"Online since 1999"
radio and growing up in New Orleans in the 50's, 60's and 70's!
You've got a great site!
We used to tie up the phone lines forever trying to be the first to call and win a contest of some sort. In the days of rotary dial, you dialed all digits but the last and had it against the stop ready for release at the instant. Then you guys started this " be the thirteenth caller...." stuff.
Listening to TIX in late 1958, the announcer was reading a news bulletin--75mph as usual. There had been a fire in the city and "the fire farters have rushed to the scene!" What a novel way to put out fires. I don't remember the announcer, but he cracked up briefly and the bulletin was over.
Do you remember WYFE on 600, a country station with all female DJ's. Short lived--about 1958?
After WJMR-TV, channel 20, there was KK2XFW-TV that broadcast on both channel 20 and 12 at the same time. It later became WVUE channel 13--then 12 again and finally swapped channels with WYES, then channel 8. All this about 58 or 59.
WDSU 1280 had a cool mobile studio--a trailer with a three sided glass front. It appeared in a lot of strip shopping centers(before the malls). They did the top twenty. The DJ did the show and asked the gawkers inside--especially the good looking chics. I used to think--what a job!
A guy named Jim Mack at WJBW 1230 used to do a remote from a hamburger stand in front of the Jeff Drive In on Jefferson Hwy at 4 M-F. This was a hang-out for Jeff Jr High kids and EJ. He had the cool chics around him too!. If Mics, turntables, and records are chic magnets why did I become a banker? You guys had all the fun.
I think they started that "13th caller" stuff because of me. I got to be so proficient with those rotary dial phones and dialing all but the last number, that one week in 1962 I won the entire WTIX top 40, one record at a time, playing "Name It And Claim It." Ken Karlton even played it three times one hour and I won all three times. Maybe that's why TIX eventually hired me in '67...to get me out of their contests.
Remember when you'd dial those contests around '61 or '62 and you got a busy signal, you could shout and talk to people over the busy signal? Quick! What was it called??? ........the SPOOKLINE.
Yes, I remember listening to the short-lived WYFE with the gal DJ's who came and went (no pun intended). And the WDSU Radio mobile studio used to occasionally park in front of a shoe store on Oak Street next to Mater Dolorosa. Every day after school I'd go pester the DJ for free records! In years to come I would run the hell out of kids like me.
Yeah, us guys DID have SO much fun...after all, I was given the privilege of being the first DJ anywhere to play all the Osmonds songs..."NOW....Here's "YO-YO" by the OSMONDS."
I was recently introduced to your website by a co-worker of mine who knew that my dad was a DJ years ago. My dad is Richard Delacroix ("Rockin' Richard" on WJBW and Richard Knight on WNOE, WTIX and WSMB) and I was so excited to see his name listed under the radio stations where he worked. I called him and gave him your web address so he can read all the memories. I don't remember him working at any of the radio stations except for WSMB. My sister and I went with him many weekends to the old Maison Blanche building up to the 13th floor to watch him in the big glass window. I owe my appreciation for music to my dad.
Hi Holly. Thanks for the nice email. It brought back some memories to me too...many weekends I rode that Maison Blanche building elevator to the 13th floor to do a Saturday & Sunday nite shift 6-midnight behind that big glass window at WSMB in 1967. And, FYI, the kid who answered my phones on those shifts was a struggling Loyola student making a few bucks on the weekends. His name was Arthur Hardy...well before he became Mr. Mardi Gras.
Question: I grew up in Atlanta in 1950s and remember listening to WWL's broadcasts from the Blue Room at the Roosevelt late at night. Do you remember the exact words the announcer used at the start of the show? It was something like "Coming to you from the beautiful Blue Room high atop the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans."
Memory: My family lived in New Orleans during the summer and early fall of 1946, when I was four years old. We rented a furnished apartment in the upstairs of a house on the fringes of the Garden District. The furniture was very old and probably quite lovely. Thing I remember most about it was a dining table and console table held up by large carved lions with open mouths. They looked hungry, so I fed them white bread every day, which Mama had to gouge out of their mouths with a table knife when we moved.
I also remember going with my mother to a poultry shop where chickens were kept live in cages. You selected your chicken, then the proprietor took it into a back room, killed it (wrung its neck?) and gave it to you wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. Not sure whether buyer or poultry shop scalded bird to remove feathers. Believe it was done at shop.
Love your web page.
I think your wording is as close as you're gonna get. I don't think many Blue Room broadcast recordings were made, but we have one on this site (main menu - "Listen"). But as the Blue Room was/is inside the first floor door on the University Place side of the hotel (right across from the Orpheum Theater) it wasn't "atop," it was "at"...as I recall: "Coming to you from the beautiful Blue Room at the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans." Go to Napster and download "Loving You Has Made Me Bananas" by Guy Marks (ABC Paramount, 1967) and listen to very beginning with the perfect parody of that Blue Room intro with I think the exact wording but different hotel and city mentioned.
And do I remember those chickens inside stacked cages outside the market! Whenever a sidewalk buyer would come to look at the chickens to pick one, the cluckers would look the other way hoping to avoid eye contact! At my family's market back in the 50's at Oak & Eagle, Compagno's Grocery, they'd grab the bird and...uh...give its head and neck a fisted 360 degree circular ride so it could be dealt with in a still manner...or just do a Jason and make its throat smile. Once the clucker stopped hopping around (and some took the longest time before they were bled dry) then they'd chop off its head, and run it over a rotating rubber-fingered plucking machine till the bird was as clean and shiny as a baby's ass for the buyer.
Bet you're glad you asked! :-)
Hi. I was born in 1940, and grew up thru my High School years in the '50s listening to the radio as it started the R&R revolution. Here are some of my remembrances:
WMRY (later WYLD) - The Larry & Frank Show with Larry McKinley and Frank F. Frank. They were the same person, of course, but the voice illusion was the best. Don't think there was smoother voice on the radio besides Larry McKinley, except maybe for Dick Martin at WWL (Moonglow with Martin).
WJMR - Listened to Poppa Stoppa a lot. We was the best. Later in life I met and worked with one of the people he used to mention in his sign-on, Max (Buddy Buddy) Mipro, who was an engineer at the station and later at WJMR-TV (WVUE-TV).
WWL - My fondest memories, as I grew up there. My father was an engineer there, having started working there in 1930. Remember these names from the '40s and '50s: Fred Hammond, Bill Brengle, John Kent, Vince Alletto, Jimmy Steele, Dick Martin, Henry Dupre, Pinky Vidacovich, the Dawnbusters band - Al Hirt and Marion Sutter on trumpet, Bubby Castigliola on trombone, Nina Picone on clarinet (along with Pinky), Dave Weinstein and Jimmy Rush on sax, Johnny Senac on bass fiddle, Godfrey Hirsch on drums, Freddie on piano (can't remember his last name, but he was married to Bonnie Bell, one of the singers), Margie O'Dair, the other singer. Engineers Fred Fabre, Milton "Nick" Nicholas, Bob Grevemberg, Joe Juhas, Joe Gros, Louis Scott, Jim Barnes, Bob Lawton, Charles Fox, Eddie DuTriel. Can't remember all the names. God, those were great days.
Miss hearing you on the radio. Never heard why you left WTKL, or whatever it is they call it. Since Muniz sold it, it has lost its uniqueness. Way too much MoTown, and not enough N.O. oldies.
Wow! What memories...the Dawnbusters were such a collection of jewels....and now, thanks to you, we have their names. I do wish recordings of their shows still existed! And Larry McKinley...the best voice ever in New Orleans radio.
Thanks for sharing those memories...if we don't keep them alive here, nobody else is gonna!
I remember the rock and roll shows at Municipal Auditorium, especially seeing Jerry Lee Lewis. I also just saw him recently at the Treasure Chest. Boy, did WE get older. Also, you forgot to mention the Escorial (spelling?) show on Banks Street (unless I missed it.) We brought a Blue Plate coupon on Fridays nights to get in for a nickle. Just discovered your web site...it's a fun site and really brings back memories. Thanks.
WE did get older...but so has Jerry Lee!! And those Fridays at the "show" with those Blue Plate coupons were fun. That's how I got to see "Attack of the Crab Monsters" at the Poplar. But times have changed... these days a nickle isn't worth a dime!
Dear Bob, Thank you so much for the web site. I grew up in Chalmette, but spent many weekends in the city between Banks St and Tulane. Do you remember WNPS? I think it would be similar to an NPR station today.
There was the Escorille movie house on Banks St. I believe it burned down. Thanks again.
I know Cathy in the email above will appreciate knowing that you went to the Escorille movie house. You two could have been sitting side by side one Friday night and didn't even know it, as you both watched the Bowery Boys!
I do remember WNPS...but I was more into "Be Bop A Lula."
Remember Broasted chicken at the Frostop.
Archibald's piano bar. Strippers Lili St Cyr and Lilly Christine, the "Cat Girl."
What about "Stormy," "Jada" and the lady on Canal Street who was featured as "250 pounds of tassel twirling."
"Cherokee" worked there too.
The singer Mercedes at Pat O'Brien's.
My mother wrote the entertainment page "Dine and Dance" on the old New Orleans Item. That was back when Carlos Marcello owned a lot of the dining and entertainment places in New Orleans. The pinball machines were owned by "Tac."
Remember the TV show "N.O.P.D.
What about Earl Long urinating on the carpet at the Roosevelt Hotel on live TV, while he was running around with Blaze Starr. Giving a news conference on the front porch at his childhood home in Winn Parish and having his secretary read Blake's "Tiger,Tiger, Burning Bright" out loud to reporters. Just after that he was committed to a mental institution and as governor fired the administrator (who had him committed), appointed a new one and had himself released. Then he commandeered a national guard plane and flew away. Later he was elected to the US Senate. This is how I remembered it.
McDonough Day parade ended up at the old city hall where all the students went to Mayor Morrison's office and one sixth grader from each school got the key to the city. (I got it from Frank T Howard #2 in 1956).
Radio show with "Tiger" Flowers.
Mumphrey's on St Charles.
Siler's bookstore on St Charles.
The exotic star filled ceilings in the lounge between the restrooms at the Saenger Theater.
RKO Orpheum and the Joy.
The Civic theater where you could see English movies.
Hearing the rosary on the radio from peoples' windows in the afternoon when you were playing.
The catholic kids got to get out of public schools a couple days a week early to go to catechism.
The day after Mardi Gras it would often rain and the sewers, stuffed with debris, would be blocked and the streets would flood.
The old Union station on Basin and Canal.
The Woolworth's on Basin and Canal , where you could get a bagfull of little soldiers, cowboys or indians for practically nothing.
Going "across the lake."
The uniformed policeman standing on a pedestal down at the bottom of Metairie cemetery, near the old canal and railroad tracks, directing traffic.
Wow! That's quite a history lesson there, Al. Knowing Louisiana, if Earl K. Long and Edward Edwards ran on the same ticket today they'd both win again. Uncle Earl looks sane next to out-of-town corporate radio nitwits and A-Holts.
Hello Bob.......My name is Frank Lucito and was born in 1946, lived all my life on the West Bank and graduated at West Jefferson High School in 1964....During the late 50's and 60's coming from the West Bank we made our trips to
Lenfant's, Pontchartrain Beach, The Rockery, etc.....but we had a lot to do on the westside... I can still remember going to Danos' Drive Inn restaurant in Marrero and having a coke and burger or going to Gretna and hanging out at Nelson's.......Nelson's was a big hangout after football games......Even in Lafitte there was "The Grill"....We had our dances too.....Saturday nights at Immaculate Conception and Sunday nights at the VFW Hall in Gretna.....During the week if you wanted music there was always the "509 Club" in Algiers. Of course we had the Scorpio which was the hot spot in the 60's.....If you had a hot date you would always bring her to Jim's Fried Chicken on South Carrollton.......The Log Cabin restaurant in Marrero was always filled with people on Friday and Saturday nights. They had the best hamburger steak in the metro area.....We had our love spots too.....You can always go to the Algiers Drive Inn ( 2 screens), Gretna Greens Drive Inn, or the Marrero Drive Inn.....Brechtel park was always a good spot for back seat memories!!! I had manny good times parked in the back at "The Wabbit" in Gretna...Yes and the football games...I can still remember having 50 - 100 cars going over the Huey P Long bridge and parading down Jefferson highway to Central avenue and then to Airline Highway to East Jefferson Football stadium...There was no Clearview at that time...
Yes those was the days and by the way I always listened to WTIX only....My favorite songs: Danny Boy by Sugarboy, Loan Me Your Hankerchief, Big Blue Diamonds, Holy One, I'll Dream No More (Eddie Powers) and of course "All These Things"....I know I left out a lot of things but I just finished my third Dixie beer and it is time to go to bed..........thanks for listening to me.
You remembered quite a bit under the circumstances, Frank! Hope you listen to those favorite songs of yours on my New Orleans Jukebox Gold broadcasts on my home page here. And Jack The Cat is smiling down on you for polishing off those Dixie beers...his daughter Kendra Elliott Bruno and her husband now own Dixie Brewery!
F.R. (BOB) DUPLANTIER (Founder of the Spontaneous Krewe of Platefaces):
Hi Bob, just discovered your site. Been in St. Louis for six years now. People always ask me if I miss New Orleans. I say no, because I brought the best stuff with me -- my R&B albums and my cookbooks. But there is one thing I miss: a decent radio show. And now I've found it! My wife and I love "Ice Man." In fact, she -- no, I won't go into that. Last time I saw you was at Bert's (?) on Canal St. back in 1983 or 84. Keep up the good work.
Hi Bob...What an honor and a privilege to have my site surfed by a N.O. expatriate who founded the Platefaces! Do you guys really have a Plateface masquerade like Tom Cruise went to in "Eyes Wide Shut?" Please invite me if you do!! Keep checking out my N.O. Jukebox Gold broadcasts on the directory page of my site here. Yeah, I did broadcast the Sunday Night Oldies Party in '83 after we left the Bengal. I'm in the process of creating 12-15 shows that will encompass most of the AM hits of New Orleans radio and keep our unique radio history safe from the ignorant corporate radio A-Holts! Glad your wife likes "Ice Man" too...I won't go into that either! :-)
MICHAEL EDWARD FLAHERTY
Hey Bob...spotted your web site. I grew up in NO, graduated from McDonogh in 1964. I used to hang around TIX and NOE wanting to be in radio. Was offered a job at TIX in early 70's, but the deal wasn't so great and I turned it down. Finally worked at QUE and B-97 as Program Director 83-86 (Kris O'Kelly). TIX was a great station. I remember Don McGregor, Buzz Bennett, you and all the guys.
The beach was really special to me. My brother and I both managed concessions stands at the beach during Summers in High School. We worked for Bud Saudelet who ran concessions for Harry Batt. I worked in Concession stand #2 which was by the Wild Maus. My brother had the "cool" concession stand at the pool. Everybody wanted that place! I grew up at the beach and really miss it. I still can't believe it's gone. Anyway, just thought I'd say hello. I've always enjoyed your work.
Ahhh...one of my old Program Directors! Hi Mike...I enjoyed our association when I had my Sunday Night Oldies Party on WQUE Q-93 from '83 - '84 at Bert's (see previous letter) and at Frankie G's at the Rodeway Inn on the I-10 Service Road in Kenner from '85 - '86. It was at Frankie G's that we had our famous live concert on the Sunday Night Oldies Party on Q-93 featuring Aaron Neville, Ernie K-Doe and Irma Thomas...for FREE. The line to get in was quite lengthy, extending back almost two blocks to Williams Blvd.
I do remember that concession stand #2, situated on the left of the Wild Maus, with a few banana trees there too. Then the Log Flume ride came afterwards. But, you know, for the life of me I can't remember what ride was in that spot before the Wild Maus. But I miss Pontchartrain Beach too, along with lots of other people. Thanks, Mike, for stopping by and sharing your great memories.