Monday, April 27, 2009

Other Broadcasting related discussions online

EDITED 4/13/2014

In addition to the articles sometimes published in the Bayou City Houston blog in the Chronicle relating to broadcasting, there have been many discussions on HAIF, the Houston Architectural Information Forum, about radio, TV, and personalities. There's a link to the Historic Houston forum on the sidebar but some of the discussions have also taken place in the Houston and the Media Forum. Here are some of the threads. In some cases relatives of the personalities or participants in the shows discussed have contributed information but mostly it's memories (and sometimes, a few facts).

Radio related threads


Tim and Bob, KPRC morning team

Alvin Van Black, KPRC and KTRH talk show host and KTRK-TV reporter

Paul Berlin, other KNUZ jocks, and the Larry Kane show on Channel 13

A KRBE Promo Stunt from the 1970s

Houston Radio, 1986, from an Astros Media Guide

TV Related Threads

A Thread on Houston TV Talk Shows over the Years

Larry Kane and Other TV Dance Shows

A Larry Kane Show clip

Don Mahoney and Jenna Clare, children's show hosts

More on Jenna Clare

Walter Cronkite


A Kitirik clip

Past TV Anchors

Ray Miller's Passing

TV Reporters

More on Past TV Personalities

KVVV-TV, Channel 16

Vintage Houston TV Commercials

A thread about Houston TV station sign-offs

Texas - the NBC soap, 1980s

Houston College Bowl TV show

In addition to these threads which have a historical connection, there are many threads on HAIF on the Houston and the Media board about broadcasting today, format changes, personality comings and goings, and other matters.

Some Threads on Music, Artists, Venues and Concerts

Liberty Hall

Bands and Orchestras from years gone by

Don Robey's Peacock Records

Rock Concerts of the 60s, 70s, 80s

Utah Carl

The Catacombs

P. J. Proby's early career in Houston

Famous Locations that no longer exist
(mostly country nite clubs)

Magnolia Gardens, on the San Jacinto River

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Features on Broadcasters

J.R. Gonzales' Bayou City History Blog at the Chronicle continues to fascinate and every now and then he does a feature related to radio or television in Houston.

Check out his posts on the following:

Long-time Houston radio and TV personality and wrestling promoter Paul Boesch.

Cadet Don

Kitirk, Channel 13's mascot.

Early Houston radio pioneer Will Horwitz of WEAY and XED.

JR touted a TV show that covered early TV in Houston. The show has come and gone but there are pictures in JR's article.

Early photos of KPRC-TV on Post Oak Road from the Houston Post archives.

The Marvin Zindler tapes - from when Marvin was a reporter for KATL.

More Marvin Zindler tapes.

A KILT Footrace.

A Day in the Life -

...of a Houston radio listener. Sunday and Monday, December 5th and 6th, 1937.

Note Frank Tilton, the blind pianist from the early days of KPRC, on KTRH at 6:15pm Monday and Vox Pop with Dr. I.Q. that evening at 9pm.

Note also Don McNeill's Breakfast Club on KXYZ, Monday morning at 8am. KXYZ had just joined the NBC Blue Network in August.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The 1940s - Part 9 - KCOH, KFRD

Just two and a half months after the launch of KNUZ, KCOH signed on at 1430 kc. The station ran teaser ads in the papers leading up to the first day of broadcasting which was May 5, 1948. The ads invited listeners to "Take the One Day Listening Test." The station referred to itself as Radio Penthouse and it was intended to be a ‘good music’ station; it’s studios were located in penthouse on top of the M&M building at Number 1 Main Street, now the University of Houston, Downtown. The stories announcing the new station in the Post and Chronicle emphasized there would be no hillbilly music and no noisy commercials.

Manager John Pace said not only would the station steer clear of hoedown-type music, it would lean toward the classics and try some new approaches in Houston radio. The programming would be 80% music, 20% news, sports, and public affairs. The music would range from classics through semi-classics and light concert to popular dance music with no hot jazz or jump tunes. There would be long periods of music uninterrupted by commercials and commercials would be presented softly, with just voice and background music. Starting the day with ‘light’ music, the programming would build to a 40 minute program dedicated to the Houston Symphony at midday.

It seems likely the station took its programming ideas from former Houstonian Lee Segall who may have been the first licensee. Segall had relocated to Dallas the previous year after failing to get an AM/FM license combo in Houston and put KIXL-AM/FM on the air, pioneering the Good Music format. KCOH also had a license for an FM station but the station was never put on the air.

It’s been concluded that KCOH was a classical station for the first few months but that is not apparent from the program listings; it appears to be what would come to be known as an easy listening station and was referred to in news stories subsequently as a ‘good music’ station. Easy listening or good music stations in those days frequently included ‘light classical pieces’ in their library and did so into the early 60s. It’s also true that KCOH, like most stations, was block programmed. Reading the radio guides in the papers in those days, one would frequently find scheduled classical music programs on any of the stations. NBC had it’s own symphony conducted by Arturo Toscanini, perhaps the most famous conductor of the era. On just one day in 1950, the Chronicle’s daily Radio Guide pointed out Houston listeners were to have the choice of a broadcast of a live Houston Symphony concert on KPRC, a transcribed concert of the Oklahoma City Symphony on KCOH, and a live concert by the New York Philharmonic on KTRH-FM.

The call letters KCOH have been said to stand for “City of Houston,” “Call of Houston,’ ‘Classical over Houston,’ and ‘Kilo Cycles over Houston.” Call of Houston, Inc., was the name of the company, headed by William A. Smith, K.C. Hughes and Ed Hoffman. John H. Pace, formerly of Wired Music, Inc., Houston’s first piped-in music service, was general manager and Phil Harlow, formerly of KXYZ, was program director.

was sold to Robert C. Meeker in 1953 and became the first Black owned radio station in Texas and perhaps only the third in the nation. KCOH is the second oldest AM radio station in Houston still using its original call letters. It is now a 24 hour a day operation.

On November 15, 1948, KFRD, Rosenberg, signed on at 980 kc. According to the city history on the Rosenberg website, the principals were Mart Cole, Sr., Wendell Shannon, D.I. Lowem, Walter Shult and Julius Junker. The city website gives the year as 1947. This station has featured country music, polka and Hispanic programming over the years. It currently is KRTX is a Tejano station.

A Day in the Life -

...of a Houston radio listener. From the Houston Post, Wednesday, February 18, 1948, the first day of broadcast of KNUZ, 1230.