Ah Black Rock and Ogden, we hardly knew ye… For so toll memories we dip into the staffannouncer.com archives for these shots… Its WKBW-TV Channel 7’s Zany Weatherman Danny Neaverth standing at the Ogden Tolls sometime in the early to mid 80s…This story was all about how fast people could drive through the “Exact Change” booths, and still get the coins into the basket.
To the right is Danny standing at the tolls… Below are the exact change baskets, and an old 25 cents sign. So long toll booths…
Since Christopher Glenn retired from CBS News early this year, I’ve been meaning to put the In the News Sounder on the site…. But Now unfortunately, along with it, I’m putting Harley Carnes’ Tribute to Glenn up as well.
Many Buffalonians may have missed the news of Glenn’s passing since it happened in the midst of the much bally-hooed October Surprize storm…. But not many of us between the the ages of say, 25 and 45, could forget the In the News segments that ran during our favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons on CBS-TV. I always prefered the In the News Segments to NBC’s answer to teach kids in the midst of cartoons… Remember when Mrs. Garrett or Alex P. Keaton would play a little video… Stop it… Tell you to think about… Then let it end happily? Chris Glenn was straight up good information for kids. If you needed Willie Tanner to tell you not to lie, you’re probably behind bars now, and not able to read this.
His delivery was perfect, and completely unique. Fellow WBEN Newsman John Healy reminded me that when he retired, he had planned to do some narration and voiceover work for the History Channel. It’s my selfish hope that he did get into the studio before he got sick.
Click here for the In the News Sounder.
From sometime in the early 80s (maybe late 70s), here’s a stellar video clip from the staffannouncer archives… Irv Weinstein being interviewed on PM Magazine, by co-host (and current FWS voiceover Queen) Debbie Stamp. It’s 5mb, but it’s well worth the download. I’ve included the open to the PM Magazine, the Irv interview, and at the very end, since this show ran on Channel 4 (?), a great John Beard promo. The Interview with Irv covers his TV and Radio history, as well as his home life– Including interviews with wife and kids, and a look at how Irv’s Kenmore pad looked at the Height of his Eyewitness News fame. Below are a few stills from the video… The commercial break in the middle is mostly cut out… But you do get a quick glimpse of Danny Neaverth in a Bells Jacket.
PM Magazine Open…. And the Lovely Debbie Stamp
Irv on the Set
John Beard… The News 4 Team
Danny Neaverth for Bells Markets
Click here for the 8 minute video…
OK, some of you may be thinking I’m already breaking my own rule…. But I’ve been reminded of the Great Ted Cassidy’s LURCH character over and over again over the last few days…. Because the sight of John Kerry really makes me think of Lurch. Its not a political thing… its just the way my brain works. But they DO look alike…
Anyway, the point of this all, is that WKBW had in HEAVY rotation back around Halloween 1965 a song named THE LURCH. Follow me… And click to listen this classic!!
I started trying to describe Shane to a co-worker the other day…. But there’s no way to describe the Cosmic Cowboy…. Buffalo’s Shane Brother Shane.
From the Day he arrived in Buffalo in 1974 for WKBW’s Great American Talent Search wearing pants with SHANE written in studs up and down the legs, to the day he ran for Common Council in Buffalo, Shane always kept the Queen City on its ear. Please share your Shane memories below… and enjoy some audio clips from Shane’s stellar Buffalo Radio career…. Including a wma file copy of His 45 Summer in America.
With the Sabres flying high, rest assured I’ll be dipping into the Sabres Archives quite a bit on this blog… This time, we’re going back to the late 80’s with a pair of sound files.
The first one… The 60 second verision of the Rock Em Sabres Jingle… Put back to back with the WBEN We’re Here, We Care Song. That edit is taken directly from the reel that used to play over the Aud Speakers before game time.
The second sound clip is a commercial for WNYB-TV 49… The Television Home of the Sabres before the Empire Sports Network. This spot promos a West Coast Trip, with a game against the Stanley Cup Champion Oilers, as well as a game against the Flames. The Announcer voice on the spot is that of Steve Mitchell… And of course the play-by-play clips feature Ted Darling.
This is a TV Guide ad from Channel 49 from the same era… Though its a different game.
Click to hear:
Do you have any old Sabres Games (Ted Nolan era or earlier) on VHS? Get them to me, and I’ll not only dub your VHS to DVD and give you a copy, I’ll give you another DVD of an old Sabres game.
E-mail me for more info!
Aside from all the photos, audio, and video in the staffannouncer archives, there are also hundreds of Newspaper and magazine articles… You’ll see plenty oif those pop on on this blog as well.
Remember these faces? After this little introduction, this post is simply an exact copy of a piece that ran in the Courier-Express Sunday Magazine in 1982. I’ve re-typed the text, and expurgated some of the asides… but you can see scans of the orginal article by Dick Hirsch here.
By Dick Hirsch
In the Mellow half-light of the motel room, the face was strangely familiar. The coiffure was stylish but understated. The makeup was careful by emphatic. The smile was inviting but relaxed. Then there was that voice… “Good evening,” the voice intoned, “I’m Ron Hunter, and here is the news…”
For a visitor to Philadelphia, it was a startling return to thse slambang days of Buffalo television of the 1970s when Ron Hunter’s face not only peered out of TV sets but also seemed to be posted on the rear end of every bus and most billboards in WNY. Since his days at WGR-TV, he has left several forwarding addresses, with anchor jobs in Miami and Chicago. (AT print time in 1980) in Philadelphia, he (was) a reporter during the week and a fill-in anchor on weekends. He has learned to pronounce Schuylkill with the same uncertyain clarity with which he mastered Scajaquada. The anmes and places have changed, but Hunter is still on the job, reading the night’s news to an eager public.
The re-discovery of Hunter, coupled with the “opening” of the “new” television season has prompted a nostalgic examination of some of the faces and voices who have been meeting with us at 6 and 11 each eveing since the lights first went on in 1948.
Virgil Booth, Joe Brush, Ward Fenton
”Its a very visible job,” says Irv Weinstein, the WKBW-TV anchorman whose longevity on camera has made him the mnost recognizable public person in WNY. “Since you are visible,” he adds, “you are also vulnerable.”
He became a TV news director and anchorman in 1964, when, as he likes to explain, “Channel 7’s news ratings were fourth in a three station market.” Weinstein first came to Buffalo in 1958 as a radio newsman at WKBW. Managers have come and gone, but a combination of corporate patience and Weinstein’s deft flair for news and dramatic delivery has made him a fixture, if there is such a thing in TV.
Anyone remeber Irv’s predecessor? It was Bill Gregory, a guy who stayed around long enough to learn how to pronounce some Polish last names but not long enough to make much of a dent in the ratings. Gregory is now a radio newsman in Philadelphia.
Channel 7 was the last of the three commercial stations to go on the air. It began broadcasting in 1958. Thus its cast of newscasters is smaller, and includes names like Roger Lund, Hal Youngblood, Nolan Johannes, and Rick Azar, Yes, Azar. He did some news reporting as well as sports. Johannes is remembered primarily for his work on “Dialing for Dollars,” but also did some news announcing…
Announcer is a title you don’t hear much anymore, but in the old days most of the faces on TV news in Buffalo were radio announcers who walked across the hall and did a stint before the camera.
Pat Fagan, Susan King, Roy Kerns
WBEN-TV (now WIVB) had a substantial headstart on its competitors. It began broadcasting in 1948, six year before Channel 2 and 10 years before Channel 7. The television and radio stations of WBEN were on the 18th floor of the Hotel Statler. In some of the earliest local public affairs broadcasting they would point the snout of the camera out a window and focus on the streets below just to give the cameramen some practice in transmitting a picture. An anonymous announcer in those days would intone a play-by-play of the street scene. “That is Genesee Street and there is a truck from Victor’s heading out to make deliveries and over there you can see the sign of denton, Cottier, and Daniels.” It wasn’t exactly compelling, but then it was 1948.
Probably the first regular newscaster was Ed Dinsmore. He also did the “Luncheon Club” program on radio. After his death, there were others, like Frank Fredricks, Carl Erickson, Dick Westerkamp, Ward Fenton, Virgil Booth, Bill Ferguson, Lou Douglas, and Cy Buckley.
Buckley, now (in 1980), a revenue officer for the IRS in Buffalo, says that the early days werte characterized primarily by reliance on radio veterans. “All we were doing was reading a radio newscast on TV. There was very little visual material. Later we got some still photos and some 16 millimeter film. There was no videotape and no rear screen projection. Nobody ever hear the term “anchorman” because that concept hadn’t been developed.”
John Corbett, Harry Webb, Bill Gregory, Bill Mazer
The longest running news personalities on Channel 4 were Harry Webb, John Corbett, and Chuck Healy, who also had radio responsibilities. In recent years, it has been Steve Rowan, Jim Mitchell, Allen Costantini, and the incumbants, Gary Gunther and John Beard.
Channel 2’s newscasters included early announcers like Roy Kearns, Pat Fagan, and Chuck Poth, who has been invloved in local Democratic politics since his departure from TV, was one of the first to read from a telepromter rather than a script, enabling him to look directly into the camera during the newscast, a dramatic advancement. Others at Channel 2 included Lou German, John Gill, Joe Brush, Harry Gunter, Joe Pope, Goerge Redpath, Henry Marcotte, Hunter, Susan King,, and more currently (in 1980), Sheila Murphy, Molly McCoy, and Rich Kellman. (Since no roundup of Channel 3 news is complete without mentioning the long running, ubiquitous and opinionated sportcaster for the station, here goes: Bill Mazer).
Hope you enjoyed this Vintage Courier-Express piece from Dick Hirsch, written in 1980.
I’ve been working on a few special projects over the past few days… First… You can see it be clicking on the link… Video from WBEN-TV Channel 4’s Santa Show. You’ll see this video looped along with a big display I put together on the Santa Show at Fairgrounds for thier Christmas Show… I’ve also spent some time putting together props to help a build an 80’s radio studio for a movie being shot here in Buffalo. They’re using the old Ward Beck Board from the WBEN Newsbooth as used from 1975-2000 at the Elmwood Ave Studios, along with some other 2077 Elmwood remnants and assorted other junk from my attic. The Carts are the sound effct carts of the great John Otto… and I’ve owned the cart machines since I was about 9 years old.
As far as web content, I’m working on a Crystal Beach page, and a some Buffalo History pictures… As appeared in the 50th and 100th Anniversary of the Buffalo Evening News Periodicals. I’m also trying to finish the renovation of the dining room in my 1909 EB Green home by the time the holidays roll around…. Its been busy!
I’ve just re-opened a huge box of stuff that I got from Buffalo Radio vet JR Reid when he moved to sunny FLA… Its mostly transcriptions (acetate records that were cut right at radio stations in the days before audio tape), as well as some interesting paper items from the time before KB became the King of the Rock and Roll Heap…
WINE was one of a handful of radio stations trying to break in on the Rhythm Music Craze (should read Rock’n Roll) in the mid to late 1950s in Buffalo.
A Quick History of 1080 in Buffalo
WINE had become the call letters following a change from WXRA…. WINE soon became WYSL. WYSL then moved to 1400, and the call letters became and stayed…. WUFO.
Here are the stars of WINE Radio… Hernando and Poopsie… Tap Taplin, Greyt Scott, and Jimmy Lyons.
Click on these links for WINE sounds… These are all from Transcriptions (more to come!) from WINE radio… And I’ll bet haven’t been heard in over 50 years!
Please add your comments on WINE or that geat era between the start of Rock and the dawn of KB… where home grown Rock radio was all over Buffalo’s dial… or email me with any sounds or visuals to share here!
Look for more stuff from WNIA, WWOL, WYSL, WBNY, and other great Late 50’s Rock’n Roll Stations to come!
By all accounts, I have a pretty cool and interesting job. I spend my day wandering the Niagara Frontier talking to Newsmakers and regular people, often finding myself in the midst of the announcements and events that shape the lives of WNYers…
It sounds glamorous, but sometimes the important assignments can leave a reporter ragged… Like the night I slept in the car outside the State Police Barracks in Fredonia at the height of the Ralph “Bucky” Phillips hunt… Or the 5 days without a shower (!) covering Hurricane Katrina down in Louisiana.
I’m not looking for sympathy here… I’m just lamenting the fact that no one, on any story I’ve ever been on, looked as “Movie-Star Cool” as WKBW Radio News Director Jim McLaughlin did in this 1971 picture taken at the height of the Attica Prison Riot. His tie know slightly ascue, curly locks ever-so tussled, and the caption decribes him as “with cigar.” (Not to mention the extra cigars in the breast pocket.)
Chances are, no matter the era, that I’d never look that cool doing my job (OK, you’re probably right… Never look cool period.) Though I might have been smoking a cigar, I’d probably be standing there Like WKBW’s Jim Fagan or Bob Buyer from the Buffalo Evening News… Just as weary, but without the pinache. Even given that I know I wouldn’t have been the cool Perry White style reporter….. It still would have been great to work side-by-side with Jim McLaughlin (with cigar).
Here’s a Quick good one…. I’m not even sure where I got it from(probably from Bob Skurzewski… Thanks BOB!)… So if this appears somewhere else on-line I apologize.
Tom Shannon started in the Radio Business over 50 years ago… Though his last pit stop in Buffalo saw him spinning platters (and still contributing) at WHTT-FM… And he spent some time at WGR… He’s best known for his time at KB Radio. Tom’s first stint at WKBW was from 1958-62…. This aircheck explains (and plays) his show’s theme song, and then the big instrumental Top Ten hit “Wild Weekend,” by the Tune Rockers, which Tom adapted from the melody of that theme song. It’s from Tom’s second stint at KB… roughly 1983-86. Of partictular interest to me… Wild Weekend is the song to which my wife and I were first introduced as husand and wife at our wedding reception (Don’t tell Tommy, though… I don’t think we paid ASCAP fees.)
By the way… The above picture… Is of Tommy (4th person from left, left side of table) and Friends at the Town Casino. Why? Why not.
staffannouncer.com gets dozens of hits with people looking for the Carl Yastrzemski song… It was the masterwork of Longtime Boston Disc Jockey and WHDH Morning man Jess Cain. Sung to the tune of “Allelujah!,” The Yaz Song was an add-on to the LP record put out by WHDH following the unlikely 1967 season… Which saw the Red Sox fight their way into the World Series.
A word of Warning before you click…The Song is VERY infectious. You’ll be singing it for hours, if not days. Consider yourself warned…. You’ll be walking around singing “CAAAAAAAAARL Yastrzemski…. CAAAAAAAAARL Yastrzemski…. CAAAAAAAAARL Yastrzemski…. The man we call Yaz, We Love Em!”
Last year, the Buffalo Sabres put out a CD chock full of Rick Jeanneret Highlights (many of them aquired DIRECTLY from staffannouncer.com!) Now that the Sabres have moved on to selling a Rick Jeanneret DVD… And since I get 5 or 6 emails a week asking where that CD can be found…. I’m loading up many of the highlights from the 2005 CD here…. Along with some RJ photos.
I’m doing this in installments… Find below the Goals from the disc…. Soon to come… Fights, Saves, and Classic Moments.
This CD was originally sold to benefit the Sabres Foundation… A great charity. Please consider Buying the Rick Jeanneret DVD (sorry! Link is dead!); or simply making a donation to the Sabres Foundation if you’ve enjoyed these highlights.
Don Luce Hannu Virta Craig Ramsay Gil Perreault Gil Perreault Dave Andreychuk John Van Boxmeer Dale Hawerchuk Alexander Mogilny Alexander Mogilny Pat LaFontaine Yuri Khmylev Pat LaFontaine Donald Audette Pierre Turgeon Curtis Brown Stu Barnes Matthew Barnaby Miroslav Satan Derek Roy Daniel Briere Max Afinogenov
More classic Rick Jeanneret Highlights here…. For the first page… Made up of Goal calls and pictures of Rick…. click on the previous post arrow above.
To the left is a picture of the scoreboard from the Aud… Simply because I can. In the later years, a rotating ad space lightbox was also added to the bottom. For More audio and visual Aud Memories, click on my Milt Ellis page… He the only PA announcer the Sabres ever had at Memorial Auditorium.
Click to Hear the Classic Fight Calls:
Steve Dykstra vs Bob Nystrom: This one was on a tape in the drawer of the WBEN sports office when I started there in ‘93… Its an all time great call.
Steve Shields vs Garth Snow: I was at this game…. And watched Steve Shields skate the length of the ice to rip into Snow. I also made getting a copy of this highlight one of the first things I did when I went to work at Empire.
Classic Moments: Rene Robert OT Alexander Mogilny May Day! Dave Hannan OT Derek Plante OT Jason Woolley OT Byron Dafoe Richard Smehlik Randy Wood Michael Peca Bob Sweeney Elvis! Roll the Highlight Film
Remembering Memorial Auditorium and the NBA Buffalo Braves... Randy Smith Sings the The Bob McAdoo Song
It was the Bicentennial Summer of 1976… And as the nation was celebrating the 200th Birthday of the USA with all kinds of fife and drum music… Here in Buffalo… The NBA Buffalo Braves were being musically celebrated all over the Buffalo radio dial with the McAdoo Song… A goofy song all about the Braves Forward Bob McAdoo… 1973 NBA Rookie of the Year and 1975 NBA MVP. The best part about it… It was sung by Big Mac’s Teammate…. Buffalo State College Grad Randy Smith.
To Hear the McAdoo Song Click Here!
To See and hear more great Buffalo memories, visit the rest of Steve Cichon’s Staffannouncer.com.