"Online since 1999"
radio and growing up in New Orleans in the 50's, 60's and 70's!
SANDY THORNTON 1947:
Hi Bob, just found your site and have got nothing done all day. The trip down Memory Lane has been wonderful. You have done an outstanding job, just as you have in radio for all of us Yats over the years. I heard you say once on the radio that you didn't remember the dance "The Popeye." God, I felt like the Queen of the Popeye at the dances back in our day, and if I ever get the chance, I'll refresh your memory. Again thank you for many years of joy!
We tried for years on the Sunday Night Oldies Party in our line dance set. They remembered there was a dance to it, but nobody could remember how to do the Popeye. Actually, as I recall, it was more of a "snake dance" like the Second Line, with one person following behind another, doing the dance around the room. Not like today's line dances, where dancers are along side of each other. We'll get you to demonstrate it at our next conclave of Sunday night barflies. Now...about "Popeye The Hitchhiker" which incorporated the Popeye and the Hitchhike...nah. Another day!
I grew up in New Orleans in the 1950's and 1960's. Here are some of my New Orleans radio memories:
1. The Lou Kirby show on WNOE-1060 AM. His slogan: "The Kirby Show is on the air, parlez-vous."
2. Joseph Culotta's "Let's Talk It Over"; even if the irritating Mrs. Gaillot monopolized it.
3. Three and four in a row on WNOE.
4. My grandparents praying the rosary along with WJBW.
He wasn't on the radio, but I had the greatest respect for Hap Glaudi, sports editor for the Item, and the one who reported the sports on WWL. He told it straight, and didn't bite his tongue. His accent spoke eloquently of his roots: he was truly one of us.
Sitting in the studio at WNOE with CC Courtney & Lou Kirby at night was my motivation to get on the radio. Remember when they recorded "Maybe Baby" and called themselves "The Singing Bodies?" You might recall that came from the Courtney/Kirby radio catch phrase that caught on: "How's your body?" Check out our C. C. Courtney Tribute Page on this site.
When the rosary moved to WSMB it came up on my weekend shift in 1967 and the file consisted of five different tapes that everyone prayed along with! Sounded live though. And Joe Culotta was always ready to "talk it over" with anyone, anytime!
Holsom bread with the parrot design on the waxed paper wrap. In 1940 ordering a po'boy for lunch at the little store across from Lakeview School and in 1955 going to the little store next to Warren Easton for a po'boy lunch. Easter egg hunts along Lakeshore Drive and the sea wall. Listening to "Let's Pretend" on the radio on Saturday mornings. Getting coffee, milk and "donuts" at Morning Call in the French Quarter-drive-in style.
Holsum and Sunbeam eventually merged and, as Miss Sunbeam came along Holsum faded away. Remember when school kids took tours of the Sunbeam plant in Gentilly (near the Higgins boat factory) each child was given a free mini-loaf of Sunbeam bread. By the way, bet it's been a while since you thought of Bond Bread and Merita Bread. And which TV cowboy show did Merita Bread sponsor??
Dear Mr. Walker, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Jay Gauthreaux. I came across your website by accident, and glad to say, I'm glad I did. Going through the scroll of memories, it seemed to jump out at me with some of things I remember well. I remember Dick Bruce running for office. The TV newscaster who got fired for being drunk on the air, Mike Landis of WWL I believe. Don Lewis was a sub teacher when I was a student at O.P.Walker. Ice cream at both Sealtest and Borden's. How about Jimmy Steele hosting Sunday afternoon wrestling? Morgus every Saturday night. Romper room with Miss Linda, every morning before school. Jim Metcalf's Sunday Journal, and his opening line, "Please to begin." I live in Lafayette now and reading the scroll, I'm getting homesick!
You probably remember my dad, Jay Richards? I remember he subbed for Jimmy Steele on Sunday wrestling one time. I would love to get a copy of that tape. Well, I won't keep you, enjoyed the web-site. Keep it up.
Your dad was a fine man! I worked with him at WRNO in the late 70's. Too bad that, in broadcasting, for every one great person like Jay Richards there are 100 egotistical airhead clowns like Dick Bruce and mama's little A-holt.
These are some more places that were popular in the 50's and 60's:
1 - Wallace and Raoul's Abundance and Elysian Fields
2 - The Stardust Lounge on Metairie Road at Causeway Blvd.
3 - Barattini's Steinway Lounge way out on Veterans Highway
4 - Sonata's Lounge on Elysian Fields and Robert E. Lee
5 - Steer Inn Elysian Fields at Madrid Street
I really enjoyed reading your website about the good ole times in N.O. Keep up the good work.
Three lounges on any list of five things is fine with me!
NANCY G., PALATINE, IL:
Hi Bob! I remember "Tunies," the tuna fish hot dogs that came in a can. We had so many of them - YUKK!! Can you give me any info on who made them, if they still exist, and where? I think my grandmother made them all millionaires. We had so many cans that they swelled up with bloat before we were forced to eat them. Being a Catholic family you couldn't eat meat on Friday years ago and they were our supper almost every Friday night. There were five children in our house and four adults. They must have been dirt cheap because as I said my grandmother and father bought tons of them. All of us "kids" hated them. We grew up in Chicago, IL. We always make jokes about them and were trying to prove to our kids that they really existed like with a label or picture of one.
Yeah that was some ugly and nasty food! Tunies are long gone. I think they were only in business for a short while in the late 50's because everybody felt about them like you and I do. No info on who made them...they're probably still in hiding! I'm getting grossed out just thinking of them.
By the way, I wonder what ever happened to all the people who went to hell for eating meat on Fridays!
Those who ate Tunies instead of meat on Fridays should be sitting at the highest level in Heaven!!
Born in '61. I remember "Looking 'em over" with Hap Glaudi.
...Saturday matinees at the Famous Theater for 25 cents with the coupon from the paper.
...50 cent triple features at the Famous on Sundays.
...Royal Castle burgers with root beer.
...Po-boys from Mule's that my dad would bring home late at night from his club meetings.
...Waking up on Sunday with roast beef and mayo breath and not remembering how I got it.
...Picnics under the shelter house at City Park.
...Storyland at City Park before the renovations.
...Those "long" drives to the airport before the I-10.
...The Skyvue Drive Inn.
...Mardi Gras Day at Lee Circle.
...and many more memories. Just found your website and I love it.
Welcome aboard, Randy. I guess every neighborbood had a po-boy restaurant whose roast beef sandwiches were "the best in town." Now you've got me hungry... roast beef po-boy... dressed, of course... sloppy gravy... lotsa mayo... swiss... extra pickles...
JAY WOLFE, EJ class of '63, www.wolfeguitars.com:
Bob...your site is fun. Thanks. As a young high school drummer, I began playing in Earl Stanley's many bands: The Stereo's, Roger & the Gypsies, Eddie Powers, The Links, etc. Earl kept coming up with names. We musta played every smokey joint in NO. Played with Earl & his group of hardened veterans when I was 16 & they were ..........well, "older". If my Mom & Dad only knew.
Couple of memories:
* We played many weddings at Lenfants. There was a guy that seemed to be a "guest" at all of them. I later found out that he lived in the area, put on his suit & tie every Saturday & came to whoever's wedding. He pretended to be a regular guest, & claimed to be "with the band" if ever challenged. Which, of course, is how I found out his cool scam. He ate well, drank his share & danced with all the babes....& rarely went home alone. That guy was my idol.
* Recall playing the Swamp Room on Canal. It was a long, narrow joint & EVERYONE seemed to be a chain smoker. I was set up just in front of the exhaust fan at the back of the bandstand & ALL THE SMOKE in the joint went in my eyes and out my ears...... When I'd try to sleep after that, my eyes would burn for hours. That was when I discovered Murine! Finally told my boss (the older & crazier Earl Stanley) I couldn't work that gig anymore!
Got a million of 'em. Married a Sacred Heart girl in '70. My wife competed in beauty contests in the '60's in NO. She won the Miss Audubon Park contest the last year it was held. I love to tell our (now adults) kids that their Mom is the reigning "Queen" of that place. The MacKenzie donut commercial guy hosted most of those contests. Wife is the former Linda Lind. We've been married 31 years & reside in Jupiter,FL.....where the only Gumbo we get is when we make Turkey Gumbo with Thanksgiving leftovers. Man, what I'd give to be at Mandina's right now.
BTW, re: your Ched's swizzle- When Jim Stewart leased the new, huge Ched's on Canal, my trio, with me on guitar, was his house band for about a year. Jim brought Eric Burton & the Animals in there one night for a couple sets.
For a guy with an "attractive-challenged" face, Dick Bruce sure managed for it to pop up everywhere! So, you're the guy...when I worked with Eric Burdon at Treasure Chest last year he asked me if I ever heard of a guitar player back at Ched's who had smoke coming out of his ears! Well...I'm off to Mandina's for gumbo. Oops...gee...I'm sorry! :-)
What about St Dominic's dances? The Peacock and Fox theatres? Chicken Delight, the first home delivered chicken? (Their shop was located on Chef Hwy. right by Forest Park, a.k.a. Indian Village). Also, Jim's fried chicken on the corner of Carrollton and Earhart? Can you tell I grew up in Gentilly? Pat O'Brian's with an altered drivers license to listen to all the college fight songs sung by Emile Perrin? Venezia's Pizza? And the pizza place(can't remember the name) where I had my first pizza ever, right next to the Tiger show and Sugar Bowl lanes. The Black Orchid Lounge, near Dillard? Thanks for the memories,
I'm surprised we never met at Venezia's...the best pizza house in town! Nice to wash it down with a Regal Beer. Oops...has it been that long??
Oh, this is a great website! Thanks, Bob. Being away from it all for the past ten years (and strolling down memory lane).....Here's a few I came up with:
Neighborhood shows - the Clematis (it was on Clematis St. in Gentilly - I think this was the name), the Fox (on Elysian Fields, was turned into a fire station), and did you forget the Robert E Lee?
Dances - "Crossroads" It was held at some school during the early '70's...and who can forget John Pela and the Tony Bevinetto dancers?
I was a regular on Saturday Hop in the Hazel Romano Dancers era. The Tony Bevinetto were in the later years of the show. I remember the live singers we had most every week like Pat Boone, Dion, etc...whoever was appearing in the Blue Room showed up that weekend on Saturday Hop. Then there was the time Timi Yuro was singing and didn't realize how far down her blouse was unbuttoned...no big deal from the camera's angle in front but quite a view to the regulars watching her from the side!
Hey Bob! I'm from Algiers but have lived in the Los Angeles area for many years now, but am moving BACK in just a couple months. This time aound I'll be living in the Slidell area. Anyway, I went to Behrman and graduated in '69. I used to stay up late at night and listen to WBOK. I always liked soul music and loved the Al Gourrier show. He played the B sides of records, and if he really liked a song he would play it a few times in a row. As a station I.D. of sorts,throughout his show he would play Booker T. and the M.G.'s instrumental "Groovin' " which he'd recorded his own voice over (early karaoke, I guess), and it went,"Groovin' on the Al Gourrier Show, groovin' 'cause we're always in the know...."etc. Whatever happened to WBOK?
I still remember that station I.D.song that used to play on WTIX. "Up and down the great golden gulf coast, everyone's talking 'bout the Tiger in town. Everyone in the Crescent City says "TIX the Tiger" is really the most. There's fun and games for you, music, old and new, 24 hours of nonstop fun. Tune in and swing with...W..T..I..X, New Orleans!" You probably remember this, as you're obviously so into this stuff.
Hey, I almost fell over when I saw SHANE MARTIN on your list of singers! His real name is Neale Lundgren, in case you didn't know, and we met in ninth grade. He was my boyfriend for a little while, maybe a couple months, and the band he used to be in back then, the TWILIGHTS, used to play at my house. Also, in that band was Steve Staples, who owns the International Vintage Guitar Store on Magazine Street now, Anyway, Neale is married now and just had a baby girl named Emily Grace a couple years back. I saw him and his wife at our 25 year class reunion. Also, in that class was well known chef Susan Spicer, whom I just saw six months ago when I was in New Orleans for a mutual friend's memorial service (bass player David Lee Watson).
By the way, my younger sister who now lives in Texas, told me about your site. She used to be the President of C.C. Courtney's fan club back in the old days. She was only 15, and I don't think there were many presidential "duties", but it WAS the OFFICIAL fan club at the time.
So these are some of MY memories. If I went into "Tales From the Algiers Drive-In" I'd be up all night typing. Ha!
I just read YOUR memories, and they reminded me of some things. Like the Viaduct in Algiers, that overpass thing that was torn down later. Oh yeah, and when I was in the first grade my dad, a seaman, "donated" a baby seal, which was named Slipper to the Audobon Zoo. He had been to Africa, and some fishermen had caught the seal in their nets. My dad talked them into lettng him have it, took it aboard the ship, and gave it to the zoo when they got back home. His and a couple other guys' pictures were in the newspaper with Slipper.
Oh yeah, Neale's older sister Sharon used to go out with Les Gray from the Palace Guards. Did you mention the F&M Patio in your list? There was another place I remember going to, Farhad Grotto.
Oh yeah, and the very first teen concert I ever saw--I was 12--was at Pontchartrain Beach with Jan and Dean, Wayne Newton, Dick and DeeDee, Lesley Gore, and Steve Alaimo. I think it was put on by WTIX. I saw another great show (one of MANY I went to) a few years later at Municipal Auditorium, with the Barbarians, the Byrds, Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.
Okay, that's it for now.
Wow! Now that's a head full of memories! I was in the crowd too at that WTIX show at Pontchartrain Beach. That had to be WTIX Appreciation Night in August of 1963. I still have all the recorded promos for all the WTIX nights at Pontchartrain Beach from '57 - '64. And, yes, the competition had those other shows at Municipal Auditorium in the mid-'60's...the WNOE All-Star Shows produced by Herb Holliday. At the last show in 1966 with Sonny & Cher, Herman's Hermits, Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders and Cannibal & The Headhunters, Herb Holliday got on stage and announced that the next All-Star show would feature the Rolling Stones. The crowd went wild. Unfortunately, it never happened and Herb Holliday faded into history.
WBOK is Gospel now. Seems all the old AM stations are now either talk or Gospel.
And tell your sister...the only duties of the C. C. Courtney Fan Club officers and members was to have fun!
Shrimp Boats is a comin! Jo stafford 1951, a hit song about Louisiana, and the bayou country. There is a reference to "Luzanna Moon shows on high, as they wait for the day they can cry--Shrimp Boats is a Comin, there sails are in sight,etc."
Jo stafford, her late husband Paul Weston, and friend Frankie Laine loved new Orleans. In fact she recorded many songs about N.O. as did Frankie Laine. Frankie has a great recording of a song called" New Orleans." My dad has it on a 1962 Curtis Mathis record! It's a stereo demo from another New Orleans memory, Labiche's, an old appliance store that featured Curtis Mathis tv's and Webcor hi-fi's!!!. My parents still have the Webcor console stereo purchased there. The only 45 we owned at the time, to try out on the then new stereo was "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," by Perez Prado. Check out an album recorded by Paul Weston called "The Crescent City Suite," an instrumental album about New Orleans recorded in 1957. The cover features a great color shot of New Orleans, at the time, with the then new Mississippi River Bridge, under construction, which opened in 1958! Zatarains used to use this music in their tv commercials.
How about the theme from Schwegmann's!!! It was really the "Poor People of Paris" by Les Baxter, a number 1 hit from 1956!!!! Other TV and radio jingles come to mind are "Buy your Chevrolet from Persia, Mike Persia Chevrolet!"... and how about "Jacobson Young, where the lights are strung!" Or Trader Joe Parretti!
I can remember during the summer listening to WTIX all day long, and since we had a place in Waveland, we would always go to the Friendship House in Gulfport. I used to here the jingle all the time on TIX! Well here goes nothing---"Heave Ho the anchor now, and call out the captain and the crew (ding ding) we're off to eat at the Friendship House, where the flounder is so fresh, and the shrimp are too. (boat horn) and the steaks are great and the chicken is the same, and the lobster and the crabs, have their very own name. We're off to eat at the Friendship House, Friendship (pirates whistle!) is their middle name!!!(ding ding!)"
I loved that Friendship House commercial on TIX, and you remembered it perfectly. When you heard it you knew it was springtime, since it always started running on WTIX right after Easter. The Brennan family owned the Friendship House and it would be nice if they opened it again on the coast. Remember Dixie Beer commercials, which promised you "a bright, cheerful tomorrow?" It seemed to imply that you wouldn't wake up with a hangover after drinking Dixie Beer. Debra, you'd win a N.O. commercial trivia contest easily. First prize would be a Webcor hi-fi. Oops, sorry, it doesn't come with a spindle for the 45's. Have a bright, cheerful tomorrow!
WAYNE IN LAPLACE:
Hi Bob, Just discovered your site and enjoyed it very much.....I moved to New Orleans in 1957 having just graduated high school in Meridian, Ms. I lived in a rundown room over the "Monkey Bar" on Canal Street and spent all my money at the Safari Room, Rockery Drive Inn, The Celebrity Lounge (where Dave Barthomew played often), The President steamship, Mandino's, Martin Brothers, Pontchartrain Beach. Of course I listened to WTIX, WNOE. Later on in the early 60's I remember the Sunday jam sessions at Kass' Lounge and Joy Lounge in Gretna. BTW the Joy Lounge in Gretna was converted from the Joy bowling lanes and the dance floor was all of the lanes moved together, a great dance floor. Again I enjoyed your site very much.
That was money well spent. Look at the memories you wouldn't have if you didn't hang out back then. I bet the Monkey Bar was a story in itself. "We're not in Meridian anymore, Toto!"
ANN IN PLANO, TEXAS:
Hi Bob! I was probably the Biggest fan of C.C. Courtney and Lou Kirby. They did the absolute best white boy show after midnight. Last I heard about 20 years ago C.C. Courtney was into computer programming, was married and had two boys. I know about the award winning play "Salvation," (and by the way , my last name is Farley, which might mean something if you know abvout the play) and I saw him in "Schizopolis" wihich has the same director as "Traffic." Is there any way to get a copy of some the airplay from WNOE when Courtney was on? Any idea if he comes around on Mardi Gras? I understand that there is a station in N.O. which plays nostalgia ' 60's from TIX and NOE AM? But do you know where he can be sent e-mail, most of all. I am very very happily married but I would love to let him know that I still wonder what he's doing these days. If you should hear from him tell him some chick in Texas said, "I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours." It was his way of saying hi to me on the air.
Hi Ann! I lost track of "the Duke of the Dial in Dixie" C.C. Courtney over 20 years ago after his ill-fated return to WNOE with Buzz Bennett in 1978. John Fred told me once that C.C. was now a farmer somewhere up around Virginia but I don't know for sure what he's up to. Maybe he'll see this and let us both know what he's up to these days. Were you one of the C.C. & Lou faithful who stood outside the WNOE building at 529 Bienville Street at night when those two cut-ups were on the air and threw pebbles at their studio window to get their attention? Hate to burst your bubble but Charles Cane Courtney probably shared dream appearances with more gals than you'd care to know of. :-).
I have no tapes of C.C. and Lou but I'm planning a N.O. radio audio museum section on my site where you will be able to click on to WTIX jingles and airchecks of old N.O. dj's and hear clips of their shows. If I get some tape on them it will certainly be included.
MARGARET IN FLORIDA:
Great memories at your site. Just wanted to let you know that some of us dancers from the John Pela / Saturday Hop, Hazel Romano Dancers are still around and dancing. I lived in Lake Vista and went to Warren Easton. Are we the only ones that went to the Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt to dance? Moved to Florida about 30 years ago but still visit family regularly. No one has food like NO. My Aunt lived off Carrollton by the park.
You have more energy than I do if you're still dancing like in the old days on Saturday Hop! Y'know, some Saturday afternoons these days I still reminisce fondly about the Frey hot dogs and 7-Ups they gave us while we were in the studio dancing on Saturday Hop. And didn't Peter Toma and his orchestra rock in that Fountain Lounge?? How's dem erster po-boys in Florida? As good as at Bucktown or West End??? Oops, sorry! :-)
Bob, some of my fondest memories are waiting for the WTIX and WNOE top 40 and top 50 surveys to come out every week in the 50's and 60's to see which song was the top and just how my favorites ranked. It was also interesting to see how some songs could be #1 in the nation and never really get air play in New Orleans e.g. - Honky Tonk Women by the Stones and I Can't get Next to You by the Temptations. 2 Huge hits which never got much (if any) airplay in New Orleans. I remember also trying to get KAAY from Little Rock on am at night, just to say we were getting another AM station.
By the way, if you can solve an argument, which station played "Bonita" by Illinois Jacquet at midnight. We remember switching to hear it but couldn't remember which station played it.
I've never heard of "Bonita" or Illinois Jacquet, so I doubt it was TIX that played it. NOE did more feature stuff like that. For example, remember C.C. Courtney playing the "Kissing Tone" countdown, followed by "Lovers Never Say Goodbye" every Saturday night at midnight on NOE? Check it out on our C. C. Courtney Tribute Page on his site.
I think KAAY in Little Rock was everybody's "third" N.O. rock station at night in the 60's, with WLS in Chicago at #4. And as far as songs that were #1 in the nation, or even charted high in the nation, and never got played here... oh boy... the stories I could tell you from the inside about how songs got ranked on surveys in this city back then. Another thought too...ever wondered about all the songs that got charted here but never played on the air... ? 'Nuff said.