Tulsa TV Memories GroupBlog 223
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One of my family's legends--probably duplicated by thousands of others--is
when my dad's homebrew exploded bottle-by-bottle, confined in a closet, during
the last days of prohibition.
Folks, as a confirmed beer drinker, I have died and gone to heaven, or Wisconsin as the natives here refer to it. It seems as though a town without a brewery is a cultural backwater and the worst local brew I have quaffed beat the best brew I ever had in Oklahoma (except for Lone Star dark draft).
BTW, I remember the Carling jingle somewhat differently as "Mabel, get off
the table. This two bucks is for beer."
The only thing that would be slightly misleading is that she says Fayetteville
has 62,000 people and seems smaller than that. True enough, but the outside
world should know that overall there are about 350,000 people in Washington
and Benton counties and more coming all the time.
No one has mentioned JAX beer, Country Club malt liquor or that generic beer that came in the plain white can that just said beer on it.
My friends and I drank a lot of QT beer (in the poor days) and if you got it real cold and drank a lot of it, it wasn't that bad. I think it was made by Pearl out of Texas. Another of my favorites was Tuborg, have not seen that one in years.
Someone mentioned Mickey's Big Mouths, that was BAD BEER!
Time to pop a top.
I remember the Jax beer cartoon commercials of the early 60s. Their sophisticated humor might have been a little over my head, but I thought they were funny anyway.
The late "Huck" West asked me if I had ever had chalk beer. I said no, had no idea what it was for a long time. Huck, being from NW Arkansas, was a big fan (but NOT a big drinker) of the Post Winery in Ozark, AR. Not bad stuff, but my late Aunt and Uncle liked Wiederkehr (called Whittaker in AR) up the hill in Ozark for their German restaurant and fun wine tastings.
I got addicted but NO ONE seemed to sell Arkysaw vino in Tulsey for years. The liquors by TU looked at you as if crazy, wantin' some. I did damage a fair amount of Annie Greensprings in Tulsa but I can't figger out why now.
Incidentally, in this month's Smithsonian: a famous author living in "Fateville"
writes a great tome to that mountain town!
I too drank way to much Little Kings and Purple Passions with Moonshine in
gallon jugs from Missouri. My friends who were too cheap to drink the good
stuff would always rely on Milwaukee's worst. Does anyone know what happened
to Schmidt's Beer, the can with a black panther on it?
I apologize in advance for going too long, here.
One of the earliest beers I remember in Oklahoma was King Cole, which advertised on large billboards with a picture of the aformentioned King looking like something from a deck of cards. I don't know whether this was an Oklahoma brewery or an out-of-state brand, but it disappeared about the time World War Two came along.
During the war, the main brands were Budweiser--a far different animal from today's colored water. Bud, in those days used more hops and the beer had a distinct bitter aftertaste that was great with a sharp cheddar, Schlitz was around, Pabst, Stag--another casualty--, and Griesedieck, the sponsor of Cardinals baseball on the radio.
It's difficult to remember what was wartime beer and what came immediately after. It's beer we're talking about, after all. But in the mid to late forties, a host of brews began showing up. Miller's, "The Champagne of Bottled Beers" and the start of heavy marketing for women and the destruction of full-bodied beer, Hamm's, with that damned bear, Ballantine Ale, as well as Carling's red and black label ("Hey, Mabel!Black Label!" was the catch phrase), and then we had a couple of Oklahoma beers, Progress and Silver Fox. I can recall buying Dos Equis and Carta Blanca at Little Mexico restaurant as early as 1949 or '50.
I'm sure I'm leaving out several. Oh, yes. Blatz. One of my favorite names.
Coors wasn't on the radar, and that crap Corona was still contained in Mexico. (When Noel Confer and I worked for XEAK, in Baja California,in the fifties, nobody with taste drank Corona. It reminded us of liquid soap.)
Alas, beers all over the country have dwindled, except for micro breweries and a couple of cult beers: Anchor Steam, Rolling Rock, Sam Adams, et al. (By the way, I knew a fellow in Pittsburgh who worked with the Rolling Rock people and they were bottling Sam Adams there. So much for that fine New England brewing skill.)
Mike laments the loss of local brews in Chicago and one of the great places for good beer just closed there, this year: The Berghoff restaurant. Their own brands were terrific. Much like the defunct Luchow's in New York where they served a Kulmbacher that could hold a head about two inches above the rim of the glass.
More than enough. Sorry. One parting word: If you like a good British real
ale, you might try Ruddles. No kidding.
I first encountered it while doing a program at the BBC, in London, and thought
I was being put on until I saw the tap.
I remember Stag Beer (not bad with pizza). By the time I was in High School,
I killed a lot of teeny little bottles of Little Kings. Many, many, many
teeny little bottles.
When at TU in the late 60s, it was COORS coors Coors COORS or if you were poor - Brown Derby (bleccch!) from Safeway. Every now and then a Pabst (maybe Bock in the yellow and blue can?) might show up a UToteM.
I guess some of the Shotgun Sam's had Bud. But it seems to me it wasn't till McCartney's hit town in the 70s or Fike's went upscale, did we start to see more beer lines.
I cannot remember what was served at the old hockey games or Driller Park as "house brands" of beer - who remembers?
Maybe not enough money in OK to do a 3.2 beer production run? As mentioned before here - Doug Dodd told us about "Oly" - the beer of the Northwest and grain states. I think I mentioned a couple of mid-70s Sat. night runs to Caney, KS for Olympia (aka Oly) when it was available in KS 7-11's. It WAS better than Coors by a tad.
I didn't appreciate good beer till much later in life but as Dr. Ruddle can attest, Chicago for many years was a hotbed of many breweries and brands for a long time. This was looong before today's micro-brews. But so many Chicago brewers consolidated or fled the scene in the 80s - even Chicago had LESS beer choices than 2 decades earlier.
Meister Brau was THE brand most seen on newscasts for about 30 years - for TV sports segs. Hamm's was on all sports covered by WGN way back when, as a major sponsor, but neither seemed to have visited Tulsey.
Oh, yeah - late night at 8 - if any Schaefer Beer ads ran in ABC Late Night (outa NYC) - we had to "roll-over" them with a Coors film spot or a PSA.
How about QT beer? Or a Falstaff or Griesedieck? Or a generic? There's a case of 1957 Schlitz waiting to be unearthed next year.
I do have two KOTV t-shirts surviving. One, a nice navy cotton number that somebody on the studio crew, maybe it was Steve Van Dyne, ordered up with the 1978 6 Helvetica Italic, and one cheesy synthetic sweat-inducer with "Take A Look" from the same era, that was a giveaway to staff.
As you can see from the footage of the events of November, 1963, the cops
in Dallas all wore snap-brims (and the occasional Homburg) probably that's
why the reporters did as well.
I like the old movie and intermission trailers. Back in the early 60s, my cousin Ronnie lived in Colorado Springs and was used as an actor in one of the intermission promos. He was a kid who threw potato scraps into a boiling pot of grease, thus inventing french fries.
When Ronnie moved to Tulsa a few years later, he went to a drive-in by himself in his '57 Chevy convertible. He had never seen the promo before but recognized it when came on. He jumped up in his car and started yelling, "That's me! That's me!"
Ronnie said he felt a bit sheepish afterward.
Here is the Driller story in today's World. Congratulations, Judy McCurdy!
Long ago, stations like 5 in OKC originally bought very good and expensive US-made winter ski jackets for the newsies and outside engineers (with monogram). You had to surrender it when you left the station; if you quit or were axed. Later on, it seemed every staff member to the janitor wore a station logo rain slicker or knock-off jacket, mostly all from China now and NOT the highest quality. But you had "the station spirit" by wearing one.
I still have a two of a kind KGMC jacket and three or four old KOCO baseball team hats, though I was never on the softball team. Plus a mended KOCO "5 Alive" coffee mug. I was thinking, I have nothing "swag" clothing-like left from 8, 6, 7 in Amarillo or OETA though I still have BET hats, a KOKI pin and 15-20 year old t-shirts. Wonder how many of you ex-newsies or techies have any old swag populating your closets still? Do you care?
Now back to snap-brim hats, really a variation: trilbies. Am digitizng a lot of spring 2006 footage of satellite TV services in Inner Mongolia. When the solar or wind-powered dish guy makes a delivery at a winterized yurt, he and all of his male Mongolian customers are now wearing trilbies. The dish guy looks like any techie, save the hat. The Mongolian clients are all wearing colorful robes (almost à¢Ö
These days, I can measure old music by whether I played it during my Disc Jockey period, 1969-75, a year before my Tulsa time began. Freddy Fender definitely qualifies. Even as a nostalgia act, he'll be missed.
And why should I call your name, when you're to blame, for makin' me blue....
At the rate I'm going, I will pick up that Master's degree sometime in 2010
or 11. For some reason, having written that reminds me that my Corinthian
pension from KOTV was supposed to kick in in 2013. Hmmm..wonder if I can
retire to Padre on that....
Reader comment on David's clip:
For some reason, folks in South Texas call the town CARPUS.
I was never aware of what street Mr. Fender lived on in Corpus, but I do remember Ocean Drive. Actually, to be accurate, it should be named, Gulf Drive, since it is the avenue which "parallels" the Gulf of Mexico as it laps at the sandy beaches of Corpus Christi. SPID, as Mr. Lundy points out, is a main artery that takes one inland or to the shore.
Another bit of Corpus trivia (on a Tulsa web site)is that Spohn Hospital in CC is also located on Ocean Drive. It was the facility where the gentlemen involved in the hunting accident with the Vice President was treated.
Delmeaux de Gillette du Coffeyville
SPID (South Padre Island Drive) was a crosstown freeway that went from I-37 across the "Sparkling City By The Sea" out to the island.
To Senor Bruchas: it's easy to get these things confused in a town where
the Coney Island serves Mexican food and has no idea what a hot dog is.
The first time I heard a Corpus Christian refer to that wide and busy slab of concrete as such, I thought he was talking about some kind of special police force or undercover bureau of the Texas Rangers.
Delmeaux de Gillette du Coffeyville
Re the Razor Clam - many Leake employees were not crazy about this investment
- another Jimmy Leake way to NOT spend money on staff salaries or equipment.
Bob Gregory was about the only staff member to eat there regularly. They
may have catered an 8 event or so, and the food was okay. I ate there with
an NUC film crew once when I was free-lancing and they said was the best
seafood they had had outside of New Orleans. We were surprised that Jimmy
Leake did not have our Xmas parties there but Southern Hills CC was just
October 21, 2006
Tulsa, OK---Vision Sports and Entertainment Network today announced it has signed Tulsa's Biopsy Playhouse to a national television deal.
The Biopsy Playhouse, a 30-minute sketch comedy show, first aired in New York in 1999 and relocated to Tulsa in 2004. The show will air nationally on Vision Sports and Entertainment Network.
Rod Meyer, CEO of VSEN-TV says: "I have always been a fan of the off-the-wall type sense of humor, and this show is full of different styles that will appeal to any audience. Biopsy Playhouse is a welcomed addition to the entertainment aspect of what VSEN-TV is all about, and I am looking forward to many laughs this program will provide our viewers."
Phil Sterling, Executive Producer of The Biopsy Playhouse, stated "I am excited about our partnership with Mr. Meyer and VSEN-TV. We look forward to the opportunity to bring some humor and laughs to the viewers of the Vision Sports and Entertainment Network."
Vision Sports and Entertainment Network. airs coast-to-coast in such markets as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tucson, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando, Washington D.C., The Hamptons, N.Y. as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
For additional information or interview scheduling, contact:
Phil Sterling 918-724-2757
I learned a lot about good food and how to deal with wealthy snob types. Mr. Leake was definitely not a snob. When everyone else was having super-expensive after dinner drinks, he would always politely ask me for "just a half a glass of milk." What a swell fellow.
Fordyce Eldred was the maître d' there and was a great guy to work for. He taught me a lot about good taste, which I still have and have spent a lot of money in developing over the years. My belly is thankful but my wallet is not.
Great times I won't forget any time soon!
I cranked up the volume on playback and said, "I dunno - it's all Greek to me!", and played a bit of a chorale.
Tincher woulda been proud.
Christopher Glenn died last night due to cancer. He had retired in the last year or so. For so many years he was the radio voice of the World News Round-up or CBS Radio network morning radio news. In the '80's he was the voice of CBS Sat. morning "In The News" science broadcasts for kids.
As someone once said, "what a great set of pipes" - but I will remember him
for live news. He said that he never wanted to work in TV (but did), because
you were watching stuff happening on a box, while in radio, one had to describe
verbally to listeners what was happening. To me, he WAS CBS Radio News in
Moreover, I am glad to see that most people have fond memories of their time at Leake/Griffin TV. To be sure, my Grandfather was passionate about KTUL and KATV, and the success of both stations was a testament to the talented employees and staff. Growing up in a TV family was a unique experience. As a youngster, I was the proverbial fly on the wall, and it has been most interesting hearing the "other side" of the story so to speak.
In closing, I just want to thank you all for sharing your memories in a public forum, and I hope that you will keep the stories coming. If you were to ask my family members today, I think that they would tell you that the years we owned to the television stations were some of the greatest years of our lives. It truly was a special time that I fondly refer to as the "Salad Days". By the way, my Grandfather was a notorious pack rat, and I have in my possession several file cabinets full of old pictures from the good, old days - Christmas parties, Staff functà¢Ö
Thanks for writing in, Jim. When you break out those albums, feel free to send on a few pics. There is more than enough material here to go with them.
A suggestion, maybe the site has this, but how about a page for KRAV, FM-96? A lot of us are veterans of that station, which WAS number one on Tulsa radio briefly in the early 80s.
Donrey billboard for KRAV in the early 1970s (courtesy of Dennis Yelton)
Most of that time, I was at KRAV. And most of THAT time, I was doing the midnight shift. I had a tendency to move around a lot in those days, so the joke around the station was that Jeanetta Gill, the office manager, always kept me on the payroll, whether I was there or not. :)
I had the pleasure of working with Johnny Rivers, Steve Cassidy, Gary Reynolds, Stacy Richardson, Sherry Rodgers, Mark O'Connell, Ray Bob Miller, Phil Hall and station manager Carl Smith, among countless others.
KRAV doesn't evoke the kind of timeless memories that stations like KAKC and KELi did, because the station became popular at a time where radio philosophy was to not alienate listeners, so it kind of ran down the middle. But it worked and brought a huge audience to the station when FM was coming into its own.
Anyway, just wanted to remind everyone that we were there, and they are great memories.
Nowadays, and for the past 20 years, I've been a computer engineer and developer. I have done numerous stints part-time in radio, mostly for ABC Radio Networks in Dallas, working along side Charlie Derek, Randy Fuller, Gary Reynolds, Sherry Rodgers and other ex-KRAVers.
The past 14 years, I've photographed Oklahoma for the state tourism folks, Oklahoma Today magazine, and for the Wild & Scenic Oklahoma calendar, published every year. Some of my photography is currently in an exhibit in the state Capitol, entitled "Image Makers", for Oklahoma Today magazine.
Again, thanks for the site. I hope we get to see more in the future, and get to hear more from my broadcasting heros of Tulsa, growing up there in the 60s and 70s. Truly cherished memories!
The KRAV material on the KFMJ page could be a start. Thanks for dropping in again, Michael.
One of my friend's daughters - a former Park Ranger on the USS Arizona, lives in Hawaii with her boyfriend - who is a master electrician. She is a TV production/film hand and because he is on a major hotel renovation - they get a comped hotel room at his project. She said it was the first time that she had been at a rodeo - except the room was buckin'! The quake woke them up. They evac'ed down the 32 floors after - no power there. They were NOT looking forward to climbing back UP 32 floors in the dark to their apartment! I heard from her Mom later today - phones were working (but not cels) and NO electricity. Hawaiians are unhappy to hear that Dubya will not visit the scene for 3-4 weeks due to campaigning for folks elsewhere "on the Mainland".
Gotta blurb from an OKC friend - Don Reynolds' (Donrey billboards)
family & foundation did NOT forget OKC. The "Reynolds Center" there is
OKC's Museum of Art!
Through 10/22, we have an opportunity to vote for the Golden Driller as the "Cottonelle Puppy's 10th quirky destination". We don't know the Pup's intention vis-a-vis the Driller's shoe if and when he arrives, but it probably somehow involves Cottonelle.
Bill Hyden met electric guitar pioneer Les Paul in NYC, and snapped pix of Lee Woodward's brother Morgan from his new hi-def set. Gary Folgate listed many Tulsa locales, some of which were linked to items within this site. A KTUL producer seeks Mr. Zing and Tuffy footage.
A mention of clip-on ties sparked several comments. The Christie's Star Trek auction provided an excuse to show links to other Trek material on this site.
Jerry Vaughn, a great KRMG-AM on-air talent from 1969-82, passed away. He was remembered by colleagues and fans.
Sharon Berry's dad invented Oom-A-Gog in K.C. in 1956. She sent photos and a clipping to illustrate her comments.
We started off with a brief discussion of Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes movies, seen on KVOO-TV in the mid-to-late 1960s.
That and more is in GroupBlog 222.