Early Houston TV Programs & Personalities

Bunny Orsak: Channel 13’s “Kitirik” mascot from 1954 to 1971.

Thinking for long on the subject of Houston’s early TV years brings to mind a ton of pleasant memories and so many unforgettable personalities. I’m going more for volume than explication this morning. with a look back at what’s still with me off the top of my pointed head by way of a Saturday morning notion of how each fits together by group association.

Here’s what I’ve come up with. Please feel free to add your favorites and all the others I’ve forgotten in the comment section of this column:

Local Station Caricature Figures: Kitirik of Channel 13, Milk Drop Mo, Cadet Don, Jock Mahoney.

Early Station Singers and Musicians: Howard Hartman, Marietta Marek, Don Estes, Johnny Royal, Paul Schmidt and the Tune Schmidts, Curly Fox, and Miss Texas Ruby.

Dick Gottlieb

1950s Station Announcers, News People, and Personalities: Dick Gottlieb, Lee Gordon, Bob Dundas, Bob Marek, Guy Savage, Paul Boesch, Pat Flaherty, John Wiessinger, Gus Mancuso, Lloyd Gregory, Bruce Layer, Jack Hamm (artist), Joy Mladenka, Page Thompson, and Jane Christopher.

1960s People: Carl Mann, Sid Lasher, Gene Elston, Loel Passe, Dave Ward, Dan Rather, Anita Martini, Larry Rasco, Doug Johnson, Bill Ennis, Bill Worrell, and Dan Rather.

Early Kiddie Shows: Crusader Rabbit, Mr. I. Magination, Mr. Wizard, Smilin’ Ed McConnell, Buster Brown,  Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, Howdy Doody, Mr. Rogers, Captain Midnight, Sky King, Batman, and Superman.

Arthur Godfrey, Hawking Aspirin.

Early Variety and Game Shows: The Texaco Star Theatre with Milton Berle, Arthur Godfrey Time, The Gary Moore Show, Stop the Music, Toast of the Town/Ed Sullivan, The $64,000 Question, Beat The Clock, Name That Tune, Who Do You Trust?, Twenty Grand, I’ve Got A Secret, What’s My Line?,  The Tonight Show with Steve Allen, George Gobel, The Jackie Gleason Show, and Password.

Early Sitcoms: My Little Margie, The Life of Riley, I Married Joan, Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, Amos ‘n Andy, The Addams Family, and Mr. Peepers,

Early Westerns: Gunsmoke, Cheyenne, Paladin, Wyatt Earp, The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train, Sugarfoot, Grizzly Adams, The Rifleman, The Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry.

Early Drama/Adventure/Cop Shows: Dangerous Assignment with Brian Donlevy, Boston Blackie, I Led Three Lives, One Man’s Family, Playhouse Ninety, Studio One, Dragnet, Route 66, Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone.

Sports: Major League and Houston Buffs Baseball, plus one game of College Football every Saturday and a Red Grange telecast of the Chicago Bears or Cardinals from the NFL every Sunday – and it was all there for us on that tiny little fuzzy black and white TV screen with the visible horizontal separator lines running all across the picture, but so what? What did we know back then about the greater possibilities that lay ahead for us down the technological advancement line in years to come? Based on the “nothing” we had prior to TV, we thought we had died and gone to Heaven!

Family Famous Last TV-Related Words from Our Mom Back in 1952: “Hey, kids, why don’t we all sit down and watch ’em blow up that atomic bomb out in Nevada before you leave for school today?”

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294 Responses to “Early Houston TV Programs & Personalities”

  1. Frank M Says:

    MaryJane Vandiver-‘Maryjane’s Magic Castle’
    Don Mahoney & Jeana Claire
    Doodad & Dudley-‘Three Stooges Theater’

    Hudson & Harrigan-KILT DJ’s
    The Weird Beard-KILT DJ
    Bobby Love & Jimmy Love-Love TV Rental
    Bill Varley-Bill Varley Tires
    Art Grindle-used car sales on OST(I think)

    Howard Finch & Betty Rogers-‘Dialing for Dollars’

    “Lets go to the Races’-some sort of tv show that had horse races, and you played along w/a game card from Weingarten’s

    The lady who did the spots for Heights Bank during the news-‘Why at Heights, of course!’
    (I think she was the president)

    • Gary Cone Says:

      Art Grindle:
      “I wanna sell you a cah!”

    • alfred aguilar Says:

      Art Grindle at the corner west or east of jensen st and just west of hwy….i remember some of my family members talking about how he would show you one side of a car at get you to his car lot then showing up the customer waould see the other side of said car and it would be damaged.too funny

  2. mac ed Says:

    All the tv show you want is here at http://www.moviesonlines.us/ . Anime and movies also.

  3. Mike McCroskey Says:

    “Saddle up your Rockin’ horse and come along with me” Don Mahoney.

    Wanted Dead or Alive starring Steve McQueen and Maverick with James Garner.

    “From the Morris Chair” right before sign off on channel 13.

  4. Bob Hulsey Says:

    You could add ex-Colt .45 Johnny Temple to your list. He did the sportscasts for Channel 11 in the 60s after his retirement. And who could forget Ray Miller and the “Eyes of Texas”, a wonderful show that taught me a lot about our vast and great state. A tip of the cap also to the late Ron Stone and Marvin Zindler, who may have had their heydays in the 1970s but certainly left their mark on Houston media.

    I remember, as a young boy, watching Cadet Don before going off to school and watching Kitirik after returning home. I can recall staring at Kitirik as only a young boy could trying to figure out what those lumps were on her chest. Yes, tv had a way of exaggerating features back then.

    • Matthew Brueggeman Says:

      Bob,

      I guess No-No the Clowns corny jokes were no match for Kitirik’s “lumps”.

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      You know, Kitirik’s name is the station’s call letters (KTRK) with i’s inserted between. Cool, eh?

      When I reached puberty, I began to appreciate Kitirik in a new way.

      I have posted a nice pic of the lady in her costume on FB and captioned it with “This was my kiddie show host.” Lot’s of comments registering envy.

      lol

      • Ed Gore Says:

        As you pointed out, KITIRIK is KTRK with an “I” inserted between the letters, but do you know where that name originally came from? When KTRK went on the air in late 1954, the station’s mascot was a lady in a black cat costume, but in the beginning the station’s mascot had no name. To promote the new station, KTRK ran a contest and invited the viewers to write in with suggestions for the mascot’s name. The person who submitted the winning name for KTRK’s mascot won a new color TV set, which in those days was worth around a thousand dollars (equal to at least $10,000 in today’s money). Color TV was brand new in 1954 and color TV sets were rare. The color TV set tied in with the fact that when KTRK first went on the air, it was advertised as the first Houston TV station to have color cameras in the studio. This made it possible to produce local studio programs in color for the first time in Houston. KPRC had the most color shows, but those shows came from the NBC network at that time. NBC/RCA invented NTSC color TV broadcasting and NBC dominated color broadcasting during the Fifties. To get a head-start in color broadcasting, KTRK went on the air with color studio cameras and became the first Houston station to produce regular local shows in color. Little did they realize that it would take nearly ten years for color TV to catch on. Anyway, I really wanted to win that color TV set and be the first person in the neighborhood with color TV, so I entered the contest. I don’t remember the name I entered, but I do remember that the name the station selected was KITIRIK. I thought that was very imaginative, because it included the station’s call letters in the mascot’s name. I was kicking myself for weeks, because I didn’t think of KITIRIK. As many of you may recall, KITIRIK was featured in KTRK’s local “kiddie program” and KITIRIK had a small child on the show she called KIT (short for KITIRIK). KIT wore a little matching black cat costume . I don’t know if the little cat was actually Kitirik’s own child, but that’s what I always assumed. What great memories this site brings back of early Houston TV. I grew up in Houston in the Forties and Fifties. But I moved to California in the Sixties and I never lived in Houston again. However, I often think about those early years and I was delighted to find this site. .

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Seriously, Bunny Orsak was not only nice to look at, but you could tell that she had a very kind heart and loved children. I expect that her performances gave kids everywhere in the Houston area a warm place in their hearts.

  5. Matthew Brueggeman Says:

    Late ’60’s Houston TV memories….
    I remember HPD Officer Ken Garnett on the Cadet Don Show. I recall he was involved in an accident while on duty and returned to the show after recovering. Channel 13 had a show called “Weird” that came on Friday nights and my Mom would not let me watch it because she said it would give me nightmares.

    Channel 16 was a UHF station on the air in ’68 to ’68. It featured an afternoon live kiddie show hosted by No-No the Clown. It also showed “The Thunderbirds.” My father’s U of H college buddy was the station manager, Gene Milligan. One night, Gene gave our family a tour of the station located near Alvin.

    • Chuck Whiting Says:

      I also remember Weird and I think there was a Late Weird, too, which came on after Weird–late at night, of course.

    • David Courtney Says:

      I think one of the most memorable parts of “Weird” was the theme music. I have always wondered where they got it.

      • Jimmie Hargrove Says:

        I thought Weird was on Sat. night. I remember laying on the floor and watching it with my sisters. Always so scairy. And that music. Who on earth would still have that? I would love it as my ring tone. Do you remember if it was channel 11?

      • Ronald Vaughan (aka ronald33) Says:

        As I said before,the “Weird” theme was from the album “Frozen Neptune” by RUSS GARCIA (R.I.P.)

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      I remember No-No the Clown. I remember his as being more obnoxious than your usual TV clown or kiddie host. I tolerated his annoying antics because of the cartoons he would show. I don’t remember his program being the vehicle for showings of “The Thunderbirds”, though. I loved that show. Gerry Anderson rocked.

      • David Courtney Says:

        I just recently found an old version of Chatter. It used to come on some of these old children’s programs. check out:

      • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

        I wish that someone who has insider information, perhaps an old hand from the Channel 13 of the Sixties, would write the definitive essay on WEIRD’s run. It played such a big part in my entertainment as a young teen, that I find I always come back to thoughts of it, and the joy that it gave me. I have been to Channel 13’s site and there is absolutely nothing about it there.

  6. David Munger Says:

    Tumble Weed Time is where Milk Drop Mo hung out and who can
    forget the old Sunday Morning show Utah Carl. He was brought to
    you by Gulf Coast Furniture Warehouse right here in good old Alvin,
    Texas. Tim and Bob on KPRC Radio, The Seven Southern Gentlemen on KNUZ, and of course Paul Berlin.

  7. Frank M Says:

    Marcella Perry (The Heights Bank lady!)

  8. Margery McCurdy Says:

    When I opened the blog and saw the picture of “Kitirik” I was enchanted!
    She was my hero! I loved her so much that I wanted nothing so much as being one of the kid guests on her show for my seventh birthday (I’m 61 now!). Just my luck, Kitirik, was on vacation that week (in August) and I got to be interviewed my her substitute, a lady named “Gollywog”. Being a child, I wasn’t down for long. Channel 13 gave great coloring books away as gifts if you were a birthday kid. Fond memories!

  9. Bill Bremer Says:

    Captain Bob on KPRC-TV and “Midnight with Marietta” hosted by Marietta Marich and directed by her husband, Bob Marich.

    • Mark Foss Says:

      Can you tell me more about the Captain Bob Show?. I remember an afternoon kids show from the early 60’s the host had a boat captains hat on interviewed the kids,showed cartoons etc. Several of my former classmates don’t remember it and you are the only one who has made a reference to it.

      • Bill McCurdy Says:

        Mark:

        “Captain Bob” started as a local kids’ show in Boston, but then went national for a short period of time in 1962 as “The Ruff and Ready Show” on NBC-TV in 1962. The more famous “Captain Bob,” of course, was never known as such. Bob Keeshan is the guy who became Captain Kangaroo after a long successful run on Howdy Doody as Clarabelle the Clown.

        Here’s the link to some information about “Captain Bob:”

        http://www.tvparty.com/lostboston2.html

      • Bill Bremer Says:

        In the late 1950’s KPRC-TV had a locally produced, 4:30PM kids show called “Looney Town” that featured Bob Russell, aka “Captain Bob.”

        If you would like to learn more about KPRC history visit the KPRC History site at:
        http://www.facebook.com/pages/KPRC-History/310468298169

      • Gary Cone Says:

        A bunch of the Ch 13 personalities lived on my street, Mooreberry Lane, out in Spring Branch. TV must not have paid much back then–it was kind of a sad little neighborhood. Lee Gordon and wife Kit lived across the street and Capt Bob was a couple of doors down from them. Ray Conaway, Mariettta Marich and I think a number of others.

        Capt Bob was dark with a flat top and I think a trimmed mustache–tall (to me) and slender. He wore a silver space suit (no helmet). The location was the control room of his space cruiser–similar, I think, to what Capt Kirk would have 10 years down the road. Cartoons appeared on the big communications screen high above. It all looked mighty convincing on TV, but I remember being shocked at how fakey it all was when I went to a birthday party on site. Plus, those cartoons didn’t appear on that telecommunications screen at all! I was just stunned.

        Capt Bob was a really nice guy. He drove a VW bug with a sun roof and would wave to us kids out the top as he sped by. That wowed us. I remember his son, Bobby, a year or 3 older than I, and their dachshund, Mitzy, who killed my rabbit–a dreadful memory that shall follow me to the grave I fear.

        That’s all the drivel I can muster right now.

    • Gary Cone Says:

      From another web site discussion:

      I just found this site and was intrigued by the current discussion. My father was Captain Bob on KPRC in the late 50’s and 60’s. He actually had 3 childrens t.v. shows. The first ws Looney Town and that was a rival show that competed in the same time slot as Kitirik. He also had a show on Saturday Mornings called Today is Saturday which was formatted like the Today show on NBC. He had guests like John Wehrler from the Zoo and cartoons and science films. He had another show on Saturdays which someone earlier was confusing. It was called Looney Auction and you did collect looney bucks from Carnation milk and the rainbo Bread company. We used to ride around in the Isetta. He used that for promotions and parades. The picture that was shown was not of his car. His had a big white admiral cap on top big plastic eyes and a smile painted on the front so it looked like a face. I hadn’t thought about this in a long time. I used to get kidded at school about all of this but it had its perks. Rodeos circuses concerts parades celebrities. We got to meet every star that came to town for the rodeo or T.V. stars appearing at channel 2. Quite a crazy time.

      0 Back to top of the page up there ^

      ——————————————————————————–
      #42 bobruss

      Member Rank:

      Group: Members Posts: 3 Joined: Oct 04, 2008 Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 4:53 PM

      Not to bore anyone, but I read some of the earlier texts and there was a little confusion abot the different shows. Looney town which my father hosted was the show with the money tree where kids would go on their birthday and grab for pennies. Also you used the Looney bucks on Looney Auction to bid for prizes. Looney Town came out of the Bert Lynn show and featured puppets from outer space and had a theme song. It’s time now for Looney Town and you can bet were ready set to go. Silly little theme song written by our next door neighbor at the time who a lot of old time Houstonians would remember for his jingle for Utotem- You tellum you totem. Or his Dixienauts, who used to play at the Astrodome. Next door to him lived another old Houston T.V. Celebrity named Lee Gordon, who did commercials for the YMCA, and next door to him lived Tom Reiff who was station G. M. for KPRC, and next door to him were my Godparents Marrietta and Bob Marich who had dinner theaters and actually she and my father had one of the earliest T.V. shows on Houston T.V. It was sponsored by I think Lightcrust flower and ran on Saturday afternoons. They did slapstick and sang with a live orchestra, between commercials on the feature movie of the week. Just to keep things straight.

      • Beverley Says:

        Okay, well, my memory of Captain Bob is pretty different. I was on his show for my 8th birthday. He drove an Isetta, not a VW, used to see him going down the road fairly often as three wheeled cars tend to stand out. I could be wrong but I remember the show (after school, roughly competing w/ Kitirik as being called ‘The Captain Bob Show’- but maybe that’s just what we called it informally. Anyway being on the show was very fun!

      • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

        How nice for you, Gary. 😀

      • Beverley Heffernan Says:

        I celebrated my 8th birthday on your Dad’s show and we enjoyed seeing him around town in his Isetta.

      • MRussell Says:

        Gary I am the youngest son of Bob Russell or Captain Bob and sorry Mitzy killed your rabbit. But your memory is flawed. These celebrity families were extremely close and shared a unique situation. We all had a Television personality in our house. It was a great and wonderful place to live and grow up. I guess my memory is failing because I remember your name but not you. And I could pretty much right now tell you house by house who lived there and there names. What house did you live in.

  10. Chuck Whiting Says:

    I remember a local kid’s show in the early 60s called Mr. Caboose. The guy dressed up like a train engineer. I can’t find anyone who remembers this, but I know there was such a character. I don’t think he was on very long.

    • Dale Martin Says:

      I remember Mr. Caboose. I was “too old” to watch him, but my little brother was taken to the “new” Sharpstown Shopping Center (Mall) where Mr. Caboose did a remote one day. The whole neighborhood and I watched my brother being interviewed by Mr. Caboose there, and when he got through, my brother stuck out his tongue and walked directly into the camera– causing me shame from my buds on the block for a week! I was a “twerp/spaz” by association, I guess. Mr. Caboose was a show for “the little guys” as my age group called kids. After all– I was 10 or 11 yrs. by that time, I think.

      • Lou Thomas Kelley Says:

        I was the co hose of Looney Auction. My name was Twinkle. It originated at Channel 2 and then to Channel 11. I was also the voice of JOT – a cartoon sponsored by the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Convention. My name was Lou Thomas.

      • Marcus Vaughn Says:

        Lou T. Kelley I remember JOT cartoon very well, though I was quite young. I always figured JOT’s voice was female. Really neat that you did the voice for JOT . There was one episode about “Lying” that really helped teach me a lesson, and one brief scene showing raw flesh or something like that and it scared me to death. The cartoon always had a good message within.
        There is a spoof show of Davey and Goliath on the “Cartoon Network’s ‘Adult Swim’ ” called “Moral Orel” that is really awful and must be produced by Satanists because they mock everything decent and portray Christians as the scourge of the planet.
        LTK, thanks for being part of such a really fine program for kids that actually had a positive effect on my life.

      • David Courtney Says:

        Satanists???????

      • Lou Thomas Kelley Says:

        Hi:
        So glad you were a Jot watcher. I did the voice off and on for almost 18 years. Initially Jot was neither masculine nor feminine but later the stories were written for a boy character. Even though I am a female my voice could be identified for either boy or girl.

        I knew Kitirik’s side kick Skipper. Have no idea whatever happened to either of them.

        Thanks for responding. Have a nice evening.

        Lou Kelley

      • Marcus Vaughn Says:

        Well… I did regret using the term “satanists” as soon as I posted when I realized I sounded like the Church Lady. Let me rephrase that to say ‘the show is very, very dark’

    • Bob Says:

      Mr. Caboose was my uncle, Frank Crawford. Prior to being Mr. Caboose he hosted the Late Show (jokes and banter on the commercal breaks – think current day show “Dinner and a Movie”). He went to Los Angeles and was an assistant director and director on several network television shows.

      • WK Says:

        I remember Mr. Caboose came to my school once, Hollibrook Elementary. He had a puppet sidekick, a worm of sorts as I recall. Cant remember the name though.

      • Steve Warren Says:

        Bob: Thanx to Sid Lasher, I actually got to come to the studio one morning and see the performance of the show! Although I was a little older than his target audience, I remember some of the humor from “Mr. Bookworm” was REALLY sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek that I caught and thought it was very funny. Man, I wish there was an old kinescope of any of the shows or even one of those little 5×7 glossys he gave out. Is Mr. Crawford still alive?

      • John Patterson Says:

        Another commercial I remember on Houston TV in the 60’s was for Mike Persia Chevrolet.
        The jingle sounded part middle eastern and part native american drumbeats and the jingle singer sang:
        “Buy Your Chevrolet From Persia,
        Mike Persia Chevrolet.”.
        Don’t forget Sea Arama Marine World in Galveston.

      • Penny Dollahon Says:

        I have a Mr.. Caboose flyer with his photo on it holding an oil can and looking out of a stage set window. Do you have a copy of it? I would be happy to mail it to you. I was a child actress at Playhouse Children’s Theatre on Main street in the 1959 – 1961 era. Did you know the director Phil Osterman?

    • Manuel Diaz Says:

      I remember Mr. Caboose. Though like you, I could nver find anyone who remembered him. One of my biggest thrills as a kid was going to the Foley’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was in the crowd along the curb of the street and here came Mr. Caboose riding in a miini-car Shaking hands with kids along the route. For a small kid I thought he had the STRONGEST grip.

      • Matt Houston Says:

        I used to watch Mr. Caboose in 1962 when I was five. I STILL remember a skit he did, where he accidentally switched Brylcreem hair lube( Oil? I never figured out what that crap was) with Pepsodent toothpaste. He started feeling
        his scalp and screamed,” I got teeth on my head,” and then of course later screaming “I got hair in my mouth!” I don’t know why I remember it because it was so lame. Imagine being a writer for that show…they probably started hitting the Vodka by 11AM.
        Also-The complete title of the Saturday night movie show was “Weird Theatre.”
        Also-Anyone remember “That Lil’ ol’ Show That Comes on After Monty Python? With Shake Russell and Dana Cooper.
        Also-A show that radio personality Crash Collins briefly hosted on Channel 16 called “Jammin’ With Jambeaux?” (The last two were post-Saturday midnight shows for stoners around 1976).

      • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

        I was a big fan of Mr. Caboose, specifically for the puppet character Mr. Bookworm. Soooo droll was he. Even as young as I was (11-12 y.o.), I recognized the sophistication of Mr. B’s attitude and patter. It is great to hear of others who remember this novel local kiddie show.

      • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

        A little anecdote about Mr. Caboose. The fellow who played MrC happened to be visiting a next door neighbor of a friend of my mother’s in 1963. My mother’s gal pal had a little house on the waterfront in a residential area of Galveston at the time, and the bay water came right up to the back of her house. One day when we were visiting, we heard a commotion and went out to see what it was. There, one house down from us, was a 30-something man who was unmistakably the one and only Mr. Caboose, wearing a bathing suit rather than an engineer’s uniform. He was surrounded by a small group of children, and I remember thinking what a nice man he was, since he was playing with them rather than running them off. I guess he was a friend, or a relative, of that neighbor. I also remember the envy I felt towards those kids. And we would NEVER have barged in where we weren’t asked, but I won’t say that we were not tempted to. One of those things that I have never forgotten in all these years.

      • Lou Thomas Kelley Says:

        Did you remember Mr Caboose side kick Twinkle? I started with Looney Auction at Channel 2 with Captain Bob then the show was moved to Channel 11 with Mr. Caboose. I demonstrated the toys being auctioned off.
        Just curious.
        Thanks,
        Lou Kelley

    • Penny Says:

      Mr. Caboose was connected with Houston’s Playhouse Children’s Theatre and I was Alice in Wonderland in 1961! I recall I think? that he had a younger daughter who was maybe? the dormouse? I definitely have a snapshot photo of him my mother took at the Thanksgiving Day parade downtown – the theatre had a while convertible I sat on with Cinderella. He was a very nice man.

  11. Wayne Roberts Says:

    Don’t forget the Late Show that came on after the 10pm news, followed by the Late Late Show on some nights, perhaps just weekends…..Adventures in Paradise……77 Sunset Strip…….but as already mentioned, Weird. The Attack of the Crab Monsters got me everytime.

    • Sara Says:

      “The Late Show,
      First the news and weather then
      The Late Show.
      Greatest movies ever made and you see them free,
      right on your own TV.
      The Late Show,
      Sit back, enjoy a snack and watch
      The Late Show,
      Greatest movies ever made and you see em free
      Right on your own TV.
      The Late Show,
      Channel 11’s proud to bring the greatest of stars right into your home,
      No matter how far, you’re never alone,
      (missing some lyrics here!)
      The great Late Show!”

      • Steve Says:

        you left out the transition between “right on you own TV”, which went…

        you never need a ticket for [The Late Show….

        and, as I recall, the (missing some lyrics here) were:

        We’ll be waiting for you, here on [The great Late Show!]

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Yes, WEIRD was great because it tended to show more modern pictures, and not the older moldy classic horror films (sorry, I know there are fans of these, but I liked the mid-century stuff a lot more). Attack of the Crab Monsters was typical of the movies they would show, and it “got me”, too! You may also remember another Roger Corman movie, “Not of This Earth”, that played more than once on WEIRD. Happy memories.

  12. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    I lived in Houston from 1950 to 1973 (now am in Hollywood,CA.)I remember a show late at night on late Saturday nights/early Sunday mornings (about 1960) called The MidNite Zone [sic] (probably on Ch. 11,KHOU). This local show featured sci-fi and horror movies…and I fondly remember the Boris Karloff “lost” masterpiece,today revealed as THE DEVIL COMMANDS,which I first saw on Houston TV….50 years ago!

    • C Kelly Says:

      I recall Midnite Zone too. I think it’s only competition was Weird, which probably came on after wrestling.

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      How did I miss Midnite Zone. I was a big WEIRD fan, but if I had known there was another monster movie program on a different channel (and a different air time?), I would have jumped on it in two seconds.

  13. Oscar S. Says:

    Bill,
    Going back through some not too old emails from you,
    I thought of some other local celebraties
    Ray Conway-channel 13 news anchor
    Ray Miller-Channel 2 news anchor
    Howard Finch-channel 13 voice on many shows
    Mr. Caboose-channel 11 local kids show
    Dewey Compton-I tjhink his show was called The Farm Journal

    Network prime time shows
    The Rebel/Johnny Yuma palyed by Nick Adams
    Rawhide with Clint Eastwood
    Whirlybirds
    Highway Patrol
    Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
    Daytime network kid shows
    Capt. Kangaroo
    Romperoom
    Art with John Nagy

    • TheEnemyBelow*(*Like the Robert Mitchum Movie) Says:

      Okay,I was born february 1,1959 in Freeport so I have fond memories of Cadet Don and Kittrik on Channel 13 and Doodad and Dooley on Three Stooges Theatre on KHTV,Channel 39 not to forget Dailing For Dollars and Cita Con Carlos on Channel 13 and of course,the original”TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD”hisself MARVIN ZINDLER,EYEWITNESS NEWS!!!

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Oscar, I was crazy about WHIRLYBIRDS. I almost NEVER missed an episode. Loved Ken Tobey, and the Bell helicopters were awesome.

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Highway Patrol. Broderick Crawford shouting 10-4 into his radio mike.

  14. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    This former Houstonian remembers some of these old shows and stars.

    I visited KITIRIK show for one of my birthdays. But heard that Bunny
    Orsaak was once robbed,and hit with a flashlight…still remember that
    old news article…and that she had an “unlisted” number…first time I’d
    ever heard of that…and when the original MOUSEKETEERS made their only Houston appearance (at the Sam Houston Coliseum,1957) they
    kicked the birthday guests off the KITIRIK bleachers,more or less,LOL!!

    Other notable TV shows I remember are:

    “Cadet Don” (Don Travis)…who once featured a certain cartoon called
    SPACE ANGEL…around 1960 I saw a feature which I now know as “THE
    LIGHT BARRIER”…the crew used an ion engine to nearly reach the speed
    of light in a spacecraft (that episode,btw,can be bought,just see Google).

    “The Mid-Nite Zone”…a late-night presentation of horror movies on KHOU/11…and,again,something shown in 1960 which I now know as the Boris Karlooff movie “THE DEVIL COMMANDS” stuck in my then-10-year-old memory. A weird scientist and experiment in connecting with dead
    people!

    Also on weekends there was a competing sci-fi showcase called “WEIRD”. They used the music “Frozen Neptune” from Russ Garcia’s album “Fantastica” as their theme.

    When I got color TV (in 1969) I’ll never forget the humourous mix-up
    with the KPRC chroma-key equipment…News anchor CHRIS CHANDLER
    was presented in blackface for a few moments due to a technical error
    (and he’d later go on to have a small movie role in the picture HELLFIGHTERS). I was actually able to reach future star STEVE EDWARDS in those days,and asked him: Why was his theme (instrumental from Broadway score “Promises,Promises” different from
    the Dionne Warwick version?)

    Remember seeing famed Houston Chronicle columnist MAXINE MESINGER
    (R.I.P.) on some kind of weekly show she did.

    I moved to California in late 1973. I was in the movie MAYOR OF THE SUNSET STRIP.

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Ronald, just wanted you to know that I was a big fan of SPACE ANGEL, too. I loved the drawing style, which seemed quite grown-up and nicely futuristic. And I recognize the connection to CLUTCH CARGO. What a kick!

  15. BJ Bennett Says:

    Thanks!! I have searched for a pic of Kitirik for months.
    Just wondering if anyone remembers watching “The Larry Kane Show” on Saturdays?

  16. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    Yep. I remember that LARRY KANE used as his theme the instrumental
    music by Dave “Baby” Cortez….”The Happy Organ”.

    This show was obviously a local alternative to Dick Clark’s “American
    Bandstand” or something.

  17. PH Paper : Says:

    i am always looking for cheap car sales show in our area and i always find a bargain,”:

  18. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    Can I send you people an attachment (Mp3) of 30 seconds from a KFMK
    RADIO show? It’s a station I.D. How do I send that?

  19. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    Here’s the best I could do,rendering this as a black-background video
    on YouTube with audio only. Use this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_edit?ns=1&video_id=QUyvhkA6RmY&next=%2Fmy_videos

  20. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    And here’s 2 images from that KFMK radio station I mentioned (sorry
    the playlist is unreadable with this scan. I might be able to re-copy and
    re-scan it.)

    Use the MySpace link to my 2nd MySpace account:

    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.editAlbumPhotos&albumID=3487154

  21. James Randal Says:

    I enjoyed Mr. Caboose as well. I also remember the watermelon stand on Evergreen where you could buy a cold slice and eat it there on a picnic table with a box of salt. Art Grindle Dodge commercials. Ralph Williams Chrysler/Plymouth. The ICEE. The Ranger. Princes Drive Inns. Gulfgate Skating Rink. The Rutzee Drive Inn. Biskits and Gravy and Grits at the Tel/Wink Grill on Telephone Road at 3 AM. Kips Big Boy strawberry pie at 3 AM. WEIRD, LATE WEIRD, Friday Nite Wrestling. Houston International Speedway, Saturday, Saturday Nite. I could go on for eva, heah ??

  22. Sherry Says:

    I remember Kitirik from my childhood. So many memories, but mostly that she went to high school with my mother and aunt (twins) in Hamshire, Tx. Her name then was Bunny Perkins. Hi Kitirik!! I never got to meet you, but feel we know each other deep down.

  23. Fire Grate · Says:

    i am into car sales business and it is a good way of earning money .”-

  24. Lloyd Hern Says:

    Remember Harry Burkett? “If you don’t buy your car from Burkett,we both loose money”.Or buy your Chevrolet from Persia,Mike Persia chevrolet-to an Indian boy beating the drum.Also Do you remember Friendly Giant on channel 8? or Capt.Kangaroo and Mr.Greenjeans? lots of great memories. And Homer Hower of the Houston FBI at sign off looking for fuditives.

  25. kay Says:

    Does anybody remember why Ron Stone left channel 11? Some sort of altercation involving the police and the female weather lady?

  26. Neil Boll Says:

    Others names of Houston past: “Pee Wee Panel” with host Bill Rozan, sponsored by Weingartens;; KPRC TV’s “Star Room” with Lynn Cole and singer Janet Smith, Marietta Marich(sp?)
    Wrestlers, ‘Dynamite’ Danny McShane; Lou Theiss; Gory Guerrero, Ray Dunkel, KNUZ radio, Ken Grant, Webb Hunt, the Chuck Donavan show; Youngbloods restaurant, Bill Williams, Ye Olde College Inn, and Ship Ahoy. Auto racing at Arrowhead Park with AJ Foyt. Webers Drive Inn theater on Main St, South Main Drive Inn, King Center and OST Drive Inn. Epsom Downs & Post Oak Drive Inn. Jan Carson and Sara Lowery. Its great reliving these memories

    • John Patterson Says:

      Not to mention KILT,the Big 610;KIKK;KENR;KODA as well as Marijane Vandiver;Don Mahoney and Jeana Claire and Mickey Gilley’s show on KHTV Channel 39 on Saturday nights in the early 70’s.

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Don’t forget Wild Bull Curry on the wrestling front.

    • Dana Snider Says:

      My mom was the Janet Smith you are talking about. This was all before I was born and I have been searching for information on the internet about her singing career. I wish so much that I could find a recording of her during the time she was on tv. I’d love to see it. She passed away this month on the 4th at the age of 82. I’ve found many articles from the newspapers she saved during that time and I am fascinated with what I’ve found. She never really talked about it so its all new news to me.

  27. Don Texter Says:

    Back in 1956 I remember Paul Berlin playing a song by Don Estes called, “I’d Give A Million Tomorrows” which Don possibly wrote. Great song, I can remember most of the words. “I’d Give A Million Tomorrows For Just One Yesterday”, was just part of it. Great memory.

  28. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    Ruff and Ready? The Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters? Sure,I remember them. Dog and cat,weren’t they?

    • Gary Cone Says:

      They sometimes have their little spats,
      That’s just because they’re dogs and cats,
      But when they need each other that’s…
      When they’re Ruff and Ready.

  29. Oscar Sicola Says:

    I believe Looney Town was hosted by Uncle Bert Lynn a local Houston
    musician and music teacher that had a studio on Park Place right around the corner from the old Santa Rosa Movie Theatre

  30. Luke Crump Says:

    I read through the comments, and did not find one that mentioned the little ditty that ran over and over and over…. in the early 50’s.
    “The Cable is coming the fourth of July.
    Better run see your dealer for your TV buy.”

  31. c merchant Says:

    How about Playland Park? I loved that place. Also, the “Fun Club” at the Village and Tower theaters on Saturday morning, all my friends went there, it cost a quarter to get in. I also remember the weather ball on top of a building down town and the song that explained it: “Red light, warmer weather. White light cooler weather. Green light, no change in view. Blinking light rain is due!”

  32. Lindon Leader Says:

    Watching Weird as a young teen, I remember a couple of really cool hosts. ONe I believe was “Mark” something. Anyone remember these folks?

    • Mark Says:

      I remember a mustached, receding-hairline, older gentleman in a regular suit, that sat in a chair. I was looking at other sites, and they all said that “Weird” had no host. I am glad that I am not the only one who remembers! What is really weird is that I am replying to a 2 year old discussion!

  33. Lindon Leader Says:

    Watching Weird as a young teen, I remember a couple of really cool hosts though they weren’t at the same time. One I believe was “Mark” something. Anyone remember the names of these gentlemen?

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      I am really happy to finally know what the name of the piece of music that played behind WEIRD’s opening, but I would be ecstatic if I could find a video of the actual and complete opening. I once read on 13’s blog that the opening was done live each time the show was broadcast(!). I really doubt that. Even in my memory, I remember it was exactly the same every time it played, with the exception of the announcer’s rundown of what the features were on any night.

      Anybody know if somewhere there is an old kinescope of the opening?

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Do you guys who were fans of WEIRD remember how they would show an old DRAGNET episode after WEIRD finished? It was those episodes that helped me to come down from the scare high I was on after watching WEIRD.

      BTW, one of the movies I remember that was shown several times over WEIRD’s run was “From Hell It Came”. You know, with the walking tree?

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      For all the Boomer kids out there that were in love with WEIRD and Late WEIRD, here is a link to the tune that played behind the opening, Russ Garcia’s FROZEN NEPTUNE (over clips from The First Space Ship To Venus”:

  34. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    Yeah,I remember “WEIRD”. And they would use as their theme music
    Russ Garcia’s “Frozen Neptune”. (He did an album around that time called
    “Fantastica”,and he also did music for the original movie “THE TIME MACHINE”. One could see various sci-fi movies on this late-night showcase.
    ************************************************************
    BTW,2 mysteries solved:

    (1) “Mystery surf guitar riff” from about 1967 that PAMS used (followed by a spoken “Fun! Ladies and gentlemen,we proudly present [name of radio show] on KILT….” etc.) was from THE VENTURES…and it’s called “Flights of Fantasy”. I found it on YouTube,LOL! That band did
    something like a “Ventures In Space” album. It took FOURTY FOUR YEARS to find out what this instrumental riff was!

    (2) “Don’t Stop The Carnival” by The Sound Investment is now back on
    YouTube. The rights are owned by EMI but as they are probably not going
    to re-release it,the clip is Fair Use.

  35. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    If anybody’s interested,I can put up (on YouTube) an audio-only (sorry,I didn’t have video equipment back then) of the late Houston Chronicle
    columnist MAXINE MESINGER,doing 2 interviews: (1) with Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme; and (2) with Dick Ott (then-owner of the
    Houston Music Theater). This was in early 1973. MAXINE did (as I remember) some kind of 30-minute Saturday or Sunday show.

    And there are all too few photos/items on her on Google. She’s kind of an unsung hero. Everybody remembers LIZ SMITH but MAXINE was
    less famous.

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    • John Patterson Says:

      I was in Haltom City*(*A suburb of Fort Worth)one Saturday and I found a bunch of Houston Papers-Chronicle;Post;Press-from November 22,1963 in an Antique Mall.
      So here’s a little snapshot of what things were like on that fateful Friday in November:
      First and foremost was JFK’s visit to Dallas.
      On TV,the kiddies who weren’t in school-like myself.I was 4.-Captain Kangaroo and Cadet Don were on in the morning.
      in the afternoon,Rocky and His Pals and of course,Kittrik’s Carousel were on.
      In the evening,The Patty Duke show was on ABC while The Twilight Zone was on CBS.
      On their lunch hours,Houston’s version of Joan Holliday and Peggy Olson*(Christina Hendricks and elisabeth Moss of’Mad Men’)could’ve bought a Best Form(tm)Girdle-either Long Leg or Open Bottom-for$6.98 and Bra for$1.98 at the Downtown Foley’s.
      You could’ve bought groceries at A&P;Henke&Pilat*(*Kroger);Piggly Wiggly;Lucky7 and of course Weingarten’s.
      The Holiday Season was approaching,and White’s Auto Supply had a battery powered Lionel train for$6.99 among other toys that every girl and boy wanted for Christmas.
      Sounded like a great Friday.If only LHO woulda missed!!

  43. Eddie Borowiak Says:

    I lived at Boys Harbor, in the 50’s. I used to square dance on the Utal Carl Show. I cannot find a listing any where.

    • Lann Copeland Says:

      Did you know Paul Rawlins and Benny Massey who were Boys Harbor kids? I went to La Porte Elem. school in the late 50s with Paul and Benny taught my sister swimming at the Houston Yacht Club. Both were really nice kids.

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  45. Bill Bremer Says:

    Here is a link to a photo of Captain Bob in the KPRC-TV studios:

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  47. Virginia Savala Roman Says:

    OST was a street filled with 50’s 60’s 70’s memories. There was a Whataburger on OST/Lozier, This Whataburger was different from today’s. It had a walk up window where you made your order. There were about 3 to 4 round concrete tables/benches to each on. Also a Donut Hole, a block down. Art Grindle on OST/Del Rio, Cellar Door Bar-b-q on OST/Scott, Price’s Drive Inn & Deans Drive Inn on OST, Dad’s hangout after work.Trainer’s Drive Inn Theater and across the street Trainer’s Hamburger Drive Inn with car hops. Both were located off of OST. S&H Green Stamp Center off OST/Holcombe, OST Movie Theater on OST/Griggs. Saw “Thirteen Ghost” with 3 D Glasses for 50 cents. Chuck Davis Cheverolet on OST/Tierwester, Shopper’s Fair Clothing and Henke & Pelot Grocery both on OST/Scott. Plan to drive back to the old hood soon to see what’s left.

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  51. Jim Bell Says:

    To the person who asked why Ron Stone left KHOU in the early 70s: Stone moved to NYC to work for NBC Radio on the old NBC Monitor Program.

    He came back after less than a year because his wife gave him an ultimatum. She didn’t want to move to NYC, and she told him he could have the network job or her, but not both.

    He got the hint and returned to Houston to anchor the news on KPRC TV.

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  55. Jill Says:

    What about Curly Fox and Texas Ruby!! Lordy, I can still hear them screeching out Precious Lord Take My Hand. haha In spite of them, that’s one of my very favorite hymns. But whenever I hear it, I still remember those two.

    • Oscar Sicola Says:

      What about Utah Carl, his show was sponsored by Alvin Furniture Company.
      There was also a weekly Sunday morning show, I believe it was called The Houston Home Show with Bill Roberts or Robertson.

      • John Patterson Says:

        Utah Carl!!I remember him!!I think his show was on Channel 39 on Saturday Afternoons!!He sang a song that went something like”I’m Just a Wandering The Wastelands”,I think!!
        Also,I remember how Channel 39 had syndicated country music shows like The Buck Owens show and of course Mickey Gilley’s Show.
        And let’s not forget”MAAARRRRVINNN ZINDLER,EYEWITNESS NEWS!!”on KTRK,Channel 13.
        Kid’s show hosts,besides Cadet Don and Kittrik on 13,Mr.Caboose was on Channel 11,although I don’t remember him and Doodad and Dooley on Channel39 in the mornings with”Three Stooges Theatre”.

    • Sharron Popovich Says:

      My parents took my 2 younger sisters and me to a “taping” (?) of one of their shows. I later learned that she died in a house (or trailer) fire. About Curly Fox, I don’t know. But more than anything I enjoyed watching a musician play some slide string instrument (probably has a common name that I can’t reall just now).

      • Ronald Vaughan Says:

        I too remember Curly Fox and Texas Ruby (the show was oddly omitted in biographies about Curly Fox).

        And the first use of the steel guitar…Not a pedal steel,because the episodes I saw were pre-1954.

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  58. Carla Says:

    I am trying to locate information about an early Houston kid’s show involving a man called Big Jim who On-Air drew a caricature picture using a part of the drawing or scribble a child sent into the show. The child whose scribble he chose won many prizes such as a kiddie shopping cart full of toys. My aunt was one such lucky child in about 1951, she guesses. She still has the large, larminated drawing and it is signed by “Big Jim”. But I cannot find any info about the TV show! Help?

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Carla,

      I was a Houston kid in 1951 too. I don’t recall any show that had an artist named “Big Jim,” but I do recall that Channel 2 had an artist named “Jack Hamm” who would complete scribble lines that viewers sent in as caricatures, etc. They once offered a $5 gift certificate to Sakowitz as a prize to the kid artist who sent in the best caricature of an old TV cowboy movie star named Hopalong Cassidy.

    • Bill Bremer Says:

      Carla,
      His name was Big Jim Hester and the show was called “Pioneer Cartoons” it was on Sundays at noon. You can view a newspaper ad for the show by looking in the “Post Oak” photo album of the “KPRC History” page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KPRCHistory/photos_stream

      • Carla Says:

        Bill, thank you for the information! Once I mentioned the last name of “Hester” to my aunt, she did recall it.
        Sincerely,
        Carla

  59. rw boyd Says:

    “pow wow the indian boy-loved all the animals in the woods.
    pow wow the indian boy-helped all indians that he could”…sung to the tune of the indian song in every western when you first saw the injuns in their village or gittin ready to attack the wagon train(homeland security)

  60. John Patterson Says:

    I need some info on a song I heard on KIKK around 1975-6.
    It mighta been titled”Heaven Hell or Houston”.
    If I’m correct,I remember how the chorus went something like
    “Now I’m Finishing
    This Beer on Airline Drive.
    And In Heaven;Hell or Houston
    That’s Where You’ll find Me.
    And I’ll Still Be Loving You
    Dead or alive”.
    If anyone out there has any more info they’d like to share,please feel to post it on here.

    • Shelly Alley Says:

      In response to the question about the song “Heaven, Hell or Houston”, that was recorded by Hugh X. Lewis. Also the local western swing band, The River Road Boys, had a recording of it.

      Shelly Alley

    • Shelly Says:

      In response to the question about the song “Heaven, Hell or Houston” it was done by Hugh X.Lewis. It was also recorded by the local western swing group, The River Road Boys.

    • John A Ford Says:

      remade by ZZ Top on he “El Loco” album

  61. karron hamby Says:

    I am looking for copys of old shows dialing for dollars ,in late 50,s my late sister was on this show and it would be wonderful to see the show again..anyone have any info please post

    • Leslie Rogers Says:

      Karron, I’m looking for copies of old of dialing for dollars too. I’m Betty Rogers daughter, Leslie. She died in 1995 and I’d love to see and hear her again. If I hear any info, I’ll post. Thanks for still being interested in the show. It would be great for you to be able to see your late sister on the show.

  62. Kenny Lass Says:

    I remember on Sundays KPRC/2 would have Movie for a Sunday Afternoon, in the 60s and maybe early 70s, and always wondered what the piano theme music was, it’d show a bunch of clouds moving quickly over the music. any ideas?

    • Joe Says:

      I remember the music you refer to but cannot remember who did it either. Have been trying to find it but no luck. If you have any please post.

  63. Rob Says:

    Remember the Gateway Swimming park on Main I think?

    Thanks for the memories.

  64. matt walker Says:

    You forgot “Weird Theatre” on KTRK Saturday nights at 10:30. Also on KTRK, Saturday mornings, was “The Larry Kane Dance Show.”

  65. Rae K Says:

    Does anyone remember Romper Room from the 1950’s? I’ve been trying to find a video from that year. The hostess was Miss Gwen. She lives here at the same senior center I do. Though she might be tickled if I could find a video to show her.

  66. BobB Says:

    Channel 11’s The Late Show theme song also included:

    “Whether it’s a comedy, a drama, or a mystery, or adventure right before your eyes—-seven nights a week you are invited to a different movie, EV ‘RY NIGHT YOU GET A NEW SURPRISE.”

  67. Mimi Devereaux Says:

    I know it wasn’t local television, but everyone I knew RAN off the school bus to get home in time for Dark Shadows at 3:30. The production values were really low, but we loved all the scary fun of it. Also, there were pennies in the tree for grabbin’ on Marijane’s Magic Castle as well. I also watched The Million Dollar Movie on channel 13 in the afternoons. Saw some real old classics on that one. And I’ve also never known of anybody else who remembered Mr. Caboose. I remember when Kennedy was killed, there was constant coverage of that for days. Afterward I could never find Mr. Caboose again. I was really upset about that. Hey, I was only 5!

  68. Tommy De Paul Says:

    The Heights Savings lady was Marcella Perry. She sat at her desk and gave financial advice in little short 30 second commercials.

  69. Dave Warwick Says:

    I love the comments. I used to watch Utah Carl live when it was broadcast from the transmission shop on 46th and Broadway in Galveston. K-GUL channel 11.

    • Lann Copeland Says:

      Speaking of K-GUL Does anyone remember Marge Crumbaker singing and playing the piano and the organ at the same time? Her theme song was “A you’re Adorable” Then the channel became KHOU around 1955 or so. Ye Gads…………all this and I can’t remember what I had for lunch today!! AAAAH the Golden Years! LOL!

      From Lann Copeland product of St. Joseph’s Hospital 1947

      • Ronald Vaughan Says:

        Marge Crumbaker also played the electric guitar!

        And prior to KGUL….there was KLEE-TV. I wasn’t born for that one,but a certain myth grew about those defunct call letters.

      • Sharron Popovich Says:

        The name Marge Crumbaker sounds familiar, but then, both those names sound familiar. Don’t recall her, specifically. DO recall how much I enjoyed watching “Ding-Dong-School” each morning with Miss Francis and whomever the woman was who played the organ (or was it the piano). I know this wasn’t a Houton TV program, but am so grateful some station manager and board of directors decided to carry this program…a forerulnner to “Sesam Street” indeed. ALSO: does anyone remember drawing and painting with John Nagy? Magic with Mark Wilson? A radio program you could write to with a request? Teresa Brewer sang my mother’s request and we all sat around the radio listening.

  70. BobB Says:

    Does anyone remember Stewart’s Drive Inn located on North Main, just east of I-45. They had a hi-rise sign alongside the freeway that showed a character, sorta a cross between Kip’s Big Boy and the Pillsbury doughboy, wearing a chef’s hat, and there was a slogan on the sign that I can’t presently remember. Bore the name Sonny.

  71. BobB Says:

    The original Hudson and Harrigan on ’60s KILT created the character Jim Bob Jumpback, and the skits were priceless. The various succeding H and H’s kept Jim Bob in their repertoire, but it just wasn’t as good.

    When KILT-FM started up, newsman Dan Earhart of KILT-AM moved over as Captain Macho. Don’t remember which of the two names he used when he aired his Food Farm Farm Food reports before daybreak, that were almost the precursor to SNL’s news segments. Earhart was interviewed on the PBS special on Anderson Fair a year or so ago.

    Joe Ford was an original radio DJ, possibly on KNUZ, which eventually grew a KQUE-FM counterpart. Joe had a brother Neil, who was the frontman for traveling band Neil Ford and the Fanatics. I had a neighbor who ran away from home and reportedly became a groupie of the band, and who all the neighbors figured was impregnated on one of the trips.

    Several of us would pedal bikes about 3 miles every week to a record shop on South Park (now MLK) to get the weekly Top 40 hits list circulated by, I’m guessing, KILT. Always had good info in the “Discs and Data” section on the back page.

    Besides KILT and KNUZ, the only other 60’s station playing any rock and roll sometimes was on 790, calling itself in its jingle Demand Radio 79.

    Country music played on KIKK (650), which eventually cooked up the “I’m Proud to be a KIKK-er” and the “KIKK-up Truck” bumper stickers. 1070 (don’t remember call letters then) was the other country station (quite unlike the present programming).

  72. Sharron Popovich Says:

    IDoes anyone remember an afternoon TV program called “Date with Don?” It showed black and white movies and played the theme from “Gone With the Wind.”

  73. Sharron Popovich Says:

    Does anyone recall the contest KILT had over several weeks which involved “finding” objects which were basically “hiding in plain sight” and which represented one of the station’s call letters? For example, “The I is in the sky,” was the “eye” in the Meyerland sign. I forgot what the other “clues” and “finds” were. But the contest had some people buzzing, trying to connect the “twist” in the clue with the call letters. Does anyone remember what the prize was?

  74. Robin Says:

    Hello….,
    I was reading about my father in y’all’s blog and I want to thank everyone for all your kinds words about Daddy.

    Thank you,
    Robin Rasco Pouland

    rpouland@icloud.com

  75. Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

    I happened upon this blog post through a search for “Cita con Carlos”, a program I would never miss as a early teenager. I happened upon it, when it was called “Cita con Trece” (Rendezvous with 13″), one night. Not that I was particularly interested in Spanish language programming, of which this was a pioneering example, but I found that the young Mexican songstresses really were sexy and turned me on with their low-cut dresses and dress-straps that never seemed to want to stay on their shoulders. And Carlos Garcia was so suave and gracious. And Lucha Villa — oh my goodness.

    On a different note, I want to thank the people who identified the majestic music that played behind the opening to WEIRD. I have been looking for that title forever.

    • Sharron Popovich Says:

      Two programs for early TV Dramas: “The Millionaire” and “The Loretta Young Show”. In “The Millionaire” a man, Michael, in service to a wealthy man, delivered a tax-free $ 1 m. check after the audience had been let in on the recipient’s life circumstances, and was left to wonder how the million dollar check would change that person’s life “Loretta Young” would come sweeping down a somewhat spiral staircase in a flowing floor-length gown and introduce the program she usually starred in.

      As for early TV “Musical” programs: “The Arthur Murray Dance Hour (?)” and, of course, “Your Hit Parade.” For the latter, my family tried to guess what the top song would be each week. And, of course, there was “the Firestone Hour” (of opera.) One if my childhood playmates criticized me for preferring to “listen to people scream” rather that go “outside and play.” And has anyone mentioned that exciting show “Name That Tune” or the predictible yet beautiful program “The Lawrence Program”?

      • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

        I remember the :Loretta Young Show, with the staircase descending thing! And around the same time, in the afternoon, after school, Mahalia Jackson singing spirituals. “The Millionaire” had such good stories.

        I wonder if anyone remembers “Tugboat Annie” that came on late night for awhile. It was syndicated out of Canada.

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      I am thoroughly loving all of you guys’ recollections about those times (I was growing up at the time we are talking about). I look forward to any new postings on this little blog.

      The thing that is so wonderful about this time is local broadcast TV was always finding ways to attract viewers. And I remember sometime in late 1963/early 1964 that there was a (short-lived) movie program that came on late night on one of the stations, that featured the voiceover hosting of the same guy who voiced the puppet Mr. Bookworm (his voice was that unique). He would feature homegrown videos during commercial breaks, and one that has stuck in my mind all these years was a montage of wacky images set to the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There”. It was brilliantly done — or at least, as a thirteen-year old, I thought it was brilliant.

      Also, does anyone remember the Pat Boone late night talk show? It couldn’t have lasted more than a few months, but it was pretty adult compared to other stuff that was on at the same time.

  76. Sharron Popovich Says:

    I don’t recall “Tugboat Annie” but do recall Preston Foster and his tugboat named the Cheryl (or Carol) Ann. Was the program title “Waterfront”?

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      I know there was a TV series titled “Waterfront”, but I don’t recall a tugboat by any name. “Tugboat Annie” was a Canadian series in syndication in America, and an odd little entry to fill the late night slot on one of our local channels. I remember as a youngster being unexpectedly delighted with the simple comedy and the nautical settings.

  77. Sharron Popovich Says:

    Nathan,
    Yes, come to think of it, I DO recall seeing Mahalia Jackson singing spirituals occasionally.

    Does anyone remember watching “Bride and Groom” from the 50’s?
    Services were performed for a variety of religions. I used to wonder about the difference between the vows “As long as you BOTH shall live” / “As long as you shall live” and “Until death do you part.”

    And a few years later there was a program called “Divorce Court,”(I think).

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Sharron, I don’t remember “Bride and Groom” but then I was probably about 3 years old when it was airing.

      But big Mahalia I remember, with that ethereal heartfelt vocalizations. It was a really different time then when you could see such blatantly religious programming on TV, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AFTERNOON!

  78. Matt Houston Says:

    Divorce Court was hilarious. Saturday television was perfect for 10-year-old kids from Houston in the 1960s. It started off with Bomba Theatre in the morning (Jungle movies wherein one of the spear-wielding natives always stopped racing along with the rest of the tribe long enough to turn back around and gaze fearfully at a thoroughly pissed-off charging elephant. He inexplicably would then fall to his knees and scream “Mu-jum-baaa!” in a shrill girlie-voice right before the elephant stomped him with his stinky foot). Then, during the commercial break, madman used-car dealer Art Grindell, cranked on black coffee, filter-less Camels and a fistful of Benzamine, would jump up and down on the roof of a ’52 Plymouth and scream “Look how solid this baby is!” By the time Divorce Court came on Channel 2 at 4 PM, my old man would snore on the couch while mom, finished with housewife chores, rewarded herself with a martini or three and mutter “Mm-hmm. Serves him right” whenever the Judge reprimanded a hapless husband for hanky-panky. The witnesses on Divorce Court were always hilarious. I remember one female witness, festooned with horn rimmed glasses and a Minnie Pearl hat, took the stand to testify about the hanky-panky husband. The judge would ask, “What were you doing peeping into your next-door neighbor’s window?” and she would reply that she had to “See what all the loud commotion was about.” The judge would then asked the peeper “What did you see?” and the witness, in hushed whispers, straightened her hat and leaned forward. “Well judge.” she replied, “They weren’t exactly playing Parcheesi, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.”

    That’s it for now, folks. I have an appointment with a masseuse on Buffalo Speedway, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Hey, Matt, are you sure it was called Bomba Theater? I thought it was called Jungle Theater (I remember the drawing of the African continent shown in background with the large white letters). You have an amazing memory to remember the scene you describe here!

      We LOVED Art Grindle!

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      “Then, during the commercial break, madman used-car dealer Art Grindell, cranked on black coffee, filter-less Camels and a fistful of Benzamine, would jump up and down on the roof of a ’52 Plymouth and scream “Look how solid this baby is!””

      LMAO

  79. Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

    Hey, who among you remembers Harold Gunn’s late night movie program with his send-ups of Dewey Compton (“Dewey Compost”) and commercial time skits. I think it was called Captain Gunn’s Theater of the Air, or some such.

  80. Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

    Just a note about the general subject of Friday nights as a kid in the Houston area. First of all, Friday night was the gateway to the weekend and the joy of what was to come was at a maximum Friday evenings. Second of all, the TV at the end of the Fifties was such that it enhanced the ecstasy of the unfolding of the two-day hiatus. The Flintsones, Twilight Zone, and later in the night, Friday Night Professional Wrestling (remember Paul Boesch?). There were other network broadcast TV programs (thinking “I’m Dickens, He’s Finster”) that added to the wonder of Friday night TV, but the main ones for me are the ones I mentioned above. Of course, part of the excitement was being allowed to stay up late (Wrestling came on at 10:30). Does anyone else want to weigh in on their Friday nights back in the day?

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      I meant “The Flintstones”, obviously.

      • Sharron Popovich Says:

        Yes, Nathan, I recall “Friay Night Wrestling” with Paul Boesch. Wasn’t it sponsored by Paabst Blue Ribbon Beer?

        And do you, or does anyone else, recall a drama called “Boston Blackie?” Or “Duffy’s Tavern?”

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Sharron, I do not remember ever watching “Boston Blackie” but you can see episodes on YouTube. “Duffy’s Tavern” sounds iconically familiar, but I can’t truly say I ever saw an episode.

  81. David Courtney Says:

    Over the years I have managed to get most of the old movies that came on “Weird” in a DVD form. But there was one movie that I have not been able to get. I do not know the name, but it was about a person who wakes up after an extended period to find that the city is abandoned. Slowly about a handful of people come together. Each one of them has a different story as to how they happen to be left. Quickly they realize that the reason the city was abandoned was because their are robots running around killing people with a death ray that comes out of a cathode ray tube in their heads. One by one this handful of people is killed, until they discover that a particular sound has the ability to shatter the CRTube and kill the robots.

    Does anyone remember the name of this movie?

  82. Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

    I wish that someone who has insider information, perhaps an old hand from the Channel 13 of the Sixties, would write the definitive essay on WEIRD’s run. It played such a big part in my entertainment as a young teen, that I find I always come back to thoughts of it, and the joy that it gave me. I have been to Channel 13′s site and there is absolutely nothing about it there.

    • David Courtney Says:

      On a slightly different note, I don’t see to many people talking about “Maryjane’s Magic Castle”

      • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

        David, as a kid I used to watch Maryjane’s occasionally, but I, like many kids my age, preferred Kitirik. But as puberty set in for me, I began to notice the rather brief outfit that “Maryjane” wore revealed a lady with a nice figure, and I would tune in just to feast my teenage eyes. As far as the program generally, I thought it was pretty much as entertaining as was that of Kitirik’s show.

    • BobB Says:

      Off topic slightly, there were two daytime TV shows I remember watching at age of about 4 or 5. “Rescue 8” and “Whirlybirds.” Anyone remember the years these played? I am trying to figure out my age when we finally got TV in the house

      • Beverley Says:

        I remember Whirlybirds and just googled it, which happily confirmed my memory of it from the late ’50s, specifically 1957-1960. It was produced by Desilu Productions as in I Love Lucy.

      • snpopovich Says:

        And I also recall “Whirlybirds.”

      • BobB Says:

        Thanks for the info. I was suspecting late 50s, but didn’t want to appear too old. I remember being able to watch my shows everyday between naps, and with no big sister (first grade or so) to interfere with girl stuff. It was definitely pre-K for me.

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Whirlybirds was one of those programs I never missed as a kid. I was fascinated with the helicopters, and the stories were always entertaining. Kenneth Tobey is always great fun to watch.

  83. Sharron Popovich Says:

    Hello, David Courtney, RE: your collection of “Weird” on DVD: Do you have any sets for sale?

    • Nathan Baxter Simar Says:

      Sharron, I think David is saying he has DVDs of the movies that were shown on WEIRD. I don’t think he means to say that these included the opening to that local program or any of the segments prior to or after commercial breaks. They are just the movies themselves.

      Just sayin’.

    • David Courtney Says:

      No, i’m not in that business but it is surprisingly easy to get. Most of these early films can be had by getting these “4 classic sci-fis for $4.99” type of deals that you find in Frys and similar places.

  84. Sharron Popovich Says:

    To Anyone who was/is a Bunny Orsak (Kitirik) fan:

    Is she still living?

    Is there any interest, method to get some sort of communication expressing, “We thank you & we love you” signed by as many of us possible, created and sent to her?

    Or maybe a large number of happy birthday wishes could be sent mailed/e-mailed to her.

    • Bobby Blankenship Says:

      Sharron that is a great idea presuming she is still living. Her love and sincere care for children is not seen today. She is the closest to being a saint that I can think of. Need to follow up on this.

  85. Shelly Says:

    Anyone remember Biff Collie? Big radio personality in the 40’s and 50’s in Houston. Had channel 2 TV show in the early 50’s.

  86. Ed Kakos Says:

    I watched Utah Carl a number of times on the Gulf Coast Jamboree sponsored by The Gulf Coast Furniture Warehouse in Alvin, Texas…if my mind is working correctly. The theme song was something like “I’m just a wonderer of the wasteland”.
    Liked watching Bomba and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle on Saturday mornings sponsored by Art Grindle. I loved it when he would sell cars for $29 that had to be pushed off the screen by a couple of lot workers.
    How about the Frito Bandito. Long before PC foolishness.
    The weather with Ku-U-Lani on early Channel 39, just before The Cisco Kid. I remember when The Larry Kane show (Channel 13) replaced American Bandstand, and always wondered (later) if the locals weren’t ready for integrated dancing on television, thus the local control of who and what was on local TV. Hurried home after school to watch Where The Action Is.

  87. Randy Markey Says:

    I have dozens of pictures of my Dad from KGUL and KHOU in the 50’s and 60’s. He was mostly a Producer, although he was the first host of Teen Hideaway before Larry Kane (long story). He was also a newscaster and had a few talk shows in the early 50’s. Does the name Paul Markey ring a bell with anyone? Thanks..

    • Carla Conrad Says:

      I have vague memories of Paul Markey, though Teen Hideaway came along before I was a teen. My memories of Larry Kane’s show were more vivid, possibly because I didn’t like it or him very much.

      I’ve been skimming these comments and I’m surprised no one has brought up Joanne King (now Herring), who had a noon television show; Dick Gottlieb; or Paul Berlin, long-time deejay with KNUZ.

    • Bill Bremer Says:

      Randy Markey, I would love to see photos of your Dad from KGUL and KHOU early days. You might also want to check out the more than 600 photos on the KPRC History Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KPRCHistory/manager

  88. Bobby Blankenship Says:

    I remember growing up in Alvin and still remember all of these recollections. My mom loved horror movies and we both looked forward to watching Wierd. I still have to chuckle when remembering Art Grindle selling cars and it’s true that he would have people pushing them out of the way. I believe he had a warranty of 30 days or 30 feet whichever came first. The Late Show and Movie For a Sunday Afternoon always had quality movies compared to some of the trash seen today. All the personalities such as Kitirik, No No the Clown, Mr. Caboose, Utah Carl and Paul Bosche doing Houston Wrestling. I thought Sid Lasher hung the moon because he would always mention something about “the friendly folks down in Brazosport” where so many of my family lived. We all cried when KHOU News announced his death at the beginning of the 10:00PM news then faded to black. Back during these days we received the 3 networks, independents Channels 39 and 16 along with a PBS channel through a small black and white connected to an antenna the we had to turn frequently to get a somewhat clear picture. Finally, the Astrodome and all the wonderful memories as a child. At the end of each Little League season we were treated to a trip to the Dome to watch the big boys play. I can still remember the first time entering the facility and standing in absolute awe as all the colors exploded at once. We had popcorn from a cone shaped container which doubled as a megaphone. The scoreboard would have a Longhorn shooting electronic fireworks when a home run was hit. Thank you all for sharing your memories as it’s always nice to drift back to a time when things were so simple and in a way innocent. Keep them comingf!!

  89. Gary Denton Says:

    1962 Space Angel “Light Barrier”

  90. Ben Dover Says:

    marcella perry was the heights’ savings person mentioned by a previous poster…who remembers ‘uncle bert’ lynn and his lap steel guitar?

  91. Jim Maenner Says:

    KILT was just one of the radio stations owned by Gordon McClendon. The “Old Scotsman” came up with the brilliant idea of TOP 40 radio which got it’s start with his stations. Buddy Covington was KILT station mgr. Remember the funky old black “Cellar ?” Then there was Love Street Light Circus & Feelgood Machine, La Maison, the Catacombs, & Mother Blues. Jock Mahoney and Jeana Claire & the Kiddie Troopers. Most folks never knew Jock was blind. Papa Burger open all night. Slenderbolic and Ace Rican Health Studios. The Beatles concert tickets were 5 dollars. KHOU-TV was originally KGUL located on Video Lane in Galveston. Camellia Ice Cream. Henke & Pillot Stores were the big competetion for Weingartens. Fed-Mart was the first “warehouse” style stores long before Costco & Sams’. Bunny Orsak, KiTiRiK was 19 years old when she applied for the job at Channel 13. Her mom made her costume. You can find video of Bunny on U-Tube when she visited KTRK a few years ago. She said she could still fit into the costume & could apply her “whiskers” without a mirror. Beautiful lady, great person and one “red hott mama !!!! She occasionally had her son who was only 2-3 years old on KiTiRiKs Carousel & he also wore black, had ears and whiskers. Of course this was several years into the show. She said the day they cancelled the show, she knew nothing at all about it until after the program.

  92. BobB Says:

    Off topic slightly, there were two daytime TV shows I remember watching at age of about 4 or 5. “Rescue 8″ and “Whirlybirds.” Anyone remember the years these played? I am trying to figure out my age when we finally got TV in the house

  93. Ronald Vaughan Says:

    Remember that KITIRIK had INSTRUMENTAL music–think it was the overture from “PETER PAN”. Can’t find such an album anywhere now though…..

  94. barnettrebecca@yahoo.com Says:

    Captain Kangaroo, “The Matinee”, a local Houston Talk Show. Did Dick Godlieb MC it?

  95. www jcpenney.com Says:

    www jcpenney.com

    Early Houston TV Programs & Personalities | The Pecan Park Eagle

  96. valerie Says:

    i need the ending of the millionaire story of william courtney. he inherited a castle in england. my copy ends with he’s telling the english girl he’s putting the castle back as was–and she’s with her fiancee actor richard ney who pretends that he is a nice guy. and sir william, an american is now walking away from them stating that he did the castle for the love of the girl… that’s it, please assist me. it is the 5th season, episode 16 1959–the millionaire tv series.

  97. A Baseball/Life Dictionary/Thesaurus Project | The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

    […] https://bill37mccurdy.com/2010/08/21/early-houston-tv-programs-personalities/ […]

  98. Cindy Shank Says:

    Mr. Caboose was my dad. He was a very nice man and truly enjoyed children…thank you for any nice thoughts and messages for him. He has passed on.

    • Ronald Vaughan Says:

      I’m still wondering why the history of CURLY FOX and TEXAS RUBY-in Houston for 11 years (1948-59) is curiously omitted from
      the history books. And FOX played steel guitar in a C&W band which I remember from about 1953….

    • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

      Cindy, your father was wonderful — he entertained my mornings for at least a year and his approach to the show was very original. Since I was crazy about trains at the time, the Caboose name really resonated with me.

      Many thumbs up!

    • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

      I picked up a couple of TV Guides from 1962-63 and found the listing for your dad’s show. “Mr. Caboose, Engineer”. It came on at 7:15 am (that is why I could see it before going to school) on channel 11 (KHOU).

      I also see that the show was being broadcast at 4:55 pm each day on the Beaumont station channel 12 (KBMT).

  99. snpopovich Says:

    Just last week I found CURLY FOX and TEXAS RUBY on Wikipedia, including photos.

  100. Shelly Alley Says:

    I would like to see more on Curly Fox and Texas Ruby and the musicians that backed them up…Paul Buskirk, Ozzie Middleton and others. BTW…Curly only played fiddle.

  101. Shelly Alley Says:

    Bob Dunn was a pioneer of Western Swing music. He was the first to amplify his steel guitar…just a lap top in those days.

  102. Marcus Vaughn Says:

    Oh boy do these posts bring back memories! I was born in Houston in 1963 and left in 1975. I have the best memories of Houston. Of course Kitirik and Marijane V. (she showed Popeye cartoons on her show). We lived at the end of South Main at Hiram Clark. I remember going past the Maclendon Triple Drive-In theater at night hoping to get a glimpse of a sexy scene. We shopped at Wiengardens, Mini-Max, Baby Giant and Rice Food Markets. Bought candy, Cokes and ICEE’S at U-Totem and ate hamburgers at Princess Drive-in. Went swimming at Gateway. We got the most delicious Chinese food at Lee’s Den, Steaks at The Stables and Bonanza’s, and Sea Food at Christi’s, Fishermans Wharf, Captn. Bennys on the Half Shell, and Mexican food at Monterey House.
    My Mom worked at a gift shop in Westbury Square called “The Gay Dot” lol! Does anyone else remember the large white castle near the Astrodome “Weatherby Arms Museum” it had a torture chamber and sold authentic “Nazi” war relics in the gift shop.
    I’ll never forget shopping at Sears on Main St. and visiting Santa there on the second floor in the furniture section.
    My half-sister’s uncle was “Smilin Jerry Jericho” and Willie Nelson lived with Uncle Richard “Jerry” for a while in the early 1960’s. Willie needed a car and Uncle Richard “Jerry” traded his used car for one of Willies songs called “Crazy” When Uncle Richard’s wife found out, she made Willie give back the keys to the car and chased him off of her front porch with a broom! The song went on to be a best seller for Patsy Cline. Jerry’s nephew is country singer/bandsman, Johnny Bush.
    On a sad note, my home was located only several blocks from the horrible “Boat shed” murders where many young men were buried.
    My sister had dated the lead detective “Carl” of the HPD, who became so depressed over the murders that he committed suicide shortly afterward.
    Does anyone else remember the Knight on horse back at Sonny Looks or the “Shrimp Stealer” giant shrimp with cowboy hat and six-shooters at a restaurant on South Main, or the little British taxi parked outside of “Ye Olde College Inn?”
    I do remember the “Late Show” theme song and Captain Harold’s Theatre of the Sky. I don’t remember a Channel 16, but I do remember channel 26 which was similar to Channel 39. Mom and I went to the “Steve Edwards Show” at Ch. 11 and Ron Stone came out and said hello to everyone before the show started, he was a very nice and warm fellow.
    Does anyone remember “Pepper Joe’s Fun Shop?” or the “Mod Box” the psychedelic gift shop at Astroworld, similar to the the Electric Paisley at Westbury Square.
    I have so many wonderful memories, I hope I haven’t bored yall to death by now. Thanks Houston, for being a wonderful place for a kid to grow up in. I’ll never forget ya!

    • Beverley Heffernan Says:

      I knew the horse the knight sat on at Sonny Looks!

      • Marcus Vaughn Says:

        I think the Knight was there only on Fri. and Sat. nights, and I never got to eat there but always wanted to.

        I also got to thinking about other neat eateries, one was on a freeway feeder road (which one I don’t recall) and I think it was called “Safari” with the dinning rooms dressed in a type of jungle decor and the food was very good. Another nice place was the “Velvet Turtle” near Sharpstown I think.

        There was also an interesting Greek restaurant in Montrose, though I don’t recall the name. My Dad took us there several times. It was not fancy, I think it was a converted old house with cheap paneling and Greek travel posters but the food was excellent.

  103. Kay Henderson Says:

    Johnny Nash sang on Matinee on KPRC for three years

    • Marcus Vaughn Says:

      I did not know that Kay. Is he from Houston? I do remember him singing the theme to the cartoon, “The Mighty Hercules” from the early/mid 1960’s.

      • Beverley Heffernan Says:

        I don’t know if Johnny Nash was a native Houstonian, but he was a neighbor of ours in the Woodway Square apartments in the early 70s.

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Wow, Beverley. Wasn’t Johnny a big pop singer star at that point in time? Was Woodway Square a luxury apartment complex?

      • Beverley Heffernan Says:

        His big hit ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ was out by then. Woodway Square I wouldn’t have called luxury though it is advertised as such these days, I see, but on the other hand lots of folks lived there, Marvin Zindler, a number of pro football players including Oilers QB Jerry Rhome and if memory serves a number of linemen from the Patriots. Oh and golfer Doug Sanders lived next door. The complex was transitioning to adults only at the time, but those with kids (including us) were grandfathered until they left. Of course the place went up spectacularly in flames in 1979 (we had moved out in ’72).

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Aha. I see. Very interesting.

  104. Marcus Vaughn Says:

    Yes, it does seem like it would have been an interesting place to live. Thanks for sharing!

  105. Minetheree Says:

    I played Love is blue (L’amour est bleu) on the The Don Mahoney and Jeana Clair and the Kiddie Troupers show.

    Channel 39 if I recall correctly. I think it was located at Westpark and Gessner, but these 50 some odd years ago memories aren’t for sure.

    • Marcus Vaughn Says:

      I vaguely remember The Don Mahoney and Jeana Clair show coming on Sunday mornings, right after the “Gospel Jubilee” show. I seem to remember Don owning a photography studio too which ran commercials during the show. They came to my Elm. school Halloween Carnival in 1973, (W.P. Hobby) and as the school was 80% black kids, they were practically boo-ed off the the stage and Don and Jeana seemed quite angry. Country and Western music just did not go over well with the urban kids to say the least.

  106. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    For those who are still interested in this topic, I have recently acquired a couple of TV Guides (Southeast Texas editions, so they have Houston channels), one from 1962 and another from 1963.

    Note: I would be about 12 at the time of these listings.

    A few observations:

    The first thing that came on Saturday mornings was RFD-TV, which was probably a farm report.

    Also on Saturdays: Sky King at 11 am, on channel 11, while Jungle Theater (featuring episodes of Sheena, QOTJ) came on channel 13. Mister Ed at 5:30, Perry Mason at 6:30, Leave It To Beaver at 7:30, and Have Gun Will Travel at 8:30; WEIRD wasn’t too weird in 1962, as the first feature was “Arson For Hire” and Late WEIRD was a very non-monster “Bury Me Dead”.

    I will talk about other days in subsequent posts. If you have any comments, please leave them and I will definitely read them and respond.

    • Shelly Alley Says:

      Biff Collie had a TV show on Channel 2 about 1956. I’m looking for any footage from his shows. It was a music show with local entertainers.

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Shelly, thanks for the reply.

        I was 5 years old in 1956, and the Mickey Mouse Club was about the only thing I was aware of on our black and white set.

        Good luck finding footage of Biff. I am assuming you have already searched YouTube.

      • Shelly Alley Says:

        I spoke to Ted Shaw, who used to do weather for Channel 2, and he said most all of the old TV tapes had been destroyed when the new people came in. Really a bummer! Thanks for getting back to me.

      • Jim Bell Says:

        TV networks and TV stations everywhere had toss their old 2-inch video tapes because were on big reels in big individual boxes that took up a lot of space. Many were kept and erased for re-use, but keeping all of them wasn’t an option. This was long before tapes could be digitized and stored in computers.

      • Ronald Vaughan Says:

        Actually,some TV shows were on kinescope (film) as late as 1956.

        I myself am looking for old Curly Fox TV shows,ca.1953-56. They are mysteriously omitted from his history!

    • Beverley Heffernan Says:

      RFD was indeed a farm report hosted by Dewey Compton. Before Sky King at 11, there were cartoons plus Roy Rogers, Fury, My Friend Flicka.

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Yes, that is right, Beverley, according to the TV Guide. I loved My Friend Flicka in particular, and I was not much of a western/horse fan. But Flicka’s stories were always good.

        The infamous Dewey Compton, with his distinctive voice. I remember the send up that they did of him on Captain Harold’s show on Saturday nights in the later 60s.

        The character was named Dewey COMPOST!!! So funny!

  107. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    Shelley, that is depressing news indeed, but then no one ever understands the value of such things at the time that they see fit to obliterate them.

  108. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    To continue our perusal of vintage TV Guides, here is what Sundays looked like in the early 60s:

    Sunday mornings were all religious programming, all the time (although channel 13 took mercy on kids like me with “Cartoons” at 9 am — which I missed, of course, because I was at Sunday School).

    After the noon hour, they relented with lots of movies and sports shows. An opera at 3:00 on channel 2. Sunday afternoon was also awash in news and commentary programs like Meet the Press.

    It wasn’t until about 6 pm that they threw us kids a sop with Bullwinkle and Lassie competing with each other.

    I have no doubt that I was watching Dennis the Menace a half hour later. Oddly enough I don’t remember my parents watching Ed Sullivan (at 7) but I might have just wandered away from the TV at that hour.

    Eight o’clock was Bonanza time, although we couldn’t enjoy the color production on our strictly B&W set.

    And to end the night on a cheerful note, I never missed an episode of Allen Funt’s “Candid Camera” at 9 pm.

    Late Sunday was movie extravaganza, with channel 2 starting a flick at 10:40.

    • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

      More from the 62-63 Southeast Texas TV Guides as regards listings for Mondays on Houston channels:

      The first program listed for the day is Continental Classroom, an NBC educational program talking about, for instance, “Atomic Age Physics: Scintillation and Cerenkov Counters” — pretty sophisticated subject matter, no?

      Cadet Don, I note, actually aired twice in the morning, first at 6:30, then again at 8:00. However, at this point, I would have been tuning in to Mr. Caboose at 7:15 on ch 11.

      Other daytime (many syndicated) programs:
      I Love Lucy
      Pete and Gladys
      Truth or Consequences.

      Just in time for lunch, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Ann Sothern competing. (I would have watched the latter, for sure)

      Besides loads of soap operas, you could also see The Loretta Young Show, a favorite of mine, at 2:00 and The Millionaire at 2:30 (I chose the latter over the Jane Wyman drama on the other channel).

      I would surely have caught Make Room For Daddy because I would have been home from school by 3:30.

      I notice a 4:00 program Happy Hollow on channel 2 — does anyone remember tuning in to this kids show??? It was a competitor to Kitirik.

      And then there’s channel 11’s 4:00 movie, which I believe was called The Early Show. Can anyone confirm this?

      Yogi Bear at 5:30! Yes!

      Monday evenings in 1963 you could choose among:

      I’ve Got A Secret, Hennesey (at 7)
      Rifleman, Lucille Ball Show (7:30)
      Stoney Burke (8:00)
      Andy Griffith (8:30) a fave of mine
      Ben Casey (9:00) never got into this doctor opera
      The Third Man (at 9:30) I actually thought this was syndicated and showing late night, so this is a surprise to see

      News, Sports, Weather spanning the 10-10:30 slot.

      And reruns of Adventures in Paradise on ch 13 at 10:20.

      The last shows to air were at 12 am: News(with Sid Lasher) and Midnight with Marietta.

  109. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    TO WHOMEVER RUNS THE PECAN PARK EAGLE site, please never let this thread be deleted, because, at least to me, it is a treasure.

    Thank you.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Nathan – Don’t worry. As the owner of The Pecan Park Eagle site, I turn 79 on New Year’s Eve, but I plan to keep the site going as the active publisher, editor, and principal column writer for as long as I am alive and able to keep doing what makes me wake up every day and look forward to continue building the kind of freely spoken oral history of Houston we have going here as an ongoing file on so many fronts. I’m in the process of working out the contingency plan for how this work shall be archived and continued after I’m gone.

      The Pecan Park Eagle is so much more than any one single column and topic. Since we began to publish in 2009, the 2,500th topic will “go to press” whenever I publish the next topic, either tonight or tomorrow.

      I also promise to write a column on the continuity plan whenever it does get worked out. All I know is that it won’t be soon. I’m looking for trusted assurances of continuity that are firm.

      Thanks for your interest and wonderful support!

      And Happy, Happy Holidays to You, One – and You All!

      Sincerely,

      Bill McCurdy
      Owner, Publisher, Editor, & Principal Column Writer
      The Pecan Park Eagle

      houston.buff37@gmail.com

  110. Our Houston Baseball Christmas Story | The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

    […] https://bill37mccurdy.com/2010/08/21/early-houston-tv-programs-personalities/ […]

  111. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    More from the 62-63 Southeast Texas TV Guides as regards listings for Mondays on Houston channels:

    The first program listed for the day is Continental Classroom, an NBC educational program talking about, for instance, “Atomic Age Physics: Scintillation and Cerenkov Counters” — pretty sophisticated subject matter, no?

    Cadet Don, I note, actually aired twice in the morning, first at 6:30, then again at 8:00. However, at this point, I would have been tuning in to Mr. Caboose at 7:15 on ch 11.

    Other daytime (many syndicated) programs:
    I Love Lucy
    Pete and Gladys
    Truth or Consequences.

    Just in time for lunch, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Ann Sothern competing. (I would have watched the latter, for sure)

    Besides loads of soap operas, you could also see The Loretta Young Show, a favorite of mine, at 2:00 and The Millionaire at 2:30 (I chose the latter over the Jane Wyman drama on the other channel).

    I would surely have caught Make Room For Daddy because I would have been home from school by 3:30.

    I notice a 4:00 program Happy Hollow on channel 2 — does anyone remember tuning in to this kids show??? It was a competitor to Kitirik.

    And then there’s channel 11’s 4:00 movie, which I believe was called The Early Show. Can anyone confirm this?

    Yogi Bear at 5:30! Yes!

    Monday evenings in 1963 you could choose among:

    I’ve Got A Secret, Hennesey (at 7)
    Rifleman, Lucille Ball Show (7:30)
    Stoney Burke (8:00)
    Andy Griffith (8:30) a fave of mine
    Ben Casey (9:00) never got into this doctor opera
    The Third Man (at 9:30) I actually thought this was syndicated and showing late night, so this is a surprise to see

    News, Sports, Weather spanning the 10-10:30 slot.

    And reruns of Adventures in Paradise on ch 13 at 10:20.

    The last shows to air were at 12 am: News(with Sid Lasher) and Midnight with Marietta.

    • Beverley Heffernan Says:

      I only remember Captain Bob as Kitirik’s competitor on Channel 2. Used to see him driving around town in his Isetta.

      Obscure trivia, the Rifleman’s horse was purchased at a sale of Hollywood horses and spent his retirement years in Houston.

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        I appreciate the reply, Beverley. Yes, I have seen the other posts on Captain Bob, but I never saw his show when I was a kid. Do you remember what years his show aired, and on what channel? He must have been the only person in town with an Isetta, eh?

        Wow, really. I don’t remember the Rifleman’s horse figuring large in the series, or hearing him say the name of the horse, but how cool that it should retire to Houston.

        TO BE VERY HONEST, I really do appreciate any remembrances that readers of this thread who lived in the Boomer years of Houston TV can share. And any general comments about the programs that I mention in my posts are welcome as well.

      • Beverley Heffernan Says:

        Captain Bob’s show was certainly on in 1960 because I had my 8th birthday there! However I just went googling and found this information posted by his son at http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/1456-kitirik-tv-show/:

        My father was Captain Bob on KPRC in the late 50’s and 60’s. He actually had 3 childrens t.v. shows. The first ws Looney Town and that was a rival show that competed in the same time slot as Kitirik. He also had a show on Saturday Mornings called Today is Saturday which was formatted like the Today show on NBC. He had guests like John Wehrler from the Zoo and cartoons and science films. He had another show on Saturdays which someone earlier was confusing. It was called Looney Auction and you did collect looney bucks from Carnation milk and the rainbo Bread company. We used to ride around in the Isetta. He used that for promotions and parades. The picture that was shown was not of his car. His had a big white admiral cap on top big plastic eyes and a smile painted on the front so it looked like a face. I hadn’t thought about this in a long time. I used to get kidded at school about all of this but it had its perks. Rodeos circuses concerts parades celebrities. We got to meet every star that came to town for the rodeo or T.V. stars appearing at channel 2. Quite a crazy time.

        There is another informative post right under this one on the page, but my computer is acting up so I can’t copy and paste just now.

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Beverley, thanks greatly for the info on Captain Bob. He was quite a busy fellow. And how lucky was his son?!? Somehow, his shows flew under my radar. I don’t ever remember seeing any of his shows.

  112. Lee Says:

    4 pm was called the Early Show. Right b4 that I think it was Who Do You Trust ? with Johnny Carson host

    • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

      Lee! Thanks for that confirmation on The Early Show.

      And, yes, Who Do You Trust? was indeed the program before — both in 1962 and in 1963. I think I probably watched it whenever I could, because I liked those quiz show type programs.

  113. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    More from the 62-63 Southeast Texas TV Guides as regards listings for Tuesdays on Houston channels:

    Daytime on Tuesdays meant loads of quiz shows. Here’s a list:

    Play Your Hunch 9:30 Ch2
    Price Is Right 10:00 Ch2
    Concentration 10:30 Ch2
    Your First Impression 11:00 Ch2
    Truth or Consequences 11:30 Ch2
    Password 1:00 Ch11
    To Tell The Truth 2:00 Ch11
    Match Game 3:00 Ch2
    Queen For a Day 3:00 Ch11
    Who Do You Trust 3:30 Ch11

    And the evening line-up includes:

    Combat at 6:30 on Ch13
    Empire (no, not THAT Empire) at 7:30 on 2 (Drama, this time with Inger Stevens)
    Red Skelton, at the same time as above on 11
    Hawaiian Eye competing with the aforementioned couple of programs airing at 7:30
    At 8:00, you had a choice between The Untouchables on 13 and Jack Benny on 11
    Garry Moore at 9:00 on Ch11
    Peter Gunn at 9:30 on Ch2
    If you wanted documentary type fare, you could tune into ch13 at 9:30 for Close-Up

    After the news, sports, and weather, you could catch the Late Show on Ch11 or you could choose channel 13’s syndicated series Wire Service (I need to look up the show on YouTube)
    After the aforementioned drama on 13, you could see another syndicated crime series Follow That Man

    And, of course, Sid Lasher or Marietta in the midnight hour.

    Cue the national anthem.

    • Beverley Heffernan Says:

      Concentration was hosted by Hugh Downs, Price is Right by Bill Cullen, Truth or Consequences by Bob Barker, Password by Allen Ludden, To Tell the Truth Garry Moore, Match Game Gene Rayburn, Queen for a day Jack ???

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        That would be Jack Bailey, Beverley.

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        Okay, Wednesdays in Houston area 1962-1963:

        A note about morning shows in 1963 — reruns of Amos and Andy replaced Jack LaLane. I loved that show and it never crossed my mind that there was something called racism involved. I had seen plenty of the same sort of characters in lily-white sitcoms.

        The spirituals chorals that served for the over-the-credits music at program end were ethereal and curiously comforting.

        Highway Patrol reruns at 12:30 pm on ch2.

        Art Linkletter’s House Party on 11 at 1:30 (Kids say the darndest things), or you could catch a rerun of Dragnet on 13.

        Dick Tracy cartoons at 4:00 — I can still here the theme song in my head.

        I remember coming home from school and the TV was tuned to channel 11 and Mahalia Jackson was singing hymns. Deeply spiritual, that lady.

        But what I was waiting for, as a 10 year old, was Rocky and His Friends at 4:30 on ch13, and then Whirlybirds on ch11 at 5:30.

        This was the Age of the TV Western, so in one year you could see The Virginian or Wagon Train on different channels at the same time.

        In ’63, I would have been watching Dobie Gillis at 7:30 on CBS (Ch11), but a year earlier, I would instead be watching Top Cat on ch13.

        In 1963, you would be definitely watching The Beverly Hillbillies at 8:00 on 11 (take a hike, Perry Como).

        And stay tuned on the same station for The Dick Van Dyke Show at 8:30.

        Beyond that, there was not much to entertain a kid. I would develop an appreciation for Naked City many years down the road, but at the time, it was way too adult for me.

        After news, sports, and weather, you could take in a number of movies (particularly, The Late Show, on ch11) or The Tonight Show on 2.

        Channel 13 liked to show syndicated reruns of Bourbon Street Beat, Riverboat, Not For Hire, and Follow That Man after the news, depending on the year.

        PLEASE CONTINUE TO SHARE YOUR MEMORIES OF THE PROGRAMMING OF THE TIME. It is much appreciated!

      • Shelly Alley Says:

        Queen For A Day host was Jack Bailey

      • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

        And what did Thursdays look like on Houston TV back in 1962-1963?

        Well, in the daytime, pretty much the same as the listings for other weekdays at the time, but a few observations–

        The first program to air (indeed on every week day) is Operation Lift, an educational show, the subject of which is never commented on by the guide. 5:00 on KTRK

        A word about Mr. Caboose, the kid show that came on at 7:15 am, perfect for watching after getting dressed for school: the attraction for the show, besides the goofy antics of the title character, was Mr. Bookworm — a counterpart to Captain Kangaroo’s hand puppet Bunny Rabbit. However, Bookworm could speak, and to my 10 year old mind, he was particularly sophisticated in comparison to other kid show puppets. His banter was contemptuous of Mr. C and full of apparent precocious sarcasm. Voiced by a person whose name I used to know but have since forgotten, it was like listening to a beatnik entozoon. A lot of fun, trust me.

        At noon, the perfect choice for a lunch watch, the comedy Topper aired on ch2. Especially fun was the alcoholic St. Bernard Neal.

        Oh, and as I run down the afternoon shows, I see — Captain Bob!!! At 3:30 on channel 2. I would miss it because I would be getting home about 3:55 each afternoon.

        Interesting that one of the relative paucity of COLOR shows, was the cartoon show Dick Tracy at 4:00 on 2.

        Note that in 1962, channel 2 showed a movie at the same time as the Early Show on 11.

        The evening:

        After the new, sports, and weather, we would have been watching Ozzie and Harriet on ch13, The Other Television Ricky!

        At 7:00, we would be watching Donna Reed. Never mind Shelly Fabares, I had a crush on Donna!

        I don’t think we watched Dr. Kildare on ch2 at 7:30. The Real McCoys on 13 was more our speed (BTW, my mother’s maiden name was McCoy!)

        A show listed as “The Astronauts” aired at 8:00 but I knew it as “Men In Space” (y’all remember William Lundigan?), and altho I loved My Three Sons on another channel, I would definitely favor “…Space”, and the parents were fine with that, thank goodness.

        It was downhill from there, as 8:30 featured variety show The Lively Ones and western story Zane Grey Theater, and proto-reality show Man and the Challenge.

        At 9:00 there was no Sing(ing) Along With Mitch in our household, so the parents would enjoy The Untouchables (for some mob magic), and I would probably head for bed.

        You would have the usual mix of movies, The Tonight Show, and reruns after the news. But in 1962, you could exercise with Debbie Drake at 10 after midnight(!?) if you wished. Who would do this?

        And with that, Thursday was kaput.

  114. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    Okay, Wednesdays in Houston area 1962-1963:

    A note about morning shows in 1963 — reruns of Amos and Andy replaced Jack LaLane. I loved that show and it never crossed my mind that there was something called racism involved. I had seen plenty of the same sort of characters in lily-white sitcoms.

    The spirituals chorals that served for the over-the-credits music at program end were ethereal and curiously comforting.

    Highway Patrol reruns at 12:30 pm on ch2.

    Art Linkletter’s House Party on 11 at 1:30 (Kids say the darndest things), or you could catch a rerun of Dragnet on 13.

    Dick Tracy cartoons at 4:00 — I can still here the theme song in my head.

    I remember coming home from school and the TV was tuned to channel 11 and Mahalia Jackson was singing hymns. Deeply spiritual, that lady.

    But what I was waiting for, as a 10 year old, was Rocky and His Friends at 4:30 on ch13, and then Whirlybirds on ch11 at 5:30.

    This was the Age of the TV Western, so in one year you could see The Virginian or Wagon Train on different channels at the same time.

    In ’63, I would have been watching Dobie Gillis at 7:30 on CBS (Ch11), but a year earlier, I would instead be watching Top Cat on ch13.

    In 1963, you would be definitely watching The Beverly Hillbillies at 8:00 on 11 (take a hike, Perry Como).

    And stay tuned on the same station for The Dick Van Dyke Show at 8:30.

    Beyond that, there was not much to entertain a kid. I would develop an appreciation for Naked City many years down the road, but at the time, it was way too adult for me.

    After news, sports, and weather, you could take in a number of movies (particularly, The Late Show, on ch11) or The Tonight Show on 2.

    Channel 13 liked to show syndicated reruns of Bourbon Street Beat, Riverboat, Not For Hire, and Follow That Man after the news, depending on the year.

    PLEASE CONTINUE TO SHARE YOUR MEMORIES OF THE PROGRAMMING OF THE TIME. It is much appreciated!

  115. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    And what did Thursdays look like on Houston TV back in 1962-1963?

    Well, in the daytime, pretty much the same as the listings for other weekdays at the time, but a few observations–

    The first program to air (indeed on every week day) is Operation Lift, an educational show, the subject of which is never commented on by the guide. 5:00 on KTRK

    A word about Mr. Caboose, the kid show that came on at 7:15 am, perfect for watching after getting dressed for school: the attraction for the show, besides the goofy antics of the title character, was Mr. Bookworm — a counterpart to Captain Kangaroo’s hand puppet Bunny Rabbit. However, Bookworm could speak, and to my 10 year old mind, he was particularly sophisticated in comparison to other kid show puppets. His banter was contemptuous of Mr. C and full of apparent precocious sarcasm. Voiced by a person whose name I used to know but have since forgotten, it was like listening to a beatnik entozoon. A lot of fun, trust me.

    At noon, the perfect choice for a lunch watch, the comedy Topper aired on ch2. Especially fun was the alcoholic St. Bernard Neal.

    Oh, and as I run down the afternoon shows, I see — Captain Bob!!! At 3:30 on channel 2. I would miss it because I would be getting home about 3:55 each afternoon.

    Interesting that one of the relative paucity of COLOR shows, was the cartoon show Dick Tracy at 4:00 on 2.

    Note that in 1962, channel 2 showed a movie at the same time as the Early Show on 11.

    The evening:

    After the new, sports, and weather, we would have been watching Ozzie and Harriet on ch13, The Other Television Ricky!

    At 7:00, we would be watching Donna Reed. Never mind Shelly Fabares, I had a crush on Donna!

    I don’t think we watched Dr. Kildare on ch2 at 7:30. The Real McCoys on 13 was more our speed (BTW, my mother’s maiden name was McCoy!)

    A show listed as “The Astronauts” aired at 8:00 but I knew it as “Men In Space” (y’all remember William Lundigan?), and altho I loved My Three Sons on another channel, I would definitely favor “…Space”, and the parents were fine with that, thank goodness.

    It was downhill from there, as 8:30 featured variety show The Lively Ones and western story Zane Grey Theater, and proto-reality show Man and the Challenge.

    At 9:00 there was no Sing(ing) Along With Mitch in our household, so the parents would enjoy The Untouchables (for some mob magic), and I would probably head for bed.

    You would have the usual mix of movies, The Tonight Show, and reruns after the news. But in 1962, you could exercise with Debbie Drake at 10 after midnight(!?) if you wished. Who would do this?

    And with that, Thursday was kaput.

  116. nathansimarsquashpants Says:

    My final post about the 1962-63 vintage TV Guides that I picked up on eBay.

    This one is about Fridays — a few observations from both issues.

    Of course, you get all the same programs you got on Mondays-Thursdays, so I will mention programs I have not as yet addressed.

    In ’63, channel 11 showed reruns of the Real McCoys (as The McCoys) at 10 am. At the same time on channel 13, it was December Bride, and I would have been watching that.

    Oh, and of course, Pete and Gladys (a spinoff of Bride) followed, on channel 11(!?).

    The Mickey Mouse Club was still airing (TMMC was the earliest show I ever remembered as a kid, and that earliest memory of watching it was when I was a 4-year-old) on NBC at 4:30, but I had grown beyond its charms by this time.

    In ’63, Jungle Theater was showing at 5 pm on 13 (opposite Sea Hunt on 11), and the day in this issue was a Jungle Jim episode. Remember Jungle Jim? He was played by former Tarzan Johnny Weismuller.

    At 5:30 on ch2 you could watch Chris Chandler opine about things Houston. Or you could watch Popeye on ch13. I would take the sailor man every time.

    After the nightly news, etc, most people were watching Rawhide on CBS. I remember us visiting some people who, at that time, were watching International Showtime (on 2) with the estimable Don Ameche hosting. I was fascinated by all the tiny outfits worn by the female performers. No videos on YouTube from this show unfortunately.

    You could Sing Along With Mitch at 7:30 in ’63, if you wanted to, but most people were watching either Route 66 on channel 11, or The Flintstones on 13. I would be choosing the latter.

    And, I would definitely be watching I’m Dickens, He’s Finster at 8 on the same channel. John Astin, before The Addams Family.

    With a choice between The Price is Right on 2, Alfred Hitchcock on 11, and 77 Sunset Strip on 13, I would have been hard put to choose but at the time, The Twilight Zone was NOT airing in the familiar 9 pm Friday night slot, so it really didn’t matter. That time only had a single entry of Jack Paar, a totally non-child-friendly bit of fluff.

    Since it was Friday night, I would certainly be staying up to watch Professional Wrestling (hosted by Paul Boesch) on ch13. Followed by Boris Karloff’s Thriller an hour later at 11:20.

    Not much else to see beyond that — with the final show being the 1:00 am news with Sid Lasher.

    I would turn in at 12:20 to get my sleep before the limitless bounds of Saturday.

  117. Minetheree Says:

    a lot of good stuff via that google https://youtu.be/BnyjsTFJRtE

  118. snpopovich Says:

    Does anyone remember going to “Someburger” on/or near north Lee Drive in Baytown? Seems it was not far from the Sears where we kids saw and spoke to Santa each year. And is that big tree still in the middle of Main Street in Baytown? Spent many Saturday mornings as a kid with friends in a movie theater on Main. Filled up on non-nutritious candy, even Luden’s cough drops. Liked “Casper Ghost” cartoons the best; everyone cheered when it came on. Didn’t care for the gangster or cowboy B&W serials. Never seemed to be a “movie” showing, just the above.

    • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

      I lived in the Houston/Galveston area and almost never got to Baytown, but I remember a drive-in called Someburger somewhere in the metropolitan area. Unfortunately never had a minute to eat there. Sounded good, though, you know, mom and pop business — non-franchise, handmade burgers.

  119. CindyG Says:

    I have so enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I moved to Houston in 1970 and remember watching Cadet Don and listening to KNUZ on AM radio. My mom always had it on in the morning before we went to school. I remember collecting bottles and taking them to the 7-11 for a nickle a piece and spending the money on candy! Loved watching Clutch Cargo and Speed Racer on Channel 39! And on Sundays I LOVED Don Mahoney and Jeanna Clare!
    We listened to Paul Berlin and loved the music on KNUZ and later KQUE.
    I grew up in Friendswood, went off to college at Trinity University and eventually worked in TV and Radio. In 1988 I landed a job at KQUE and was fortunate enough to work with Paul Berlin and Ronny Renfro and lots of other amazing radio personalities. Great memories.
    I wish someone would do a documentary about the “old” Houston radio and TV days.
    🙂

    • nathansimarsquashpants Says:

      Hey, Cindy! By 1970, I was no longer a kid, but I still loved Houston TV. And, yes,I DO remember Clutch Cargo and Speed Racer on the UHF station, channel 39. You seriously like Don and Jeanna? I thought it was pretty lame with those Kiddie Troopers. I wasn’t a big fan of C&W culture to say the least. Don’s blind stare kinda creeped me out.

      And what Boomer kid never collected empty soda bottles? And we bought either candy, cokes, comic books, or combinations thereof.

      How nice that you ended up in broadcasting. I didn’t listen to KQUE but I knew of it.

      And I am with you on wishing someone local would care enough to make a documentary about those days.

  120. Ed Says:

    I read numerous comments on here about a local Saturday night horror movie show called “Weird” and there are discussions about the music that introduced Weird. Weird came along along after I left Houston, but I watched a Saturday night show in the nineteen fifties that featured the old Universal horror movies from the nineteen thirties and forties. I believe this show was on Channel 11 when the station was still called KGUL. The show may have been called Shock Theater, hosted by Jim Ross, but that could have been another show. Anyway, the theme music that introduced this show was an old waltz called “Fascination”, which became briefly popular after it was featured in the Gary Cooper / Aubrey Hepburn film “Love in the Afternoon”. This horror movie show opened with a syrupy sweet violin instrumental of Fascination that was completely unsuitable for a show that featured horror movies. Every time I tuned in to watch the horror movies I couldn’t help but think “I wonder what idiot picked Fascination as the theme music for a Saturday night horror movie show”. Maybe they were trying to be ironic.

  121. Ed Says:

    I’ve been reading all these interesting comments and in response to Ronald Vaughan’s March 26, 2014 comment about a myth surrounding Houston TV station KLEE, here’s some additional information about the KLEE myth that some folks might find interesting: Those who are not as old as I am may not remember that KLEE was Houston’s first TV station. KLEE TV went on the air in 1949, but it had financial problems and in 1950 KLEE TV was bought by the Houston Post and the name was changed to KPRC-TV to match the call letters of the AM radio station that was already owned by the Post. The mystery started in 1953 when a broadcast from KLEE TV was received in England– three years after KLEE went off the air! I was only a kid at the time, but I remember people talking about this mystery. It seems that a man in England photographed the KLEE test pattern on a British TV set as proof that he received the signal. In those early days, TV stations spent hours every day broadcasting “test patterns”, which included the stations call letters. Some people said the KLEE signal bounced off of a distant planet and was reflected back to earth. Other people said the signal was sent back to us by extraterrestrials who were trying to make contact. In the end it turned out to be a hoax, but many people continued to believe it actually happened. The problem is, in 1953, TV stations in the US transmitted a picture with 525 scanning lines at 30 frames per second and TV receivers in England could only receive pictures with 405 lines at 24 frames per second. This technical difference made the two TV systems totally incompatible. In other words, an English TV set could not display a US TV signal.
    I was into electronics as a kid, and I was fascinated by television, so I was aware that the scanning rate in the two countries was different, and there was never any doubt in my mind that this was a hoax. It was later discovered that a con man in England was trying to sell “long-distance” TV sets to gullible people and he faked the KLEE test pattern to prove that his long distance TV set worked. However, he didn’t research changes to the names of US TV stations, so he didn’t know that KLEE went off the air three years before he faked the photo of the KLEE test pattern.

  122. snpopovich Says:

    Marietta Marich passed away Sept. 28, 2017. Some of you might remember her from “Midnight With Marietta” on early Houston television, her work in theatre productions (“Gypsy” and “Li’l Abner”), and films. Her husband, Bob Marich, (RIP), was also very involved in Houston television. Both were pioneers of the medium, and both were very nice people who gave much of themselves to us.

    • Minetheree Says:

      I don’t recall the name, but that means little, I don’t recall more and more as time goes on.

      RIP

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      That’s sad news, Minetheree, but thank you for bringing it to us. Marietta Marich and her husband Bob Marich were very important to the history of local television, especially of Channel 2. Marietta had her own show, aptly called “Naughty Marietta” in memory of that old Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy movie of the same title. As an adolescent of the 1950s, I will always recall too the large crush I had for her terrific smiling eyes and beautiful singing voice. – God Bless You Forever, Marietta! – The gift of your presence wasn’t lost on the people of Houston in those early TV days and the energy it stirred in all of us who were here at the time flows on to the end of time now as your gift to life.

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