If you were lucky enough to have seven TV channels (in New York and Los Angeles) – there was always something to watch. After school – New York’s WNEW-TV (channel 5) and WPIX-TV (channel 11) gave us a diverse line-up of kid’s shows and cartoons. It was also the era for local personalities. Here, WPIX-TV has six.
There was plenty to go around: cartoons, super marionation (Stingray), live action (Superman) and of course – Bozo the Clown.
Back then, WPIX-TV children’s programming brought in the bulk of the station’s advertising dollars – and, as you see here – a 1966 advertiser presentation pitching the channel 11 kid’s lineup. WPIX-TV scheduled this programming around noon – then again late afternoon into early evening – as late as 7pm.
Here’s a rare look at just what the station was telling the advertising community – and a fond look back at “the old” channel 11.
Check out the “Barney Google” cartoon. It’s the first time I heard the word, “Google.”
Below – New York radio DJ icon Frankie Crocker did a short stint hosting a Saturday night music show over WPIX-TV. “Electric Village” didn’t last long and at the time, Crocker was a “Soul” DJ at WWRL – but wanted to broaden his appeal. A year later – he would be heard on top-40 station WMCA. This was after Clay Cole left his music show and comes to us from September, 1968:
What? – New York’s Joe Franklin Endorsed An Elvis Presley Replacement?
The Hours Between 6p And 11p Could Be Moneymakers For Stations
“Teen Idol” DJ’s
Since Alan Freed began playing rock ‘n roll on evening radio – there was no doubt – the evening DJ could bring in tons of ratings and revenue. Back then – many radio stars were born out of the 6p-11p area time slot – even with prime-time television viewing. Mostly teens and young adults listened, but, if you had them – you could have big ratings. At times – their average audience share could be bigger than the rest of the station.
The teen DJ set the tone for the next morning as well. If you listened at night – chances are – you had the same station tuned-in the following morning.
Every city had these night DJ stars – and New York City was no exception. Besides Alan Freed – there was – Paul Sherman, Bruce Morrow, Murray the K, Scott Muni, B. Mitchel Reed, Gary Stevens, George Michael, Chuck Lenoard – and others.
Unlike today, this could be a huge advertisingrevenue. I found this from Spring of 1966. Holding the 7 to 11p shift at WMCA – Gary Stevens was then, New York City’s #1 evening personality – and within a year – had served-up over 200 sponsors. Unheard of in modern radio.
Stevens just came off 20 shares in the New York radio ratings – beating big-time rival “Cousin” Bruce Morrow – with a 12 share.
This was an era when all evening radio was live. In many places today, it can be voice-tracked – especially in medium and smaller markets – and, some large markets contain voice-tracking between 6p and 6a.
Most of those who grew up during the 1960′s and 1970′s – can name their favorite DJ – and usually – they came from the evening hours. Do you remember?
It Still Holds Up – The “Circle 7″ TV Channel Logo
You see it on WABC-TV, KGO-TV, WXYZ-TV and WLS-TV, KABC-TV – that “7″ and the circle that wraps it.
It’s been with us since 1962 when KGO-TV hired an ad agency to design it. Quickly – WABC-TV New York, WXYZ-TV Detroit and WBKB-TV (later WLS-TV) in Chicago & KABC-TV Los Angeles began using the circle 7 logo. All are channel 7 TV stations – and at the time – all five were owned by ABC. Today, they still use it.
Just after this time – WPIX-TV New York - liked it so much, they had their version – a circle around an “11″ – their assigned channel number. Many other stations did variations – such as WKBW-TV (channel 7) in Buffalo.
But, the original is still the best.
This was a time when TV station ID’s – featuring channel designations, were used at the top and bottom of each half hour. They were actual slides – a work of art onto themselves.
Let’s go back to the summer of 1962 – when it all began at KGO-TV San Francisco…
It’s really no mystery – the voice of the original Fred Flintstone – and the one that set the character forever is that of the late actor – Alan Reed.
He’s probably known for the most memorable single cartoon voice of all time.
But – It’s really hard to get a hold of Reed. You’d see him in a movie – and – flash, he was gone. You wanted to hear his voice – because – really – Fred Flintstone is much more prominent than Alan Reed ever was. Don’t get me wrong, Reed did lots of movies and television – but, let’s face it – more people know his voice because of “The Flintstones.” He also looks a bit like the cartoon character.
Reed died in 1977 – and newer Flintstone cartoons used an imitation of Reed. The original is always the best.
Fascinating Facts – TV Trivia – Real Police Lineups Featured On NY TV Station…
Back we go to 1962… TV station WUHF-TV (channel 31) and the NYPD had a great idea – transmit police line-ups on the station – then, set up remote receivers in various locations throughout New York City - so the line-up could be viewed remotely.
Real criminals on TV. Yes, the “broadcasts” were scrambled at the time – another novelty – but – the idea was way ahead of its time. Apparently the idea was to make it easier for folks to identify “criminals” - and thus, get better results. Here’s the article – just click to read:
White Rock Soda
From Melinda H – Hello Mr. Pop. I hope you can help. I’m looking for a White Rock soda commercial that used the Seekers’ “Georgy Girl” as the melody. I still remember the words – “Hey there White Rock Girl… bubbly, exciting White Rock Girl…”
Mr. Pop History – It’s a great one. Listen to this commercial. It’s so darn catchy. I remember this before the song became a hit. Just as the movie “Georgy Girl” came out in 1966, this commercial began. When the song became a hit. I remember thinking – “Georgy Girl? – this is the White Rock commercial?” So, in this instance, the commercial was using the movie theme, not the hit song. This commercial is perfect – and timed impeccably – right up to 60 seconds with no fill.
“You’re the girl whose always zingee… swingee and spark-e-ling.” Gotta love it! It’s sooo 1960’s when it seemed – everything was “swinging.”
Here it is – The White Rock soda radio commercial – first aired in the summer of 1966 and ran through the summer of 1968. To me, the beer, cigarette and the soda people had the best jingles. Pick any one – most were good to great!
These types of commercials helped make top-40 radio so much fun. You listened and really, really enjoyed them.
From Elizabeth D – My daughter and I were talking about how she grew up with me exercising in front of the TV with Debbie Drake. I SAID, “I WONDER WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER?”
I got on Google, and found your info. DO YOU KNOW WHERE, AND WHAT HAPPENED TO DEBBIE DRAKE?
I AM 75, HAVE A GREAT FIGURE AND TWO KIDS IN THEIR 50s…who work out daily and we all attribute it to DD because they grew up with that example. OF COURSE, I’m curious how she looks today.
Mr. Pop History - As posted earlier, Texas native Debbie Drake was the first female TV champion of fitness. Unlike Jack LaLanne, Debbie was also popular on records (to a certain extent) and books. Born in 1931 and as far as I know, she’s still active. Her last book was “Debbie Drake’s Secrets of Perfect Fiqure Development,” republished in 2000.