Blog

Throwback Thursday #12 – TV Memories


Lauren is running the time machine this week and she is taking us back to the days of black and white television (at least for me). Click through to her post to read the rules and join in.

This week’s prompt is: TV Memories. Here’s what she had to say:

For those of us old enough to remember, the 1950’s were a time when people were transitioning from the radio to television as a means of entertainment. People sat around in the living room, watching the one television they owned. Most often it was a large box with a grainy black and white picture. Think back to the first TV shows you remember watching.

Was watching television a part of your family entertainment? Was it used as a partial babysitter? Do you remember specific shows you liked as a kid? Did you need to take turns with your siblings to choose what was watched, or did the parents have all the control? Were you around in the pre-remote-control days? Whose job was it to change channels? Were you a Saturday morning cartoon junkie? Which was your favorite show? Were you warned about sitting too close to the TV? Did you ever bug your parents to buy you some item advertised repeatedly on a program you watched? Do you ever watch reruns of the shows from your childhood?


I have written about my introduction to television several times. For recent followers, suffice it to say initially we had only one television – black and white of course – and we only received one station.

There were certain times of day the television was strictly for the adults. First when the morning farm report was broadcast, then anytime the news came on.

There were other shows the adults were more interested in, but I watched along just the same. The first was Sing Along with Mitch. Now in my head, this is where we saw “follow the bouncing ball” but I discovered there was no bouncing ball in this show. I am not the only one who thought it was there! We all gathered around the tv and sang along regardless. Here’s an old clip:

On Sunday Night (or was it Saturday?) my grandmother always watched the Lawrence Welk Show. I was not a fan of Welk, but I did enjoy the Lennon Sisters. My grandmother loved it though. Maybe this is where I picked up my love of the music from this era.

Some of the earliest shows I remember watching were McKeever and the Colonel, Flipper, Fury, Car 54 Where Are You, My Mother the Car, Mister Terrific, Mister Ed, Disney, Dobie Gillis, The Patty Duke Show, The Flying Nun, Lassie.

One of my very favorite shows was Topper – a show about a couple and their Saint Bernard who were killed in an avalanche and came back as ghosts. It was THE BEST but I am sure not too sophisticated by today’s standards.

My favorite game show was only on for one year I think. It was a hidden picture game show called Camouflage.

So many shows would follow and it would take forever to post them all. I loved shows that included music like Ozzie & Harriet (in hopes Ricky would sing at the end), the Monkees, Bandstand, Soul Train, and Where the Action Is.

Action shows ranged from Buck Rogers to Zorro to The Lone Ranger to Time Tunnel to Lost in Space to The Avengers to The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Drama shows like Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, The Fugitive, Perry Mason, T.H.E. Cat, and Highway Patrol were all family favorites.

Of course, we also loved to be scared with shows like The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Night Gallery and all the great monster movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, and King Kong.

Kids shows started with Captain Kangaroo and included all the great cartoons. I always liked the odd ones like Top Cat and Snuffles the Dog from Quick Draw McGraw.

Early television was a huge part of American culture, and the 1960s was just the beginning.

Blog

TV Shows of My Youth

Day 356

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Growing up in the mountains of southwest Virginia made television reception difficult. I have written about the process of aiming the antenna properly on this blog before.

We were lucky to get one channel, WCYB Channel 5 out of the Tri-Cities. So, whatever came on, we watched. No one watched TV during the day other than the farmers who watched the farm report and the women who watched their stories, better known as daytime soap operas.

At night, however, we all gathered around the old black and white TV together. There were the adult shows like “Lawrence Welk” and “Sing Along With Mitch”. Then family shows like the “Wonderful World of Disney”. Occasionally we saw real treats like Bob Hope entertaining the troops with his USO show. And magical shows like Mary Martin in “Peter Pan”.

The shows geared toward kids were the ones I loved the most. Some may be familiar and some you may not recall.

My Mother the Car

Mr. Terrific

MCKeever and the Colonel

And my favorite: Topper

Of course there was an entirely different genre of TV that included shows like Lassie, Fury, Rin Tin Tin, Flipper, and Sky King. Those shows deserve a post all their own, so I will visit them in a future post.