Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 197
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1) Beth Rengel swearing on air;
2) One April 15, the above-mentioned Ms. Rengel announcing it was Will Rogers, and not Benjamin Franklin, who said "Nothing is certain except death and taxes;"
3) Network sports announcers going ballistic in 1978 when describing how a Purolator truck decided the outcome of the first Tulsa Run;
4) Oral Roberts, during a 1980 live news conference to justify the outrageous height of his proposed City of Faith, holding up a piece of cardboard which blocked the upper half of a model of the structure. Then saying something to the effect of: "See? It just looks wrong without all those floors."
5) The 1977 opening of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center when Ella Fitzgerald came out and her microphone went immediately dead. During the next five to ten minutes of dead air being broadcast live over both television and radio she stood on the Chapman stage chatting with people on the front row. All the while, behind her, the stage crew, dressed in some of the filthiest clothes imaginable, scurried about in attempts to find a working microphone. One crewmember, as he bent down at one point, displayed the same fashion sense as a refrigerator repairman. The camera cut quickly to a shot of the audience, particularly to a well-dressed, dark-haired woman who promptly began picking her nose;
6) One television station, in 2001, interrupting regular programming with
a very early report of a plane with connections to the OSU football team
had just crashed, but assuring us, "fortunately" none on board were members
of the football team. "Fortunately"?! I can imagine the relief he must have
felt that though other people died horribly, "fortunately" none of them played
As an incurable reader of closing credits, I spotted the name. I backed up the tape and, sure enough, it's him. So he's not a doctor, but he plays one on TV.
I heard from George via email a few days ago; more next week. (webmaster, 11/25)
"Brother" Mark Giles out in Californ-eye-aye sent this link to some
car spots...laugh your posteriors off to them!
The law of supply and demand are clearly working when a program starts a season, then fails when no one seems to watch it. Sponsorship is critical. The sponsor embraces those programs to be identified with the company, but also to gain viewership of their products or services.
Programs you think will not be a success often surprise you. Examples: Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction. Critics were proven wrong when seemingly droll programs found affection and staying power on the airways.
It's the common human values that are embraced in a society, if you find the right blend of characters to present them. Extreme characters on TV are even successful if you give them a softer side of personality. Example: Incredible Hulk.
Family values are a crucial element. Examples: The Waltons, Family Affair, All in the Family (extreme to a degree but a soft side as well) and more.
Common characters like doctors, pilots, teachers, nurses, students all appeal to the target viewer and by the TV networks. Do they more define the character in a positive light or bring down the character? What do they teach the society they entertain?
It seems today that when a notable event or character comes to light in the news, 6 months to a year later, a TV special comes out re-living that story, or paraphrasing the whole event. All for $$.
We all want a hero, yet we also look for the villain and expect the villain to be foiled in the end, but that does not always happen. Is that reflecting life or directing life?
Classic TV is not just from the past, it is being made today. So, who would be some candidates for the 80s and 90s shows that may be classic in say, 2010-2020? Who will be the classic TV personalities? Dan Rather? Ones that make a valued contribution to people not only with their entertainment but with their contribution to their community, I believe.
Who decides? Those who consistently remember them.
I happened by the Metro Diner while in town last week and asked that very question. A person presumably in the know around there told me that there will definitely be a relocated diner near the present site. But no one will say when or exactly where all this will happen. Property negotiations and all that stuff, apparently. But I was assured the diner will continue to live on in the neighborhood.
Now, can anyone tell me what's the status of the old Meadow Gold sign that
was dismantled and was stashed away awaiting remounting somewhere when enough
money is raised?
I was actually back in my hometown Junior High this Oct. for re-opening of a new music wing.
It was about 1:30 or 1:45pm on 11-22-63 in Miss Cunningham's 7th grade History
class there when a voice came over the p.a., announcing that Kennedy had
been shot -- then a few minutes later that he had died...
The new Starship is still under construction on the East side of 12th and
Lewis. They're rebuilding the metal warehouse that used to be "Commercial
Lumber". Yeah, TU didn't waste any time getting rid of the old location.
It kinda looks like a giant Starship came over and took the whole lot (tree
I never knew her last name. In all the years and all the piano bars I've encountered since, she was the best of them all. Exactly what you'd want in a barroom entertainer.
I was too young to be in the place legally, but nobody seemed to care--except
my father who heard from a fellow worker at Sinclair that I seemed to be
having a lot of fun.
Last time that Matt and I talked - we joked how TU first brought him to Tulsa 36-37 years ago as an undergrad and now was "shooing" him away.
Back after Matt had left KTUL to run Starship full-time, he lived in the back of the 11th Street store and eventually - merchandise took the place over and Matt moved to his current house. But before he moved - I can still remember his big Thanksgiving dinners there with so many folks like Kitty Roberts and other Tulsey radio hands. It was pot-luck and Matt usually had the BIGGEST turkey that he could cram in his oven. Usually it was later at night because so many of us were working radio and TV jobs on the holiday. Matt has a big heart and a lot of folks have had BETTER holidays due to his generosity. No one ever left a Bunyan soiree without taking home doggy bags of food.
One year, a guest brought some really great pumpkin pies. After the big meal
and dessert - we all felt a buzz from the tryptophan in the turkey and a
lot of wine -- but we also learned from the smirking pie-maker that we had
eaten a pumpkin pie equivalent of "Alice B. Toklas brownies"!
Is there anybody out there who has heard of, or remembers an entertainer in the mid 1960s who played piano and sang "blue" songs in one or more Tulsa bars? I (kind-of) remember that his name was Johnny Bromo or something similar. He filled the bar at every performance, and in fact, even in those conservative times there was always a line waiting to get in - he was that popular.
I didn't care for his material at the time, it was a bit too risque for me. Now, 40 years later, I'd guess that nothing he did would be considered anything else but tame.
I've searched Google (and TTM) just about every way I could think of without result.
Can you help?
A survey showed we had a larger audience between seven and nine o'clock than
any radio station in town. Couldn't get enough advertisers because they feared
a "Bible Belt" backlash against "HORRORscopes!"
Ramona went on to anchor at KOTV. Kitty co-founded American Theatre Company
in Tulsa. Dianna went to St. Louis talk radio. Mary continues to do those
wonderful voice-overs. I have great memories of working with all of them.
Also, one of the first female radio personalities that I can think of was
circa 1975 named Mary in the Morning on KRMG. I am sure she was not the first
and she didn't last very long. She was always flubbing, I am not sure if
that was part of her persona or not, but still, listening to her was a very
pleasant and interesting experience.
KVOO had Estelle Blainers For Feminine Ears, a program at 9am following Eggs at Eight. There were a lot of commercials for laxatives and soap. KTULs program was Women are Wonders. I dont remember the name of the hostess.
KAKC had a program around noontime which featured Marge McCartney. Although she was a nice person, her voice was very irritating, sounding something like a parrot seeking a mate.
With the growth of TV and the subsequent diminishing of revenues putting
an economic squeeze on radio stations, the women's programs were dropped
along with such positions as music librarian and news writer.
One institutional advertiser--I think it was OG&E--ran a series of co-op spots with local appliance dealers. The idea was that a generic kitchen range, or refrigerator, etc. would be presented, then local dealers could jump in and offer the item at their particular locations.
The company sent down a really lovely young female, somebody who worked as a filing clerk or receptionist, something like that, who had to speak one or two lines, then step aside and open the top freezer door on a refrigerator. At that point, the camera would push in to the freezer compartment and a studio card would be supered over the cavity.
The young lady rehearsed flawlessly. When the time came for the spot to go on--live, of course--the red light went on and the monitors and home tv's showed the face of the would-be star, but just for a split-second. She had fainted and all anyone saw was the blurring image of a head falling out at the bottom of the frame.
The director was boxed. Had she stayed conscious long enough to open the door, he would have had a shot, but because she folded early, all he had was hot studio lights burning a black spot in the IO tube from the reflection off the porcelain freezer door.
Doing what came naturally, naturally, he went to black. She recovered nicely,
however, her career was over.
When did women and minorities start being hired for announcing jobs in Tulsa
for radio and TV?
In those days there was still tremendous bitterness in the South about the Civil War. People discussed it constantly. The Sherman Chimneys were constant, bitter, reminders of those times.
I had guys trying to rough me up almost everyday when I was in the 5th grade. I had to break out a map of the US to show that Oklahoma was below the Mason-Dixon line, and that Oklahoma wasn't even a state back then. After that, I was accepted, even though they said, "Y'all sho do talk funny."
I was amused when some seventh graders said, "We have the B-29 plant in Marietta
(near Atlanta.) Just let those Yankees mess with us now."
BTW...These are not to be confused by the remains of charred trees in the
same area. These are known as "Sherman Oaks"...(rimshot)
The people in the Deep South refused to celebrate or to acknowledge Memorial
Day. They instead celebrated Confederate Memorial Day on a different day.
Alas, Mike Bruchas is right. WMAQ is no more. But, for those of us who like
big city sports radio and want to stay on top of Chicago pro sports (such
as it is), 670 on the dial was taken over by WSCR. The "Score" as it's known
now streams worldwide on the Internet. I guess AFTRA issues were finally
settled in the big cities because you can even hear all of the commercials
as if you were driving home to Oak Park or and the western suburbs on I-90
in bumper to bumper traffic.
While the series only ran 3 years, the sci-fi comedy has endured for 40+ years, spawning a remake and opening the doors to just about every TV sci-fi space adventure since then. The series introduced introspective special effects for TV and new concepts in entertainment; time travel, thought projection, animal communication, levitation, force fields and molecular re-arrangement (although The Twilight Zone has some original ideas along that as well.)
Both Bill Bixby and Ray Walston continued to prosper following the running of "My Favorite Martian". Reruns through syndication were successful for years, along with a cartoon version.
Ray, afterward did more movie work than most may think, He played in Wild, Wild West, Mission: Impossible, Starsky and Hutch, Fantasy Island, (yada yada, etc.) Ray did a 1994 commercial for AT&T playing a man inquiring about long distance rates to Martians living in the USA. "Bottom-line it for me-!!" He also played in the 1999 remake of My Favorite Martian, with Christopher Lloyd. His last movie was "Early Bird Special" playing Pappy. He passed in January, 2001 of Lupus.
Bill's TV appearances were in Dobie Gillis, Clambake, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, (a favorite of mine) The Great Houdini, The Incredible Hulk, (yada yada returns, etc.) and Diagnosis Murder series He passed November 1993 of prostate cancer.
My vote for the Best Website on MFM is at
I think this TV series was a crease in TV history regarding space, visitors
from out there as well as a new door for entertainment. If you did not see
My Favorite Martian in the late 60s or reruns in the 70s, you were a neglected
In case you forgot, the song Nova (Exploding Star) is the theme of the Plenty Scary Movie.
I downloaded the album without putting 2 and 2 together. When that track came on I flipped out! I had to check your site to confirm that it was the same music.
If you plan to download it, don't put it off because that blogger pulls the
download links after a couple of weeks. It's split into 3 different downloads
from a site called Rapidshare. It's a bit annoying because you have to wait
an hour between downloads if you don't have a premium membership.
Kirby Grant played "Uncle Sky" and bad guys everywhere were on the run...
"Out the clear blue of the western sky comes.. Sky King!"
Trivia. - There were two songbirds, one a larger twin engine T-50, often called the Bamboo Bomber. Later a Cessna 310B with the wingtip tanks. It looked cool.
After films Kirby Grant puttered about, then became a public relations director at Sea World in Florida. Kirby Grant was born November 24, 1911, in Butte, Montana. He was killed in a car accident in Florida on October 30, 1985. He is buried in Missoula, Montana.
Gloria Winters married a sound tech and moved to California. She was still alive when last reported in 1998. She was awarded Sweetheart of the West in 2002 by Annual Golden Boot Awards in Los Angeles. Maybe still around?
Ron Hagerthy went on to star in other movies, but never seemed to stand out as a really big star.
I met Kirby Grant at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas in the 60s, got an autographed picture, but about 3 years later, lost it... :0 arrhh!! So, where can you buy the old movies? ...duh!!!
Growing up with my best friend in the world, Allen Sharkey, whose sister Colleen Crook, former wife of Tommy Crook, I was able to meet many of the talented personalities who came through Tulsa. He was performing on the little stage between the bar and the restaurant at the Sheraton at the airport, and celebrities would stop in and visit with him. It was there a teen was taught proper edicate in a prestigeous restaurant.
I remember going and seeing movies at the Bellaire Drive-In. We would actually sneak in the hole in the fence at the back, and sit in the chairs in front of the consession stand.
I grew up with Mitch Schauer. We went to the same elementary until in our 5th grade year, our class was separated with the opening of Remington. We were all rejoined when we hit Clinton Middle School, and then on to Webster where we graduated in 1974.
Mitch and I didn't really run around together, but were always good friends while at school. We both had respect of the other and got along great. I have had many good laughs with him at he reunions over the years, but he was not able to make this past years.
At one of them, he was trapped by all the kids who were classmates children, and was drawing different cartoon characters for them. Hope all is well with him.
Well I know I am rambling on, but in my own way, I want to thank every one of the people who are honored on these pages on this site, for all the wonderful memories of which you have provided. Even the Mack Creager incident... which I was visiting friends in Ft. Scott Kansas when this happened and they flashed a news break during commercial about a local news man in Tulsa Oklahoma showing obscene gestures during Mannix. It made the news all over the country.
Anyway, thanks again to all you personalities of the TV and Radio for each
and everyone of the memories you have given this 49 year old man.
We saw an "8's The Place" billboard embellished by