Thursday, November 19, 2009

More on the Marvin Zindler tapes

The Bayou City History Blogger, J.R. Gonzales, has continued to post excerpts from the Marvin Zindler tapes but not all of them have been in The Roving Mike series. Recently J.R. posted what I guessed were excerpts from the production music library at KATL and just yesterday revealed excerpts from a live country music show that ran on KTRH with Western Swing musician Bennie Lueders, whom Gonzales tracked down and interviewed in Bastrop.

J.R. is hoping to be able to make more of the Lueders recordings available; if anyone can advise or help him, please contact him on his blog, by making a comment or emailing him from the link on the sidebar.

Thanks once again to J.R. for publishing these excerpts and stories and giving us a fascinating glimpse into what radio sounded like in Houston in the early 1950s.

There were probably live country music shows on every station in town in those days and besides that, on local television in the early days. One of these days, I'm planning a piece on my memories of Houston television's country music shows like Utah Carl and Curly Fox and Miss Texas Ruby and others.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Feature on the Early Days at KLEE-TV/KPRC-TV

I just recently discovered Postcards from Texas, a great program on Houston's 55, KTBU-TV, on Sunday afternoons. It's hosted by Mike Vance and takes a historical look at stories from Houston and South East Texas. I found out that back in May they did two segments on KLEE-TV, Houston's first television station, with interviews with some of the people who worked there in the early days, a couple of engineers and a copy writer among them.

There are some factual errors, among them the claim that KLEE-TV was the 12th television station in the nation (one authoritative list counts 48), that after the change of ownership KPRC-TV had the market to itself for only a few months (it was almost 3 years), but all in all it's a great bit of reporting. Many of the remembrances actually apply to KPRC-TV after the change of ownership but that milestone is not mentioned until almost the end of Part 2. There is also a different account of how W. Albert Lee came to be involved in TV from that recounted by his biographer, Hilton Waldo Hearne.

With Mike Vance's help I was finally able to locate the video clips online, under the My Houston's 55 Community on the navbar on the station's website, so all can enjoy. (The program that included these two episodes will be rebroadcast on December 13).

Check out the videos. There are no video clips of the early days, of course, but there are lots of great still shots of the people and equipment.

Part 1

Part 2

Additionally, when the Chronicle's Bayou City History blogger, J. R. Gonzales, first touted the program back in May, he dug up a couple of stills of KPRC-TV from the Chronicle archives that are worth checking out.

Check out Postcards from Texas on 55, Sundays at 4pm, rebroadcast the following Friday at 1:30.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pioneer AMs in Texas

Chris Huff of the DFW Radio Archives has compiled a list of the first 40 AM stations on the air in Texas.

As followers of this blog already know, none of the first ones in Houston survived but there is one Houston station on the list, KTRH, which started in Austin, of course.