Tulsa TV Memories

The following is a list of some of the people and programs which we ‘50s Generation people listened to when we were growing up. Although none of these is a local media phenomenon, we were local when listening to them. To us old folks, this should bring back a lot of memories; to the people of subsequent generations, it may just be gibberish...Frank Morrow

(Webmaster: it may also explain some of the strange sayings of your parents...)



Arthur Godfrey, with Tony Marvin, Julius LaRosa, etc., Garry Moore with Jimmy Durante on radio (later, Garry Moore’s sidekick on TV was Durward Kirby; Jimmy Durante: "What a revoltin' development this is!" and "a catastrastroke!"), Dunninger, the "psychic/mind reader" on radio, "Snooky" Lanson, the male singer on "Your Hit Parade", Henry Morgan ("Good evening anybody, here's Morgan."), Phil Harris (with Alice Faye) ("That's What I Like About the South").

Radio game shows:

Information Please, The Battle of the Sexes, Can You Top This? (with Senator Ford, Peter Donald and Joe Lorie, Jr.), The Quiz Kids, The $64,000 Question, Take it or Leave it, Kay Kyser's College of Musical Knowledge, It Pays to be Ignorant, Can You Top This?, Stop the Music.

Fifties radio drama shows:

"Suspense," "Escape," "Gunsmoke" (with William Conrad as "Matt Dillon"), "The Arkansas Traveler", , David Harding--Counterspy, Mr. District Attorney, Gangbusters, The FBI in Peace and War, Mr. Keene--Tracer of Lost Persons, Sky King, The Green Hornet (and his faithful valet, Kato), The Lone Ranger (with Brace Beamer), Gangbusters ("gangbusters" was also used as a simile or interjection ("She's built like gangbusters." or "The team came on like gangbusters." or simply the interjection, "Gangbusters!"), Molle Mystery Theater, Inner Sanctum Mysteries (with the creaking door), Terry and the Pirates, Jack Armstrong, Captain Midnight (and his rings), I Love a Mystery, Grand Central Station.

Radio soap operas:

Ma Perkins, Portia Faces Life, Hop Harrigan, Young Widder Brown, Easy Aces, Just Plain Bill, Stella Dallas, Mary Noble--Backstage Wife.


Dreft, P & G, Bon-Ami, All-purpose Rit, Ivory Soap ("It Floats!"), B.O. (which "Lifebuoy really stops") and the "Beeeeee Oooooo" fog horn, Barnes-Manley Laundry, with "Smiling Dan, your laundry man" on radio.

Radio comedies:

Henry Aldrich, The Camel Caravan, Let's Pretend ("Cream of Wheat is so Good to Eat..."), "Amos 'n Andy", "Lum 'n Abner", Fanny Brice and "Baby Snooks" (The father was played by Handley Stafford, and "Snooks" was Fanny Brice),, "The Life of Riley," with William Bendix (and "Digger O'Dell, the Friendly Undertaker"), Our Miss Brooks, Joan Davis, Glamour Manor, the Mad Russian ("How DO you DOOOooo!") (He was on the Eddie Cantor radio program), Bob and Ray's daily radio program, Bob Burns, and his musical instrument, the "bazooka".

Morning radio shows:

"Mirth and Madness," "Queen for a Day", "The Breakfast Club" with Don McNeil (and his old band leaders: Walter Blaufuss, Joe Palekio, Eddy Valentine) , Hooper Ratings, the "Lux Radio Theater" (with Cecil B. DeMille ("Greetings from Hollywood, Ladies and Gentleman!"), Mad Man Muntz commercials, The Liberty Minstrel in the mornings (with its tap dancer!). Robert Hall commercials (with the "plain pipe racks"), "Major Bowe's Amateur Hour", later "Ted Mack's Amateur Hour" , Candy Candido's main line on radio: "I'm feelin' mighty low. "Jack Benny’s car, a Maxwell.

The sidekicks:

Tonto, Jerry Colonna, Ishkabibble (Kay Kyser Show), Cato, Arnold Stang (Henry Morgan Show), Lothar (The Phantom).

The characters on "Allen's Alley" on the "The Fred Allen Show:"

Mrs. Nussbaum, Senator Claghorn (Kenny Delmar), Titus Moody, the man from Vermont whose first words were "Howdy Bub!"

The characters from Fibber Magee and Molly:

("Your room looks like Fibber Magee's closet!", "T'aint funny, Magee!"), Doc Gamble, Wallace Wimple (with his "bird book" and his "mean ole wife, ‘Sweetie Pie’"), the Little Girl (played by Molly), Nick Da Populus (who always had "a check for a ‘short beer’" in his pocket), and the Great Gildersleeve.("Leeeeroooy...!).


Big Bands:

Ralph Marterie, Ralph Flanagan, Ray Anthony, Billy May, Stan Kenton, Sauter-Finnegan, Les Elgart

Best jazz-oriented quartets:

the Four Freshman, the Hi-Lo's

Old record labels:

Okeh, Bluebird, Decca

Female singers:

Jo Stafford ("The girl with the dream in her voice"), Margaret Whiting, Mindy Carson, Rosemary Clooney, April Stevens, Joni James, Dinah Shore, Patti Page (She started in Tulsa at KTUL, and got her name from her sponsor, the Page Milk Co.)

Dumb songs:

"Mairzydoats," "Flatfoot Floogie" ("with a Floy Floy"), "Doggie in the Window," "Hutsut Ralston," "Chickery Chick," "Open the Door, Richard," "One Meat Ball," ("You get no bread with one meat ball."), Cement Mixer, Putty, Putty" ("Who wants a bucket of concrete?"), "Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette!"

Singing groups:

Modernaires, Mills Brothers, Ames Brothers, Dinning Sisters, DeMarco Sisters, Pied Pipers, The Ink Spots ("Now, Honeychile ......"), Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians, The Liberty Minstrel in the mornings (with its tap dancer!) on LBS, Red Foley and his Natural Seven (with "Cinderella G. Stump," who actually was Jo Stafford.)

The lesser bands:

Freddy Martin, Skinnay Ennis, Jan Garber, Nat Brandewynne, Hal MacIntyre, Claude Thornehill, John Scott Trotter, Billy Mills, Xavier Cugat, Jan Savitt, Sammy Kaye, Les Baxter, Louis Prima, Louis Jordan ("Choo-Choo Ch-Boogie"), Wayne King, Henry Busse, Ray McKinley, Sy Oliver, Ted Weems, David Rose, Neil Hefti, Pee Wee Hunt, Nelson Riddle, Paul Westen, Buddy Morrow, Eddie Howard, Dick Jurgens, Will Bradley, Alvino Rey, Guy Lombardo ("The sweetest music this side of heaven.")

Other crooners:

Tony Martin, Dick Haymes, Eddy Fisher, Tony Bennett, Vaughn Monroe ("The man with the muscle in his voice"), Buddy Clark, Jack Smith ("The man with the smile in his voice."), Vic Damone, Guy Mitchell, Johnnie Ray

Top black female singers:

Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan

Pop male singing groups in early '50s:

Four Aces, Four Lads, Hilltoppers, Crewcuts

Piano players:

Frankie Carle, Jan August, Joe Snyder, Del Wood, Alec Templeton, Jack Fina

Cowboy music quartets:

Sons of the Pioneers, Riders of the Purple Sage

Singing groups:

the Voices of Walter Schuman, Hugo Winterhalter, Mitch Miller


Network sportscasters:

Bill Stern, Ted Husing, Harry Wismer, Red Barber

Network news commentators with their individualistic styles:

H.V. Kaltenborn, Gabriel Heatter, Edward R. Murrow, Raymond Graham Swing, Fulton Lewis, Jr., H.R. Baukage, Walter Winchell, Ben Grauer, Cedric Adams, George Hicks, Alex Dreier, Bill Henry, Lowell Thomas

Great radio story teller--Marvin Miller

Ed Murrow proteges:

Alexander Kendrick, Robert Trout, Don Hollenbeck (who committed suicide during the McCarthy Period), Eric Sevareid, Charles Collingwood, Larry LaSeur, William L. Shirer

Famous radio announcers:

Kenny Delmar, Don Wilson, Del Sharbut, Bill Goodman, Ben Grauer, James Fassett, announcer for New York Philharmonic, Sundays on CBS

Great voices of radio narrators:

Franklyn McCormick, Alexander Scourby, William Conrad (who played Marshal Matt Dillon on radio), Marvin Miller

Norman Corwin, the great writer of radio dramas


Back to Tulsa Radio in the Fifties    Channel Changer 2    Main page