- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel
HS - '75) of VA - 06/17/06
|- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 06/17/06||
- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel
HS - '75) of VA - 06/18/06
Our Old Television
CBS - Channel 3 - WTAR:
ABC - Channel 13 - WVEC:
|RCA wooden console, small compact size||RCA Deluxe mahogany console with brass trim||Setchell Carlson unusually designed console||Magnavox 1960s wooden console.|
I have expanded on the Drive-In section but we often overlook the Television as part of our daily life and culture growing up. Especially during a simpler era when local television stations did their own programming and had hosts of the shows. Of particular interest to me are the horror shows such as "Shock Theater", "Chiller Theater" and "Creature Feature". In the 1950s stations were mostly independent and even into the 1960s some continued that way, separate from syndicated network programming. Even those who were part of the big three networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) still had pre and post primetime programming and their hosts became local icons of the day. The invention of home video tapes and cable TV was the demise of these institutions.
Even though "Shock Theater" and others were hot shows across the country, the movies shown were usually anything but... mostly forgettable black and white fare made between 1930-1950 (but not always) by poverty row studios on shoestring budgets. Made during the days when the Hays Office still dictated what studios could produce and the NAB Code of Ethics governed broadcasters pre 1974. It was these clowns in macabre makeup giving their own brand of commentary that made the show and what people remember today, not the movies.
In Richmond, I can not find a reference for early horror hosted shows until 1970 when William "Bill" Bowman (aka The Bowman Body) hit the airwaves until 1979 on WXEX (now WRIC-TV). Bill went on to excel in broadcasting and production to a point that the VA General Assembly passed a bill in 2005 recognizing him for his contributions.
I grew up in Newport News which is the Norfolk market and we had a couple of horror hosts. Most multitasked such as station manager of WVEC-TV Jerry Sandford (now living in Hampton). He did Ronald for Shock Theater, Bungles the Clown during the afternoon kids show, and out of makeup hosted various local game shows such as Bingo for Be-Lo's super markets. Unfortunately the pressures must have gotten to him as these shows were "live" and he would occasionally show up on the set after having a drink or two. Though funny at the time, he quickly disappeared from the screen. I remember it and again, it was the "hosts" and not the show that people do remember. Jerry Harrell (aka Dr. Madblood on WAVY-TV) was another local horror host and Bill's cohort and even switched places once on their shows. As far as I know Harrell is still doing the character on public broadcast stations and does some work at ODU. He is also a professional magician and former Bozo the clown.
I was surprised to see that when Vampira was hitting the airwaves in Los Angeles 1954, Richmond only had 1 (one) television station at the time - WTVR (channel 6) which went off the air at 12:10am. There was another station received but it was WTAR (channel 3) from Norfolk.
It wasn't until the mid 50s that the area had 3 network stations and the movies that showed horror was the Million Dollar Movie (channel 8) and The Big Picture (channel 6) but did not see the usual hosted shows? The newspaper also had a full page of ads for walk in and drive-in movies. I think there were at least a half dozen Drive-Ins here at that time. As a kid in Newport News I remember as late as the 60s television stations going off the air at sundown with the old RCA Indian Head Test Pattern burned into the tube while others continued after midnight. It depended on the day of the week when the station went off the air which made alternate means of entertainment popular.
I currently have about 1,000 DVDs which is heavy on the classic horror and sci-fi genre including many of the movies shown by these horror hosts.
What are your memories? I will be glad to elaborate on my memories and offer any information about movies from this era.
- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel
HS - '75) of VA - 06/11/06
I thought surely you were
Richmond's ABC Channel 12 - WRVA,
but according to Wikipedia:
- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 06/13/06
The input I read tonight from Eric Huffstutler (Bethel HS - '75 - of VA) brought back some old memories: In 1968 before I reported for active duty with the Navy I worked as a program engineer at WVEC TV. My duties were varied, but mainly consisted of technical support for the live local news and sports. The station had recently became affiliated with ABC and switched from public service (CH 15, UHF) to ABC formatting (CH 13, VHF) and at the Hampton studio on Pembroke Avenue. We still were using black and white cameras in Hampton while the weather was broadcast from the Norfolk studio in color starring Joe Foulkes. Both studios microwaved to the transmitter in Driver, Va. Isn't all this wonderful to Know?
Anyhow, I also provided
support for " Shock!, Shock!, Shock Theater" and "The Bungles Show". This
was a big deal for a 20 year old to be exposed to, and very educational
indeed. I had grown up with these programs and was somewhat saddened to
now find out that the characters weren't real after all. Such is life I
guess but those were indeed the "good old days".
This story could go further but before I get carried away as with the story of " West Point" (I did not say I actually wet my pants!) or the picture of Buckroe amusement park (I did not say that was my car in the photo) I would like to give a big " Bungles Wave" to Eric Huffstutler and all the NNHS Typhoons out there.
- Bill Hobbs ('66) of Northern
VA - 06/13/06
Since Bungles has been mentioned so much lately,
I thought I would send you a picture of Bungles
for the website.
- Edna Whitcomb Harrison ('65) of VA - 06/14/06
WOWZERONI!!! Thanks, Edna!
Sailor Bob Griggs and his friend, Gilley Gull
WRVA - TV Channel 12, Richmond, VA
Spriggs ('64) of VA - 06/15/06
TYPHOON Thanks to Edna Whitcomb Harrison ('645- of VA) and Dave Spriggs ('64 - of VA). My wife (Eva Ellis Madagan - '61 - of FL), who is still a kid at heart, has the "Bungles Wave" down pat. In fact, she still uses it when our kids visit and then depart, and has been seen trying to teach our grandchildren this distinctive wave.
Dave almost got it right in his description of the wave as the show closed out on WVEC-TV. He addressed the camera, both palms facing the camera, and while flexing both "pinkies" he would cross his forearms and then flex them outwards and repeat the arm movement and pinkie movements until the sign off.
The good Captain did spell Joe Foulkes' name correctly, so he gets "three atta boys" for his attention to detail.
Re: Poopdeck Pappy (WAVY-TV) - also seen as "Poop Deck Pappy"
Like you said, there seems to be very little to find on this character. Possibly the station's library/archives may have something? Here is what little I did find:
WAVY-TV, Channel 10, signed on the air September 1, 1957, as the NBC affiliate in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Hail, Poopdeck Pappy - NBC affiliate WAVY, which called itself "Wonderful WAVY" when it signed on 40 years ago, celebrates four decades on Channel 10 with a looking-back special Wednesday at 8 p.m. Names from the past include Lloyd Dobyns, Lee Leonard, Dick Lamb, John Wilson, Len Hathaway, Mark Thomas, Kurt Webster and Horace McManus as Poopdeck.
Around 1980 or so Norfolk's WAVY-TV 10 actually burned tapes of their old shows/newscasts including the kiddie show "Poopdeck Pappy" and "WAVY Eyewitness News".
- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel HS - '75) of VA - 06/16/06
THERE WAS TALK IN THIS LAST NEWSLETTER ABOUT DIFFERENT PERSONS ON TV AND RADIO. I ALWAYS LOVED TO HEAR DICK LAMB ON WGH RADIO.
BACK A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN JIM BAKKER GOT OUT OF PRISON, I WAS IN A BOOK STORE HERE IN TEXAS AND IT SO HAPPENED HE WAS THERE SIGNING HIS BOOK THAT HE WROTE TITLED, "I WAS WRONG". WELL, I REMEMBER WHEN HE AND TAMMY HAD A PUPPET SHOW ON PAT ROBERTSON'S PROGRAM IN PORTSMOUTH, VA. I WAS SINGING WITH A TRIO AND WE SANG ON A TV SHOW THERE AT THE TV STATION. THIS WAS LIKE IN THE MIDDLE 60'S, BUT I TOLD JIM ABOUT THAT WHEN HE WAS SIGNING MY BOOK, AND HE COULD NOT BELIEVE HE WOULD SEE SOMEONE FROM THAT FAR BACK THAT WOULD REMEMBER THAT TIME. HE AND TAMMY WERE IN THEIR EARLY 20'S.
('60) of TX - 06/16/06
OOOOOH - that will be
absolutely lovely, Eric! Thanks!
|The CBS eye you marked as 1950s actually was used for a long time up into the late 60s. The color version had a blue background and the CBS letters in the middle were yellow.|
|An alternate "bloodshot eye" version was rarely seen between 1954-1965 that looked to be more 70s than 50s as seen (here):|
There was a CBS color program logo which was different but wasn't used until 1966 where the letters popped up in black and white and then the eye would come in from the left crossing over the letters which turned into primary colors with the eye to the right in yellow.:-)
A LOT of people still were watching shows on black and white sets in 1965, name brands long passed such as DuMont, Admiral, Philco, Magnavox, Zenith, and others
Our very first color television was a Philco console which had a round picture tube bought in 1965. It was also when UHF was becoming popular.
For history buffs... the very first televisions were built in 1928 and had only a 4" round screen in a huge cabinet actually mechanical called "scanning disc".
The first true broadcast receiver television was made in 1938 with RCA mass producing the TRK-12 in 1939 for $600 ($7,000 in today's money).
NBC was the first television broadcast company which was owned by RCA.
The first commercial was broadcast on July 1, 1941 and was 10 second a Bulova watch ad on NBC. The first color commercial was in March 1954 for Pall Mall cigarettes.
The first color television for home use was made in 1953 for the 1954 model year by RCA (model CT-100) and cost $1,000 (over $6,000 by today's standards). Less that 5,000 units were sold in the first year. Very expensive during a time when radio shows were still going strong and a good tabletop could be had for around $1
The first commercial television program on color
film was an episode of Dragnet called "The Big Little Jesus" that
aired on December 24, 1953 and the series' only color episode
(Season 3, Episode 17). A live telecast of the Tournament of Roses
parade was broadcast the following month.
|1954 and 1956 NBC "In Living Color" peacock both looked the same once the feathers were up but had different theme music and ways the feathers materialized. They were used until 1970.|
- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel HS - '75) of VA - 06/18/06
WOWZERS! Thanks, Eric!
Here is a list of (I believe) of all of the popular network shows on TV during 1965:
Meet the Press
The Ed Sullivan Show
Bozo the Clown
Truth or Consequences
What's My Line
Love of Live
Search for Tomorrow
Hallmark Hall of Fame
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Guiding Light
The Today Show
Face the Nation
The Milton Berle Show
The Secret Storm
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
The Lawrence Welk Show
As the World Turns
The Edge of Night
The Donna Reed Show
Juke Box Jury
The Bell Telephone Hour
My Three Sons
The Andy Griffith Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Fulton Sheen Program
The Mike Douglas Show
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Lucy Show
Ready Steady Go
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
The Addams Family
This Hour Has Seven Days
Tom and Jerry
Shows ended in 1965:
The Jack Benny Show (CBS 1950-1964 NBC 1964-1965)
The Price Is Right (original version NBC 1956-1963 ABC 1963-1965)
Outer Limits (ABC 1963-1965)
Shows debuts in 1965:
Hullabaloo (NBC 1965-1966)
Green Acres (CBS 1965-1971)
Days of Our Lives (NBC 1965-present)
Hogan's Heroes (CBS 1965-1971)
I Dream of Jeannie (NBC 1965-1970)
Get Smart (NBC 1965-1969 CBS 1969-1970)
Lost in Space (CBS 1965-1968)
The Dean Martin Show (NBC 1965-1974)
- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel HS
- '75) of VA - 06/18/06
WOW - I think I watched them all! Thanks, Eric!
... I have a
copy of the book "Television Horror Movie Hosts" by Elena
M. Watson (1958-1994). She was from Norfolk and succumbed to Muscular
Dystrophy but was an avid horror television enthusiast.
Inside the first leaf is a picture of Ronald (aka Jerry Sandford who was also Bungles the Clown) from WVEC-TV 13 Shock Theater...
- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel HS
- '75) of VA - 06/21/06
OHHH - I loved Ronald and his Shock Theater! Thanks so much, Eric!
I found this little snippet from a forum and thought it would stir up some memories for others.
The Mildred Alexander Show… that is one I use to watch and had completely forgotten about!
Joe Foulkes doing the weather on channel 13! -
and ads for Tysinger Dodge
- Eric Huffstutler (Bethel HS
- '75) of VA - 06/22/06
And I remember watching a very scary show where at the end, the host (maybe Frank Gallop ?) would blow out a candle and say "lights out" real scary! This was right before my bedtime.......needless to say, I didn't want to go. No wonder I had bad dreams as a kid. :)
- Gloria Woolard Price (Hampton
HS - '65) of FL - 06/26/06
Remember Sky King? The series and adventures of pilot Sky King and his niece, Penny? Well, I do, vaguely. I thought it was funny that my husband, who loves to fly & was raised in Hawaii, never saw it and he came across some free stream links, no download needed, of all the episodes, so am sending them to the web page!
- Gail Kiger Bonsey (Ferguson
HS - '73) of OR - 11/19/07
(This page was created on 06/14/06.)
file was assembled by our Wizard of Wonderment, Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 06/15/06
WOWZERONI-RINI-ROONI!!! Thank you so much, Dave!
Four Images of Vintage Televisions courtesy of http://www.harryposter.com/vintagetelevision.htm - 06/14/06
Return to NNHS Class of 1965