24
   

BEFORE WE HAD T.V.

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 06:34 pm
@Setanta,
Ha. I beat you. I watched TV starting at age 12, 1954 or early 55. But I stayed loyal to the radio til the end.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 06:40 pm
@edgarblythe,
We didn't get a teevee until 1956, because we lived in a rural area, and there was no teevee station to watch until then.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 06:52 pm
@Setanta,
I got to watch grandma's TV, when we visited her. I think the first station came to Fresno about 1955 or so. Three networks on a single channel. Endless car advertising during the day. Don't recall when we got a TV of our own.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 07:49 pm
Memory sharpens. After we moved to Fresno, the old man bought a used Zenith. I begin to recall, because, it was when Walt Disney made it known he was launching his TV show, to coincide with the opening of Disneyland. A clip from one of his cartoons would play, then a voice announce, "Walt Disney is up to something big on ABC TV." To me and Sam, Walt was still god. Our impatience knew no bounds. Three days before the Disneyland show premiered, the TV's tube flat lined. We ended up listening, but not watching. When later, we got to watch again, at my aunt's house, she would suddenly jump up. "No wonder they call it Dizzyland," she'd say. "I can't take any more." And we ended up watching a detective show.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2011 10:30 am
@edgarblythe,
We got the first set in there abouts 1957 or so. I vaguely recall it, my mother was against it and said it would destroy everything, she allowed it in deference to my father, or so she said. Oddly, I remember her watching it more than he did (even before he died...not sure if he watched after he died). We didn't watch a lot. Wasn't much radio either, we had the dining room wooden case tuber, in the morning and a smaller black plastic cased tuber in the living room which rarely got use. Television was an hour or two here and there at first, then gradually built up to the evening news and then one day, it was on midday. When up in Vermont, the reception was often bad, consequently not a whole lot of television. They were more talkers anyways and also a lot of time outdoors, weather permitting. I can't recall if Jerome and Irene had a set.

I spent most of my time in either my bedroom when I had one, or off on the side of a room, with my maps and atlases, letting my imagination take off. Reading books became tough for a time (a long story), then, at about 14 I got the black plastic tube radio as my very own...damn thing got hot, melted a candle on top of it
once.

I can't recall a lot what I saw back then beyond a show here or there, nothing regular or what grabbed me enough that I felt I just had to see it or else.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 02:30 pm
How about some old or out of fashion words. I just heard that the word skeddadle is being left out from some dictionaries as out of date. It doesn't seem old to me. Neither does gumption, supper, or icebox. All right, icebox, but my parents used the term and I do to, sometimes.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 02:33 pm
I still call it an ice box. Not always. Skedaddle, I can see losing, at least in my world.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 03:17 pm
@edgarblythe,
I just took an ice box out of my trailer. They are still around...
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 03:31 pm
@Ceili,
The resale shop in town has some. I sometimes think I'd like to purchase one, but in the end, what for?
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Apr, 2014 08:35 am
@edgarblythe,
The coming dissolution civilization?
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Apr, 2014 09:08 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
We lived in Iceland before we returned to the States, I doubt there was any TV in Iceland. We lived with my grandparents in Baltimore for about 6 months before my parents bought a house in our County. I don't remember when we got a TV, but I do remember going to the next door neighbors house to watch color TV when I was about 7. It was awful, it had bands of color across the TV screen, and I'm guessing, but I don't think the screen was wider than 8 inches.

I remember my mom putting me to bed, and she would dial up Amos & Andy, and I would fall asleep listening to that show. I'm not sure if I got the humor in that radio program, but I remember a character who would say "do the name Ruby Begonia strike a familiar note" at least that's what I thought he said. I've registered my 3 year old dog as Ruby Begonia with AKC.

I think I remember Jack Benny and Rochester on the radio. Some of the shows I remember as a kid were "The Lone Ranger", "Sky King" and at some point the Disney Show with Annette Funecello, and the rest of the Mouseketeers. Davey Crocket, all the cowboy shows, from Roy Rodgers, The Lone Ranger and the Cisco Kid.

The first shows I remember were "Ernie Kovacs", Jackie Gleason, Jack Benny, Your show of shows", Steve Allen and I guess Ed Sullivan. We had so much homework to do, I'm not sure if television factored in a big way until I was around 10 years old because as soon as I got home from school we would watch the Buddy Dean show (local teen dance show broadcast from Balto, Md.). It was the show that David Waters based his movie "Hairspray", it wasn't stretched too far from reality. After that, it was homework, dinner, homework and if enough time was left, a little TV before bedtime.
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 12:50 am
The first time I found myself hooked on anything coming out of the radio was when I first heard The Goon Show.
It was basically the forerunner of Monty Python and consisted of a team of hilarious idiots taking the roles of fictitious hilarious idiots, using various silly character voices. The story was helped along by laughter from a live audience and comic sound effects provided by persons unkown either banging two halves of a coconut shell together or rattling nails around in a metal bucket. No expense spared.
The 'team' consisted of Spike Milligan, Peter Sellars, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, although Spike and Sellars seemed to be the main players. Spike did most of the writing.
The humour was definitely off the wall, and it came thick and fast. You never knew where they were heading off to next, and I remember my older brother and I lying on our backs in the living room, with our heads under the brand new, cutting edge "stereogram" and staring at its woodgrain underbelly as the various comic nonsense ensued.

Archaeologists in a Peruvian jungle....sounds of digging.....

"Good god! This dinosaur is over a million years old!

Silence for a few seconds....then a solemn chorus.....of...
"Happy birthday to you....happy birthday to you.....

Childish and silly now, but we loved every second. Ten years later the Python team started doing almost exactly the same stuff on TV.

The Goons were followed by Round The Horn (featuring Rambling Syd Rumpo) and The Navy Lark in order of popularity (as far as us kids were concerned) and then, as we grew older and the British music scene exploded, long evenings were spent trying to tune in (and hold onto) the Pirate Radio Stations that sprang up in the mid sixties.
Radio Luxembourg, Radio Caroline and Radio London. Many an evening was spent in the dark (we were supposed to be asleep) listening to a crackly transistor radio which just about allowed you to make out tunes from the charts. The music would phase in and out, the crackling almost drove you mad, but it was worth it just to hear the latest one from The Kinks or The Hollies, The Beatles or The Swinging Blue Jeans.

I still love late night radio.

And utterly stupid humour.......The Goons...(only 3 minutes long)


glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 10:41 pm
@Lordyaswas,
I don't think it's silly, the story you related i.e. Happy Birthday strikes me funny and I'm positive my adult son would scream, because it's funny. I don't remember the goon show but your clip is funny. A good prat fall is always funny, but it has to be done well. Well, everyone knows laughter is good for the soul, and the blood pressure. Plus things that make you laugh are never childish.
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 01:36 am
@glitterbag,
I'm glad that the humour transfers across the pond. When the Python team first hit the big time, their eccentric humour wasn't new to us at all, really, as we had been listening to this sort of stuff for years.
Python was different and 'novel' only in the fact that it was a different set of faces and characters, and that they were on TV, so the visual element was there as well.
Spike Milligan was doing that crazy stuff, and more, fifteen or twenty years before Python broke onto the scene. Try getting hold of and reading his books 'Puckoon' and 'Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall', and you'll get a flavour of what I'm on about.


Back to radio.....here is Kenneth Williams during a TV stage interview session, explaining how his famous 'Rambling Syd Rumpo' came about, and singing a short ditty as an example....

0 Replies
 
 

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