Tulsa TV Memories: Tulsa TV/radio/movies/pop culture of the past      


Bob Mills with Raquel Tejada

Bob Mills on "Sun-Up" in San Diego with weather girl Raquel Tejada, later known as Raquel Welch.

Raquel Welch

Weather girl Raquel predicts a warm front in mime.

Or could she be trying to warn us of approaching mammatus clouds?

(from GB 86 & 103) Don Norton said:

Until the last few years I had always heard that "Sun-Up" originator Bob Mills "discovered" Raquel Welch when he took himself and the "Sun-Up" show to San Diego. Lately two or three others have claimed to have been her "discoverer," and, of course, Bob is now dead and can't dispute this. I don't claim to know "the truth" on this, but I DO know that Bob scoured Tulsa for good-looking girls to come in and read temperatures on Sun-Up while he was here...and he came up with some nifties!

And that reminds me that a little-known but determined Phyllis Diller, booked in some little Tulsa club back in 1960, dragged herself out of bed in time to appear on Bob Mills' "Sun-Up" show on KOTV (at 7 am!)

(from GB 1, 3/14/1999) Don Lundy said:

The host (of Shock Theatre) was Bob Mills, who also worked the "Sun-Up" program. Bob worked for me in San Diego and, sadly, passed away last year.

Lee Woodward, Bob Hower and Bob Mills, courtesy of Lee

Lee Woodward, Bob Hower and Bob Mills in the 1990s. Lee also hosted "Sun-Up" in the early 60s and occasionally played sidekick Hornstaff to Mills' Igor on "Shock Theatre". Bob Hower was Tulsa TV's first newscaster, on KOTV. (Photo courtesy of Lee)

(from GB 203) Lee Woodward said:

By the way, even though I worked at WBAP (Ft. Worth), I couldn't crack into the TV side as there were no openings. None at WFAA-TV either. KOTV's Bob Mills worked there before coming to Tulsa and the reason he and I were hired was because the Program Director of KOTV, Dale Hart, was also a WBAP alumnus.

(from GB 192) Scott Linder said:

...in an attempt to clean out a long-held storage facility, I discovered a KOTV "Sun-Up" coffee mug which was given to me when I appeared as a guest on the show in the 60s with regard to an upcoming Tulsa Little Theatre show.

As I recall, I was interviewed by Bob Mills and Betty Boyd. The mug is orange in color with "Frankoma C7" on the bottom. One side says "Sun-Up" in the midst of a radial sun pattern. The other side bears my name in gold and says "Scott Linder has been a guest of KOTV 6". Gee, what a cool find!! It now has a proud place on my "trophy" shelf along with other Tulsa memorabilia.

Lee Woodward's personalized Frankoma "Sun Up" mug. Here are Frankoma's Club Trade Winds items.

Frankoma founder John Frank and Lee Woodward

Circa 1964.  Close-up of the mugs.

Hurst Swiggart, Fall 1997

Hurst Swiggart in 1997

(from GB 7) Hurst Swiggart said:

Hello again!!! I worked at KOTV from 1962-1964.... my wife Barbara Jean was Continuity Director at 6 and lured me away from KTUL-TV. I worked for a time as a cameraman on Sun-Up, an early morning show hosted by Chuck Bowman (ultimately he was in [the movie] "Airplane!" as a pilot) I wonder if he is still in Hollywood?

The first host of Sun-Up was Bob Mills and he was revered as the king of morning TV. Bowman did a quite admirable job of filling his shoes.

Lee Woodward was a co-host as I remember and was the host on the Monday after the Beatles first USA appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Lee's comments were a hoot and I wish the tape had survived (the show was live and taped for the archives).

Bill Hyden on the "Sun Up" morning show

Bill Hyden took over "Sun Up" hosting duties on KOTV when Bob Mills moved his show to San Diego. Mills was hired there by Bob Hower. Sponsored by Cain's Coffee.

(from GB 19) Bill Hyden said:

I suppose (George) Tomek is now retired from OKC TV anchoring. If memory serves, he did his first newscast on Sun-Up, which I hosted on KOTV following Bob Mills departure for San Diego.

I visited with Bob Hower yesterday and he reminded that he was in San Diego and hired Mills for the San Diego Sun-Up show. Weather person there was Raquel Welch.

I moved from KRMG in November 1952 to assist Walt Teas on the morning "Eggs At Eight" program, after co-originator with Walt, Frank Sims, went to New York.

Frank Sims (KVOO) was longtime (perhaps the first) voice for OTASCO's 'Thank you, here's your change...' tag for commercials.

George Tomek in 1976(from GB 181) George Tomek said:

The stories about teletype machines by Jim Ruddle and others reminded me of an experience at KOTV in, I guess, '61.

I came in to do the Sun-Up News and get the assignment desk going for the day. Being from Chicago and an avid hockey fan the Blackhawks were in the race for the Stanley Cup. Long before cable or the Internet, the first thing I did coming into the newsroom was check the scores from the night before. I became so distressed to see that Chicago had lost that I slammed the plexiglass door protecting the paper roll where it came out and broke it into half a dozen pieces. Then I quickly realized no hockey game was worth losing a job over. Don't remember how I wormed out of what had happened, but nothing came of it.

Those damned machines were noisy as all get out. KOTV had three or four as I recall. Broadcast and print journalists have no idea what they missed from "the good old days." OK, maybe they do.

(from GB 41) Roy Byram said:

By the way, KFMB-TV in San Diego was started by the original group that owned KOTV before the Corny folks and Dun & Bradstreet. They were still running the Sun-Up show, when I got there in 1974. Sarah Purcell got her start there co-hosting Sun-Up.

The layout of the station was so much like KOTV, that I felt right at home from the start. It was like finding the same old familar coffee shop 1800 miles away.

Lee & Lionel with Art Linkletter

Art Linkletter with Lee & Lionel in the castle that Lee built

(from GB 100)
Lee Woodward said:

Finally, we got Teleprompters and learned how to use them. (It was always fun to watch the politicos try that)

The only problem was that the big-type typewriters would break down and we had to get black markers and write it in.

I remember Art Linkletter trying to do some promos for my Sun-Up show. They rolled the camera over and he looked up at the prompter and said: "Jesus Christ! Hand-printing went out with the monks!" He thought it quaint.

By the way, he could do a :30 or a 1:00 spot ad-lib...right on the button. No cues!

(from GB 106) LeeAnn DeRoin said:

My father, Bill Hackathorn, used to be on "Sun-Up" on Channel 6 back in the 60's. He played with Sammy Pagna's band -- I think it was a trio. He also did skits, such as "I want a drink of wa wa." Anyway, my dad passed away several years ago, but was a main stay in the Tulsa music scene -- he was at Tulsa Central in the late 30's and played in the Daze Band -- in the late 60s and early 70s he taught at TU. He also had a music store in Brookside in the mid-60s. I thought he belonged on this site because of his "Sun-Up" days.

Captain Kangaroo with Lee and Lionel

Lee: "While in New York for the World's Fair, (Bob Keeshan) invited me to be on his show. It was quite interesting and he was most easy to work with. He would not allow any kids in the studio in Tulsa or New York. He said he didn't want them to see the mechanics and destroy the illusion. My sentiments exactly. I rarely ever had kids in the studio. If I did, I waited till they left to un-arm Lionel!

(from GB 107)
Lee Woodward said:

Someone was talking about "Big Bill's" show on Ch. 2 drawing with magic markers on the reverse side of a piece of paper while the camera shot the other side. I did that a lot when I hosted the "Sun-Up" show. I would pre-draw an image and then select a piece of music to go with it.

Of course everyone stole this idea from "Captain Kangaroo." Cosmo Allegretti, who also was the arm and voice of "Mr. Moose" (and Bunny Rabbit and Grandfather Clock), did all the reverse drawing on that show. One of many early TV tricks to fill time or create something odd.

Gay Miller, Lee Woodward and Mike Miller on KOTV's 'Sun Up' program in the early 1960s
From GB 233, courtesy of Mike Miller

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