Nielsen TV Ratings – August 1958

Top TV Shows From August 1958


Let’s go back in time. It’s easy to get TV Guide listings from any given year. For me, the most popular TV shows from a moment in time are even better. Let’s go back to August of 1958. Television was now the centerpiece of entertainment for those at home – and the industry was growing  by leaps and bounds. The big tech trend in television was the emerging videotape business.

More interesting – look at the ratings: Gunsmoke on top with a 42.

Not only will you see Nielsen results, but, back then, Arbitron and Trendex were in the TV ratings business.

For the entire year 1958 in news, entertainment, technology, sports and more – Click Here!  

1958 - TV ratings - september 15


Gary West

Some 1010WINS Radio History – New York.

1010 WINS Morning Men

Murray the K Most Popular – 1961

And Other New York DJs – 1961/1963


1010WINS, New York will be celebrating 50 years as an all-news station in 2015. That’s an amazing run. The station still has decent ratings given the exodus of AM radio listeners. This, as of July/2014.

When the station played top-40/pop music – it was on top from 1958-1962. With a team of DJ’s centered around Jack Lacy, Stan Z. Burns (Bernstein) and later, Murray the K – WINS always had problems with mornings – going through a morning man a year since the death Irv Smith in 1960.

Here’s one of those forgotten 1010WINS morning men – Dick Clayton, who replaced Lonnie Star late in 1962. Clayton would be replaced by Ed Hider in late 1963.

This comes to us from 1963, courtesy the WCBS-AM site – apparently Avon was doing a new radio campaign and selected certain New York DJ’s for targeted live reads. You can see two from WINS/1963 – Jack Lacy – and Dick Clayton.

Clayton came to WINS from WIL, St. Louis – a station that also gave New York City amazing radio talent such as Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, Jack Carney, Gary Stevens and Bob Dayton

New York Radio History 1010 WINS 1963

More 1010WINS – Murray the K owned nights in New York between 1961 and 1962. Here’s a Murray the K/WINS item from 1961:

murray the K  1961 1010WINS


Gary West 

Radio History – KFWB Los Angeles – In 1959

One Of History’s Most Iconic Radio Stations – KFWB

The Year Was 1959

mr pop history radio kfwb 1959


In Chuck Blore’s memoir, “I Wrote The Book” he talks about the thinking and concepts that became KFWB Color Radio. Before he was asked to put a radio format together in Los Angeles, Blore had learned from the best: Gordon McLendon and Todd Storz – having worked for both organizations. He was hired away to LA and there, he created a format that was nothing like Los Angeles had ever heard – or for that matter, the entire industry. “Color Radio” lit a fuse that – at its peak – had the largest radio ratings ever recorded.

Debuting January 1, 1958 – by 1959 – KFWB Los Angeles was earning 30-35 and 40+ shares. Sure KFWB existed before the Blore magic – but, it was a dog.

KFWB history chuck bloreKFWB was so influential, according to Chuck Blore, tapes of the station were mailed out just about everywhere… All the time. DJ’s and program directors did their best to copy the station. Looking for new ideas, some needed the tapes so bad, their careers depended on it. KFWB is more than not – the most influential station in radio history.

The seven original KFWB DJ’s/talent were: Bruce Hayes, Joe Yocam, Al Jarvis, Elliot Field, B. Mitchel Reed, Bill Ballance and Gene Weed.

Here’s what I have: Chuck Blore’s creativity extended off the air as well. In 1959, KFWB took out a series of classified ads (who did that?). These are more like teasers – but, there were many. Reading one of these – you just had to tune in to “Color Radio Channel 98:”

KFWB Classified Ads - 1959

Here’s another goody re: KFWB and 1959. The KFWB “Color Radio” jingles – the first of their kind, had a distinctive, memorable signature. I found this, from 1959 – though, if you did a search, you’d never know it – because the name of this tune is “Image” – but, it’s really something I call the, “KFWB Boogie.” So, you have the KFWB melody/jingle made into – a sort of 1959 dance tune. Imagine that – the first time I’ve ever heard of a radio station trademark “jingle” turned into something you could dance to – a single onto itself.

Part 2 is actually the shaker – part 1 is a little mellow. But – it’s the KFWB jingle – loud and clear!

“Image” – Hank Levine (part 1 and “boogie” part 2)

Gary West

Radio History – 1010 WINS Adds The Mutual Network 1961

1010 WINS Radio History – 1961

It was big news back in the summer of 1961 – The Mutual Broadcasting Service – trying to re-invent itself (as did all radio networks back then) – became the news network for independent stations. Mutual just lost WOR radio – then landed 1010WINS – back then, one of the top radio stations in New York.

WINS was of course, a music station in those days and this ad lists all the DJ personalities on the station. Murray Kaufman is of course, “Murray the K” and his nightly show was hitting 20-25 shares – mostly teens.

WINS Ad - August 1961

Pop Culture TV History – CBS-TV – Debut Listing – “The Prisoner” – 1968

CBS-TV Summer Replacement Series – “The Prisoner” 1968


U.S. – When “The Prisoner” debuted in 1968 – viewers were a little confused. What was this really about? By the end of the debut episode, you either liked it, loved it or hated it. Here’s a TV Guide listing from the very first CBS-TV airing of “The Prisoner” starring Patrick Magoohan. It already had an ending. Interestingly – when the series debuted on CBS-TV during the summer of 1968 – all 17 episodes had already run in its native Britain. Also, was “The Prisoner” part of, or a continuation of “Secret Agent/Danger Man” of which, Magoohan also starred? Agent No. 6 was used in this series as well – so – it could be very confusing. Whose side was he on? There was nothing like it then or now.

This is from a New York TV Guide with WCBS-TV/2 and WTIC-TV/3.

The Prisoner TV Debut CBS-TV

TV History – Nielsen Ratings For April 7, 2014

I’ll add this to the Mr. Pop 2014 year in review timeline.

2 NCIS CBS 11.1 17,392
4 NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 9.3 14,560
7 THE VOICE NBC 7.2 11,966
8 BLUE BLOODS CBS 7.1 11,051
9 THE VOICE-TUE NBC 6.9 11,085
10 60 MINUTES CBS 6.8 10,987

Return to the Mr. Pop 2014 Power Timeline: Click

Radio History – New York Radio Ratings – March/April 1967

Here’s an interesting piece of history. It’s the local NY City ratings from March/April 1967 and what’s different is… these are City numbers. Pulse – most of the time, did a 15 county survey – but – in a rarity – I found this – from Variety.

WMCA, then a top-40 station, has 2 1/2 times the ratings of its competitor – WABC and WWRL – a Soul station – did pretty well – also beating WABC. T


Ratings - WMCA-WABC 1967 Pullout


Online Bingo & Pop Culture – An Update…

How Online Bingo Is Staking Its Claim On The Pop Culture Landscape

 There used to be a time when bingo was thought of more as a game reserved for old folks looking for a bit more excitement than the daily thrill of watching paint peel off the front porch of the house. Barring the occasional kid who got dragged into a bingo hall by Granma and Granpa against his will, hardly anyone thought of bingo as a game that spoke to the younger generation.

Then the online bingo revolution happened, and somehow the game’s transition from brick-and-mortar playing venues into digital bingo halls drew in players of all ages. Bingo was suddenly catapulted into the pop culture radar by virtue of becoming a video game marketed to the masses.

This mobile gaming transition wasn’t the only factor, though. Endorsements from celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Robbie Williams also played a part in giving the game that oh-my-god-even-famous-people-are-playing-it level of cool.

And then there are the mascots whose visuals and characterizations aim to appeal to a wide demographic range. Cheeky Bingo is fronted by a fresh-faced, Ms. Pac-Man-esque character whose cartoony figure is designed to draw in players. Moreover, and as evidenced by her frequent Twitter messages, her amusingly brazen attitude plays a huge part in her allure as well; not unlike the way we’re drawn to Jennifer Lawrence every time she gives one of her golden nuggets of knowledge during interviews.

It’s a combination of all these factors that put online bingo on the map alongside other popular casual games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush. With enough push and maybe a bit of luck, perhaps these bingo mascots and the games they represent might just become as well known worldwide as Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse.

Movie Pop Culture Trivia – When Actor Michael Douglas Could Not Use His First Name


 Used “M.K. Douglas” For First TV Acting Breakthrough

1969 MK Douglas

It’s true. (Mike Kirk) Douglas had aspirations of being an actor like his dad. His first major break came in 1969 – in a CBS-TV Playhouse special titled, “The Experiment.” The problem – he couldn’t use his first name – Mike – most likely due to another Mike Douglas – this one a very well-known TV talkshow host. Either producers and/or the network asked for the change and – it’s the one and only time – the actor known as Michael Douglas was simply M.K. Douglas. Smartly – subsequent TV guest starring roles had him credited as Michael Douglas – enough to distinguish himself from the TV talkshow host.

michael douglas trivia mrpopcultureThe TV Guide pull-out above describes the new actor as the son of Kirk Douglas. It wouldn’t be long until the younger Douglas became a true TV and movie superstar.

“The Experiment” co-starred M.K. Douglas and Tisha Sterling as young rebels in conflict with the business establishment. Perfect for 1969. Douglas kept busy – appearing on (mostly) TV dramas until his big breakthrough.

Three years later – he was cast with Hollywood vet Karl Malden in ABC-TV’s, “Streets of San Francisco” and never looked back.

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