Down the Road

Roads and life and how roads are like life

Vintage TV

From time to time I write about TV as it used to be. Here’s everything I’ve written on the subject.

The Twilight Zone – A show that originally aired toward the end of the modern age, which is perhaps why my children, who are firmly planted in the postmodern age, don’t like it much.

bocBeyond Our Control – It was a TV show about TV. It won awards, it got national press. But unless you lived in or near South Bend, Indiana, you never heard of it.

Hummable television news themes – Local television news ratings have been in slow decline ever since the demise of the catchy news theme song. Hmmmmm.

1950s animated commercials – Cartoons selling stuff? It created some of the best early television.

How many licks does it take? – Remember the classic Tootsie Pop commercial? You probably remember the 30-second version, but there was a 60-second version with extra characters.

Dinah Shore for the 1959 Chevrolet – Dinah shilled Cheverolets for years.

1970s weather forecasts – A look at how low-tech TV weather forecasts were in the 1970s.

Winky Dink and YouA brilliantly done children’s television show from the 1950s.

Bewitched – Shows clips from the show’s original prime-time run, stuff not part of what you see in syndication.

A WGN Christmas – Suzy Snowflake; Hardrock, Coco, and Joe; and Frosty the Snowman.

Hello News – One of the most popular news themes ever, it was used all over the country.

Brought to you in living color – In the 1960s, all three networks had their own special “In Color” intro, from the days when color was still new and special.

A moment from 1977 – An analysis of a few minutes of the normal things that happened between network shows in 1977.

Adam-12 – When I was a boy, I wanted to be Officer Jim Reed!

Password – My favorite game show of all time, with clips from all of its incarnations over almost 20 years.

S from Hell and V of DoomWhy do these closing logos scare children so?

ABC’s AM America and Monty Python – Monty Python co-hosted ABC’s morning news program one morning.

The Andy Griffith Show – Commercials from the show for its sponsor, starring Andy and Barney.

Bill Cullen – The most durable game show host.

The CBS Late Movie – Back before David Letterman, CBS used to show movies after the late news.

Match Game – Remember the funky music they played while the stars wrote their answers to the questions? I have them for you.

The Price is Right ticket plug – Remember how game shows used to let you write in for tickets to see the show taped?

Donahue A rare opening clip from Phil Donohue’s early days in Chicago.

1978 NBC Nightly News theme – Henry Mancini wrote a well-remembered theme from NBC Nightly News.

Classical Gas TV news theme – The news theme that got me interested in all things TV news.

Hoppity Hooper – I found these magnets of a little cartoon frog. Turns out he had his own show.

Speed Racer – The post that started it all, about a Japanese cartoon I watched as a boy.

2 thoughts on “Vintage TV

  1. Corrie Wynns

    I knew Dave Williams long before I knew BOC. I was about 11 when I first met him. My Mom worked as a secretary in Programming at WNDU then. He was always very nice when I would visit the station while Mom was working…and he would send her home with promo stuff that he would get to give to me…I still have the very famous NBC Peacock beach towel to this day! I also still have a purple Woodstock button, and I remember a little promo trinket from “Get Smart”. My memories aren’t just about the material items I got from Dave as a kid. Unbeknownst to me, Dave had begun to nurture what would become a love of all things broadcasting, which would ultimately lead to my chosen profession as a broadcast journalist. When I auditioned for BOC, I hoped against hope that no one would recognize my last name, as Mom had moved on to another position a few years prior, and I didn’t want to have an unfair “advantage”. As I walked out of the room where Dave, Joe, Danny and Denny interviewed us, Joe said “Aren’t you….?” I figured I was out of the running at that point. I asked Dave about that one Saturday, when I was feeling a little flounderish, and he told me point blank: “No. You made it because we saw something in *you*, not because we know your Mom”. There were funny moments, moments when I was scolded for cutting up in the studio, moments when I dropped by the station (the little one behind the ND library) just to say “Hi” when I was home on college breaks, and even the moment I learned of his passing. I just happened to be taking classes at IUSB that year – too much cutting up in Bloomington – not my choice! I think that may have been the very first time in my life that I was at a loss for words. Dave Williams and BOC helped so many young people in this area find their individual callings, in the media and in other areas, by his example of loving what he did, and by giving so much to so many high schoolers in the WNDU viewing area. I’ve been remembering quite a bit the past week, some memories joyful, with others putting me into a very deep and scary “funk”. This is the first Christmas season without my Mom. Next to Mom and Dad, Dave Williams will always be among the people and the mentors I will “Remember”.

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