Louise Bland hosted her own daily talk show, "Spotlight",
on KTUL in the early 60s, and later produced a weekly show on KOTV. She also
covered the Democratic and Republican conventions as special events reporter.
She has written a book,
"Spotlight" is listed on this 1961 TV schedule.
At 12:15 pm, she and Jack Morris news
were opposite Betty Boyd and
George Tomek news on KOTV, and Oralee Attaway
on "2 About Town".
In GB 182 are pictures of Louise
with an Acoma Indian chief and two Shawnee dancers who appeared on her show.
She also mentioned there that she learned to dance at the Lew Miller Dance
Studio (Mike Miller's dad).
Responding to a GroupBlog 285 item about
Anita Bryant, Louise said:
"A lot of people were in Anita's life to help get her started. I
was there as the fashion coordinator, who called upon designers over the
USA to provide her wardrobe. Full page photos of her were mentioned by the
AP as being the most outstanding in Atlantic City. A little feather in "T"
4/19/2009: "Anita on the TV set with me prior to broadcast on KTUL in the
She was practicing the song as we were getting the TV set organized for
4/19/2009: "Lawrence Welk wanted me to sing with his orchestra one night.
One song only! What an honor!"
4/19/2009) Louise Bland said of Lawrence Welk:
Years long after this occasion, I saw his band getting off a plane, as I
was catching one directly across from them. Lawrence, saw me, and that was
it. We walked toward each other as if there'd been no time lapse. He was
a great soul! He was loved and respected by all.
Note: Lawrence said the best thing to happen was leaving the network and
going on his own. Sometimes when doors close, it the best for a career, he
said. Of course he was talking about the network dropping his contract!
Webmaster: I hadn't realized that Louise was also a singer. I asked her
4/19/2009) Louise Bland responded:
I started out in Austin, Texas with KTBC
TV, Mrs. Lyndon Johnson's station. Had a show called: "Steady Date" produced
by an agency out of Houston. Did many singing jingles in that day, such as
"What a burger" ---Shopping centers or whatever was needed.
The lady who wrote the jingles was Ray Florence. She's the one who pushed
me into television. At that time, I did records for songwriters to be sent
to recording companies. Anything I could do to make money for school. Anyway,
that's the way I received my start in the field of broadcast.
In Tulsa, I was the singer for a band who broadcast over KOME every Saturday
night. It wasn't a field I tried to break into, since TV hosting was my favorite.
Lawrence Welk heard me sing on my show. I used to sing pretty often since
I had a piano player on the show for that purpose. It was part of the format.
Oh, gee. I even did the soft shoe a time or two. It wasn't boring, that's
(from Guestbook 181) Randall White said:
I haven't stumbled through the full site, but was remembering the Treasure
Hunt that KTUL did at one point in the late '50s or early '60s. It had people
crawling all over Lookout Mountain with shovels. I remember that a guest
celebrity that day was Nick Adams (TV's Johnny Yuma in "The Rebel").
I was star struck.
Nick Adams and Louise Bland at the KTUL Treasure Hunt, circa
(from Guestbook 122) Louise Bland said:
Just reading something Hurst Swiggart had written sometime ago about KTUL
(below). He mentioned the big promotion we had on Lookout Mountain
called the "Treasure Hunt" - I thought it only appropriate for some of you
to know more than the production side. This promotion was for a superstar,
Nick Adams who starred on ABC - a show called
He dressed the part.
Nick Adams was a big star,
with a good personality. Little Rebel caps were handed out to children in
the downtown area for a parade prior to our Treasure Hunt on the Mountain.
Nick riding his fabulous horse opened the parade and the rest of our KTUL
talent followed behind him. After the parade, Nick Adams and I opened the
"Treasure Hunt" and appeared on television for the next two or three hours.
It's the "Treasure Hunt" - The interviews lasted forever, it seemed to me.
We finished in time to get dressed for a dinner the station was giving for
I generally worked with the director Vic Bastian and Tim Penland, and my
hero Al Clauser -
Roy Pickett, was forever loyal and
always there when we'd interview superstars like John Wayne, Jeff Chandler,
Louie Armstrong, etc. He'd edit the film and have it ready for Vic
Bastian the following day. It was a fast "rock 'n roll" kind of show with
upbeat jazz bands on when we didn't have a superstar. It was always fun.
Vic would borrow props from a display house to suit the interview. We had
fun! No wonder we won National Awards for best show in the Southwest and
others. I've often wondered why ABC didn't get at least one "soap" like "As
the World Turns" - to have that advantage, in my day would have been too
(from Guestbook 5) Hurst Swiggart said:
Channel 8 was owned by John Griffin of Griffin
Grocery and Jimmy Leake, so the grocery put prize certificates in Griffin
Coffee cans and buried hundreds of them all over Lookout Mountain...the people
came in droves to seek their treasure.
(via email, 4/17/2005) Louise Bland said:
Jimmy Leake didn't own the station, his wife was a Griffin and she owned
it. Jimmy Leake took over for her when she was given the Tulsa station during
a business transition between the Griffins. The Griffin sons took KWTV (CBS)
in Oklahoma City.
John Wayne and Louise Bland, 1960
|(via email, 4/17/2005) Louise Bland said:
I was at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC with John Wayne when he was inducted.
What a sweet man. He had cancer then, but took to the time to be personable
to everyone and stayed until the last of the crowd left.
The Cowboy Hall of Fame was something I made a habit of attending anytime
one of the big cowboy stars were inducted. John Ritter came for his dad.
I was able to spend time with him and his Mom, who had been an actress.
We learned in Guestbook 119 that Woodward
"Tex" Ritter was named after the doctor who delivered him: Lee Woodward's
At left is a letter from the Duke thanking Louise and asking her to remember
"The Alamo" (1960).
Weissmuller (the most famous "Tarzan" ) in "Jungle Jim" garb with Louise