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.

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