John Hillis - 08/28/99 03:29:49

Those Fords would smell like chili-cheese dogs for about a week after one of those lunch runs. Guess vegetarians of today would have a grievance claim.

Actually, the KOTV fleet was, shall we say, eclectic. A Fairlane here, A Torino II Wagon there. As News Director and resident big cheese, Doug drove home the Granada--a glorified Fairlane with bucket seats. All were painted white with the Corinthian mandated logo (I seem to remember that the Granada actually had the Corinthian column painted onto it, like the letterhead, but I could be wrong on that.) The Torino II wagon had the addition of red,yellow,and blue stripes, like the bread-truck type production truck that rarely left the parking lot, earning it the sobriquet "the rainbow wagon," as in "Losure, get down to 91st and Yale. Exploding dog. Take Bateman and the rainbow wagon."

The Econolines, which probably arrived in '78, were painted kind of tan (actually the color of Tulsa sky during the spring dust storms as nature tries to dump Colorado on Oklahoma), and ultimately got dark brown "Eyewitness News 6" decals.

Geez, it's good to know that important historical facts like this are being saved for posterity!

Just like those accounts of daily life on the prairie.

Mike Bruchas - 08/28/99 00:49:24
Location: Having Coney dreams on the East Coast

Another KOTV lunch ritual - after the Midday Report - was "Coney Patrol" - making a run to the downtown Coney I-Lander in the original location and trying to return with 25 or 30 Coney's for the newsroom and keeping the orders all straight!

I can remember Doug Dodd driving me down as designated Coney fetcher while he sat double-parked or cruising the block in one of the big Ford Fairlanes. You wouldn't get a ticket if ya looked like you were double-parked on a breaking news story!

You know, no matter WHERE I bought lunch at - at KOTV or at Roberta's Drive-In in West Tulsa while at 8 - when you bought lunch for 10 or more folks - the change never worked out right!

John Hillis - 08/27/99 13:53:25
Location: About 2,300 miles from the Coney I-lander
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Morning Break
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Buddy and Leon, far more entertaining behind the cameras than whatever was in front of them

Ah, winter...Mike listed some of the KTUL winter rituals. At KOTV, we used to celebrate the first snow or ice of the year by cracking up a news van on the Turner Turnpike. It happened with distressing regularity.

In defense of those doing the driving, this was back in the days of rear-wheel-drives on all cars (4WD was for the Army, and radial tires were a luxury item), and the big Econoline style vans (especially as empty as we drove 'em--no weight to speak of over the rear wheels) presented a surface roughly the size of a billboard... made a huge sail when the 'pike iced over, and a hurricane force norther wind hit you as you crested the hills just about at the edge of radio contact. Whoosh.. you were skating like Peggy Fleming, except she had some control over direction.

This was less of a problem with microwave trucks like the Live Eye, because they had so much weight with transmitters and mast located over the rear wheels, that the traction was better. I guess had we been thinking, we'd have equipped the news cruiser vans with sandbags in back.

Heard from Bill Hyden about the November 50th shindig.. sounds like a great event. Hope I can make it back to T-Town.

Mike Bruchas - 08/26/99 23:45:00
Location: Lost in Tulsey in the 70's on Lookout Mtn.
Favorite Tulsa TV show: The John Chick Show
Stupidest local commercial: Most TuffNut/Challenger Casual ads
How did you find TTM?: TV Destiny

KTUL on Lookout Mtn. now seems too damned close to downtown but it is a long and windy road to the top.

When heavy snow happens in Tulsa - the county plow used to hit it early in the morning and late at night with a couple of midday passes.

Here are some COOL anecdotes for hot weather...Engineer Findley "Huckleberry" West often as first man on the mountain to prep for sign-on, would many a time park his 60's Plymouth at the foot of the mountain and walk up in the dark if the plows hadn't done their job. I don't think I could have walked up the mountain 20 years ago - let alone now. Huck was pushing 60 and puffing on his pipe all the while - it was no big deal.

One year I think we had a pile-up of 3 news cars at the bottom from photogs and the "runner" Argus J. Hamilton (now a Hollywood sometime comic) taking the road down hill too fast in the snow. Not good when you had a fleet of 6 or 7 news cars and snow days are big news days.

Speaking of John Chick - he "phoned it in" one day for the 7am show. John was stuck and could not get in from South Tulsa due to heavy snowfall. I think the camera crew was also short due to snow impassability - but Ted Creekmore and other country folks made it in and at first they kicked the show off without John -- with us expecting him to breeze in. John had often scared us and got there only 5-10 minutes before air. Don't remember if Al Clauser as floor manager had come in from New Prue - he probably was snowed in, too. So we had a show with no host and a partial crew - an interesting gambit with Teddy Bear hogging the mic. Somehow we got John via a phone patch to do the show - but it was weird with a disembodied voice yakking with the guests and not being seen! Ahhh - live TV and The Chick Show!

Ray L. Rivera - 08/26/99 12:13:19
Location: Louisville, KY
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Mazeppa
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Bring Back King Lionel!
Stupidest local commercial: Dan P. Holmes (not stupid, just funny)
How did you find TTM?: Cruised on by again

I was a rather immature newsroom intern/gofer working at KJRH Newscenter 2 back when Bob Stephens (now at ESPN), Bob Goodman and Brad Holbrook roamed those studios. I started out as Bob's ersatz boy Friday and my naivete usually got me in trouble with (and I incurred a lot of teasing from) Goodman and Holbrook. I got myself fired from Newscenter 2 because Holbrook was giving me a razzing about something seconds before airtime and I half-tossed his script onto his desk--and it promptly slid onto the studio floor, scattering all the sheets every which way. I'll never forget Brad's horrified look. Somehow I managed to get all the sheets together (though not in proper order.)

I also remember Newscenter 2's set. The backdrop walls behind the talent had angles that matched a miniature fake ceiling (slightly larger in size to a three-ring binder) than dangled in front of the center (#2) camera. The idea was to create the look of a real ceiling directly over the heads of the newscasters during the newscast's closing "long" shot. I often thought what would've happened if I had glued a plastic fly onto that fake ceiling. It would've looked like a giant, 20-foot fly directly over their heads. Thankfully I never pulled THAT stunt.

Mike Bruchas - 08/25/99 19:30:36
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Go for Dough with Gary Chew
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Guy Henshall Shadetree Mechanic

Wayne "Tuffy" Johnson told us - when visiting at KTUL a few weeks ago - about John Chick in his Mr. Zing days.

John evidently used to ride motorcycles. One late late night he was doing about 80mph on his bike on Riverside Drive when Tulsa's Finest pulled him over.

Supposedly the police radio lit up with - "Hey, we've arrested Mr. Zing!". In today's media it would be news on the competing stations the next day, but back then Mr. Zing was a local hero-dash-TV star. The cops thought it hilarious but let him go with a warning to drive slower....

Erick - 08/25/99 14:37:30
Location: Tulsa

On the KOTV website are a short history and early years photo gallery. Hopefully they'll expand it to include later years. Here are the addresses:


Erick, thanks a lot! I will get these links in a more prominent place tomorrow.

Mike Smith - 08/23/99 07:11:03
Location: Tonkawa, Oklahoma
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Uncanny Film Festival And Camp Meeting
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: MAZEPPA!!!
Stupidest local commercial: I'll find one
How did you find TTM?: Have it bookmarked!

Love the new Creature Feature page (And, the moving link to a Jeannie Tripplehorn site)! I wish there were tapes existant of that show!

Thanks, Mike, glad you like it. Sherman Oaks might have copies. By that time, there had been plenty of regrets that there were so few Mazeppa tapes saved. Wonder where Steve Pickle is these days?

Patti - 08/22/99 20:02:12
Location: Bixby

I have greatly enjoyed watching the updates of this site and "scrolling" down memory lane via the guestbook!

I have noticed a lot of discussion about Tulsa Radio Memories in these pages and wondered if anyone was compiling a similar archive of radio remembrances. While researching a private project, I have recently stumbled across a "review" (all though they were GREATLY more interested in costume than music) of the KELI-sponsored August, 1966, visit of the Yardbirds here to Tulsa. It is a HOOT! Have transcribed it for my own enjoyment and would be tickled to forward it to anyone who might be interested in this particular "time capsule"! (Jeff Beck is described as "certainly not the best looking of the group" while Jimmy Page was still referred to as James and called "tall, dark and stunning". But could they PLAY/SING? I guess time would only tell......

Well, Patti, the duck just came down (for younger readers, this refers to the old Groucho Marx game show, "You Bet Your Life"...when the "secret word" is spoken by a contestant, a cigar-smoking, spectacle-wearing duck drops to award $$$).

I am a huge Jeff Beck fan, and taped his recent appearance on Conan. The new album is great. Also a big Clapton and Page ("tall, dark and stunning"???) fan, and saw the recent Page/Plant tour in OKC-Bricktown.

Yes, please send it on, and I'm sure we can find a place for it!

Another person who has Tulsa Radio experience dating back to the early 50s is Frank Morrow.

Of course, this site has a modest Tulsa Radio page, located under "Other Tulsa stuff".

Michael Miller - 08/20/99 03:15:06
Location: Oklahoma City
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Mazeppa
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Gary Busey
How did you find TTM?: While I was searching for Oklahoma Trivia


I'll go along with that, Michael. Have you already got the Lost Tapes of Mazeppa? (see the Links page)

Mike Bruchas - 08/19/99 18:57:40

Betty Boydisms - Betty seemed to coin some phrases I have never lost.

She was big on "Skeedaddling on down" somewhere or another.

I always remember her doing pitches for the Muskogee State Fair with the same slides year after year - wish I had a print of the cartoonesque worm slide that said "Get a wiggle on!" to Muskogee.

When I was at KTUL a few weeks ago amidst the new construction - I told Larry Miller about the fridge behind the studio for props. Betty - when doing her AM Oklahoma Show - had as a sponsor some pie company (Price's?) from some small town in OK that made great pecan and also chocolate pies. We would get a couple weeks' supply in for live spots and after the show, the crew would snarf all down. One Monday I went in to get the prop pie and found all eaten except an empty box. Betty was a trooper - she did the spot but somehow we never showed a pie that day - just an empty box! What a trooper or as Tuma called her - "The Tulsa Tomato!"

Just added your comments to the Betty Boyd page.

Mike Bruchas - 08/19/99 18:47:51
Location: Alexandria, VA
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Any 70's era KTUL Friday night late movie
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Hoss Chompright
Stupidest local commercial: Any Reeves Boys spot

A geezerly digression on KWGS from me, too.

KWGS - so many stories and so many generations of folks worked there. When I was an undergrad - the success of Bill Hyden and this new kid, Bob Losure - were cited by Ed Dumit - on where someone could go from KWGS if they had the talent, voice and brains. (Oh, yes - I listened to KTBA, too, I think it may have been ahead of it's time, but I also think Bill Hyden was intuitive enough to see a trend changing in music - to try the format.)

At the 50th reunion in '97 I was surprised how automated the station is now - back in the late 60's/70's and certainly back when a lot of post WWII guys/spouses were in school in the 50's - KWGS had a seemingly humongous staff to do all.

I guess that is one thing that was brought home at the reunion - a lot of us started to learn our crafts and started our lifelong professions at KWGS - no matter the generation. We also had a chance to make a lot of mistakes and the public was generally forgiving - so that they got their classical music and/or heavy metal not offered elsewhere.

There were a lot of programming slots to fill live or edited-to-tape "back then" - I am surprised now how little local original programming there is on KWGS, though the station is a well-oiled machine and sounds network quality generally.

I went to TU to "learn radio", my voice never dropped to the stentorian levels of a lot of the 50's grads and so I slummed over into being a TV techie. But there is/was a great spirit of ALL of us having served at KWGS - and had a good time doing it. I hope TU's next generation of radio/tv grads get it too.

I also heard "subterrania" in a form is back on a TU cable radio station on campus (broadcast by wire from dorm to dorm not off a real antenna for the general populace) but from the undergrads I spoke with at KWGS - it ain't perceived as "real radio". I remember Frank Elardo, Matt Bunyan, Tommy Roberts and others almost 25 years ago "bending the envelope" on KWGS Fri. & Sat. nights broadcasting "subterrania" music of the Grateful Dead, Hendrix, Joplin (no not Scott)- I guess what goes around, comes around!

Added your comments and Ray's to the Tulsa Radio page.

Ray L. Rivera - 08/19/99 16:55:25
Location: Louisville, KY
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Dan P. Holmes
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Mazeppa
Stupidest local commercial: "We care more in Claremore!"
How did you find TTM?: Surfed on by

Reading about Gary Chew brought back memories (he was my boss at KWGS.) Although this is a T-town TV board, please indulge my brief radio digression. I did news and "Sunday Sounds"(jazz/classical music mix segment) at KWGS for several semesters. Still remember Ed Dumit's Wollensak reel-to-reel recording of proper pronunciations. I learned my lesson - always listen to the tape! A fellow coworker at KWGS duped me into thinking "Modest P. Moussorsky" was really pronounced "MODEST PEE MOUSE-or-skee," and that's how I pronounced it. Got plenty of calls on that one. Mr. Chew, in his very urbane way, gently corrected me next time he saw me. I also locked myself out of the control room (where the automated NPR machines now sit at KWGS) taking a bathroom break while a record was on the air. I called TU Security to unlock the door..but they never came. I struggled with the control room door for 45 minutes. The recording ran out and I could hear the player's needle bouncing off the turntable platter's post: "SSHHH-SHH-SSSHHH." Dead air. All the phone lines lit up (didn't think anybody was listening on Sunday mornings!) I finally broke down the door, ran toward the turntable, potted down, and plopped another record on. Mr. Chew "counseled" me on that one, too. It's funny thinking about it now, but I was terrified of Mr. Chew back then.

Funny stories, Ray...thanks. We're not at all averse to discussing radio case anyone hasn't seen it yet, there is a "Tulsa Radio" page under "Other Tulsa stuff"

Bill Hyden - 08/18/99 21:59:21
Location: Tulsa

Don Cook, formerly of KTBA, Broken Arrow, first apprised me of TTM. I had been out of town so much, still working at my advanced age, that I fell out of touch with a lot of things.

My e-mail capability via Prodigy Internet is just now reactivated, so I can now sign in here as I intended much earlier.

Some short comments now and more later:

First, Harold Stuart is very much alive! His wife, Joanne (Skelly), died a few years ago and he is now married to THE Frances Langford...actress, singer of the 1940s.

Mike Ransom - a side bar: My father was the first principal of East Central High School.

I am now in the midst of organizing a KOTV 50th Anniversary reunion for November 27, 1999.

Need names, addresses, phone numbers and info of any era. Unfortunately, there is no list available of all past personnel. We are starting from scratch.

Great to hear from you, Bill! I remember watching "Sun Up" with you as the host back in the 60s. A picture of you from the Betty Boyd book is on one of the "News" pages of this site.

There has been some discussion of KTBA (which you owned) and free form radio here. There is a link to KPIG on the Links page. KPIG is a station in Freedom, CA that carries the progressive torch on the internet. Don Cook forwarded to me today a letter from Stacy Richardson, another former KTBA DJ. He cited WRNR in Annapolis as another station in this vein on the internet. It was a good thing you did...still well-remembered today!

I think this site can help you out on some of those names...check out the guestbooks, and the "list of people who have been involved in Tulsa TV" at the bottom of the main page! I'll bet Mike Bruchas might have a name or two for you as well. Welcome to TTM!

The webmaster - 08/17/99 23:20:14
Location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Go For Dough on The Early Show
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Gary Chew

This is now Guestbook 18. Read Guestbook 17 from the main page to see previous threads.

We had just heard from KOTV weatherman James Aydelott. We got a visit from Denny Delk, former announcer on KOTV, who is doing voice work for cartoons, CD-ROMs as well as the "Got milk?" promotion (among many others). Gary Chew stopped by again. We had a discussion of Sasha Foo, along with a picture.

There were several new contributors, along with much from the regulars. The KTUL Photo Gallery was added. There will be more video in the form of 70s Channel 8'll be amazed when you see them (hint: this was the age of Charlie's Angels!) Stay tuned...

(P.s., I visited Lee's Records and Tapes on the west side today. There is an autographed picture of Gailard Sartain on the wall. He has his hands up, and in the inscription swears that he intended to pay...)

Tulsa TV Memories main page