Origin of this site
|Screen capture from a man-in-the-street interview
with webmaster Mike Ransom just prior to the creation of Tulsa TV Memories
in late 1998.
|"If there is a book you really want to read
but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison
(That applies to web sites, too, but TTM has many writers and continues to
be written - webmaster)
My December 14, 1998 post to internet newsgroup
"ok.tulsa.general" was the start:
There was a late night local show on Channel 2 here in Tulsa called
'Fantastic Theater'. It was a vehicle for showing old horror movies.
The host was Peter Hardt (actually, Oktoberfest's Josef Hardt). He
had an authentic German accent. He would introduce the movie and provide
spooky commentary at commercial breaks. Anyone remember that?
The thing that is driving me crazy is the music. It was all early synthesizer,
spiced up with odd bubbling and clicking sounds. Just hearing it was frightening.
What was it? I haven't succeeded in finding out. I called Channel 2, but
no one there knew. A friend of mine knows Josef Hardt himself, but he didn't
I thought I once heard that it was called 'Quiet Village' by Les Baxter,
but that is actually classic 'Exotica' music of the late fifties, with jungle
sounds and percussion, part of the 'patio culture' of the time. Does anyone
have any memory of this?
Later, I was able to ferret out the answer to this
burning query myself...see the Fantastic Theater
Here are some of the responses to my
From Patrick L. Humphrey:
You mean someone else watched that? (Unless I'm thinking of something else,
that was how I spent my late Saturday nights while I was growing up in Tulsa
-- in the early 1960s.) I wasn't yet ten years old, and a lot of the movies
were what would be prime fodder these days for MST3K, but for me at least,
the die was cast on those late Saturday nights glued to the tube watching
KVOO's cheesy sci-fi movie of the week. (Now, at the end of the millennium,
with the Sci-Fi Channel, these are good times. :-)
I remember bits and pieces of the music, and I'd appreciate it if anyone
else could track down a cite for it. I haven't heard it used anywhere but
on Fantastic Theater -- and that was 35 years ago...
--PLH, talk about yer basic blast from the past
And from Tim S.:
How interesting! I don't remember that show, when was it on? I do remember
the old Zeppa Pop Mazoti (or however you spell it) and a few others that
weren't so popular. I could really get into this old local media trivia stuff!
Here's a weird request... back when I was a little kid (late 60's & early
70's) I have very fond memories of sitting at my grandpa's house and watching
the 10:00 pm news on Channel 6 with Clayton Vaughn and the puppet, King Lionel.
Anyway, during the closing credits they showed video of the fountains at
Southroads Mall and the old Southland mall and there was some kind of music
playing in the background. I can't even remember how it goes but I've always
remembered that it made me feel very comfortable and safe and reminded me
of my grandfather.
Well, that's enough of me crawling into my memories (ha ha) Does anybody
else remember these things?
Despite this 1995 Oktoberfest picture taken with
Karen Keith, I have no background in media or broadcasting.
Response from me:
Well, Tim, as it happens, I actually appeared on the "The Uncanny Film Festival
and Camp Meeting" on Channel 6 in 1971.
Mazeppa (now Hollywood character actor
Gailard Sartain) was on live that evening, as he tirelessly reminded the
viewers. The repetition finally penetrated the rapidly dimming consciousnesses
of me and a couple of friends. We conceived the bold plan of driving down
to the studio.
When we arrived, Mazeppa was out at his van having a smoke (don't ask). He
waved us in to be the focus of a skit conceived on the spot. I'm sorry to
report that I can't remember the setup, but the punchline spoken by us was
"We didn't throw any snowballs". Probably the actual punchline was a slow
pan of our less-than-alert visages. At least my dad and brother at home watching
Joe Dickens, one of the protagonists of this story, later left this comment
in the TTM Guestbook:
"Just to let you know that the 'we didn't throw any snowballs, Officer'
line came from an experience I had had a few years earlier that involved
being questioned at length by the Vinita police about throwing snowballs
and gravel at cars...we stuck to our story."
Joe's sister, Carol Dickens Overstreet, was
a viewer at home:
"I thought you guys were nuts when you headed out to the TV station in hopes
of being live on The Uncanny Film Festival. I squealed so loudly when I saw
you three that I woke up Bar & Big Joe (remember I was barely a teen
at the time). I'm certain the line was "We didn't throw any snowballs, OCCIFER"
whether intentional or not. I don't have a clue where Joe Hargrove (the other
Mazeppa "guest star") is. Maybe a search for
"Kowalski" would turn something
up...but that's a different story."
After our performance, we got to sit around and watch the show from behind
the scenes. Sherman Oaks (Jim Millaway) was there. He smiled and
acknowledged our presence once, as he quickly assessed the unlikelihood of
an intelligent conversation. I do remember the movie that night: "The Conquest
of Space". Mazeppa showed a lot of horror films from the 30s through the
early 60s. Later in the run, he played old musicals such as "42nd Street"
and "The Big Broadcast of 1938", and later yet, Laurel and Hardy.
I don't remember the music you mentioned, but I do have a postcard of
Lee Woodward and King Lionel. You've
given me the idea to post some of this stuff I have on the internet. If and
when I do, I will put the URL out here.
"Memories of old Tulsa TV" debuted two weeks after the
above posts on 12/29/1998 at
http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Network/8226 (GeoCities is defunct
as of late 2009). Remnant now at
GeoCities provided 15 meg of free storage. The site was
renamed "Tulsa TV Memories" between 2/9/1999 and 2/14/1999.
TTM moved to
tulsatv.tripod.com on 1/8/2000 with
the enticement of 50 meg of free storage as a "Super Member Site".
Due to bandwidth restrictions imposed by Tripod in early
2002, TTM moved to a box in a closet in Dallas with a new
URL, tulsatvmemories.com, during the week of 2/24/2002.
In late 2005, TTM moved to a server at Dick Schmitz' Irving
Productions in Tulsa.
1/18/2013: TTM moved to commercial hosting (it has gotten
much cheaper over the years).
The earliest version of TTM viewable in the Internet Archive
Detailed early site history on the
first What's new? page.
Complete history of changes in the
What's new? Archive.
I hope to jog loose some memories here and pass them
around. The Guestbook (6/6/06: now called the GroupBlog) is your means for
contributing the contents of your long-unused brain cells.
|A special contributor to this site, Mike Bruchas, lived in Tulsa
1969-1978 and worked at KTUL as a cameraman, projectionist and director.
His amazing memory and photos played a key role in this site's take-off.
Let's hear a warm round of applause for Mike!
TTM in the media
Channel Changer 2
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