingle was burned into my brain.
And yes, Bob Hope did make an appearance at the opening ceremonies, along with an ancient cuecard guy who stood about 3 feet from him in the middle of the stadium.
The Olympic Festival also had a torch relay, opening and closing cermonies were held at Owen Field in Norman (I think Bob Hope was master of ceremonies), and a bronze statue of two persons running with a torch was erected in front of the Myriad in downtown OKC (I think the statue is now in front of the Ford Center).
I still have a purple "OK '89" t-shirt somewhere. Does anyone else remember
Thanks, Skip. I don't really aspire to have a complete collection out here for the same reasons I don't try for all TV schedules of the past: the volume is overwhelming and they are highly repetitive. It wouldn't hurt to have a broader sampling of each, though.
He and Mike Bruchas remembered Bill Certain, who passed away this week. Bill had worked as an audio engineer in TV and was chief engineer for Bell's Amusement Park at one time.
We also lost Rockin' John Henry, longtime Tulsa DJ with an encyclopedic knowledge of early rock 'n roll and roots music. John played guitar with his group, The Bop Cats, for many years in the Tulsa area.
Frank Morrow reviewed a new book about TU football, The Sixty Year Hurricane (available from Amazon.com). We heard from the author, Jack Kiper.
The webmaster weighed in on exercise in the 60s, relayed an Oom-A-Gog story told by Alan Lambert, and reported on an Admiral Twin Drive-in Theatre outing.
Jim Forbes (voice of VH1's "Behind The Music", and former Channel 2 "Troubleshooter") paid a return visit. Mike Miller recalled the fun of covering past political conventions. Lee Woodward told us about the new "Tulsa TV Icons" to be honored Monday 8/16 at the Press Club.
All that and more in Guestbook 167.