"Online since 1999"


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Fun email we've received through the years with memories about

radio and growing up in New Orleans in the 50's, 60's and 70's!

Hi Bob. When I was a teen in Mobile, Alabama in the '50s, I remember listening to a radio show - that I think aired on WWL (it's 50000 Watts reached Mobile). It was a dramatization of New Orleans early history with characters like Madam Pontalba. The stories were serialized and very interesting. It may have been called "The River Road". Have you ever heard anything about this show? It would be great if recordings or scripts were in some vault at WWL. I now live in Los Angeles, but went to Tulane, and lived in New Orleans from 1956 to 1974. It is still my favorite city. I watched Mardi Gras on the net. Quite a treat. I'd appreciate any information about this great old radio program. The stories about the Laluarie Mansion were particularly exciting to a teenager in Mobile. Thanks for your help.

I'm totally unfamiliar with the series, although it does sound like something WWL radio would have broadcast back the good old days before quality and imagination were replaced by "network" and "cheap." If I get any info on email I'll let you know.

Also, a leter note from WDSU-TV's Paul Yacich:

"Mr. George Grace asked if anyone knew about a New Orleans history radio show called "River Road." I believe the show he refers to was the WWL-Bev Brown production called "The Road To Yesterday." It presented New Orleans and Louisiana history in a delightfully entertaining manner... taking the listener into the homes of the Vieux Carre' and the great plantation homes along the River Road where the history of this area of Louisiana was really written. It was a wonderful program and would make a terrific TV series. I understand there is someone in New Orleans who has all the scripts as well as recordings of the show. Trouble is, I just don't know who that someone is!"

I came out from California the year after Betsy hit...fell in love with the city and especially the Krystal Hamburgers at 10 cents and a bowl of fabulous chili...worked at the Royal Castle hamburger joint on Airline Hwy. ...took the St. Charles street car and made many 5 cent phone calls...loved the Po-Boy shop across from Felix's Oyster Bar on Bienville, I think...and our favorite watering hole and most interesting bar was The Society Page in Exchange Alley...wild and wicked...and La Casa de los Marinos...Jax beer and the French that city...Cesca

Y'all come back again just keeps getting better...

Hi - I have a radio memory to contribute: In 1954, I was visiting New Orleans on a pass from the Army and stopped at WSMB's studios. Scott Muni was about to do his nighttime music show and was arranging his studio with fake palm trees, lowering the bright lights to create a more intimate atmosphere for his on air shift.

On another note: I realy enjoyed listening to Dick Martin on WWL with his "Moonglow With Martin" jazz show when I was in the South with the military at Camp Gordon, GA. Does anyone have an aircheck(s) of his midnight show on WWL? I have a collection to trade, or will purchase. He was also on the Baton Rouge public station after WWL, I understand, perhaps doing his same jazz format? It was a great show and his style influenced my 40+ year career in broadcasting.

Many thanks for your reply. Great New Orleans radio reminiscing web site.

Scott Muni went on to a serious radio career in major markets. When I was doing Saturday nights on WSMB in 1966, I never realized such a legend had worked before me in that very control room. I thought the biggest WSMB had was Nut 'n Jeff!!

"Moonglow With Martin" is my most requested aircheck and I have not been successful in tracking down even one show. I certainly hope at least one exists somewhere to preserve the sound of that popular show. If I can find one I'll post it for listening.

Hi Bob. Just discovered your website (excellent job) and have enjoyed it very much. I hope you never get tired of hearing this, but I've grown up listening to you and Tix'... and it's a special comfort knowing that some of the good things never change. I even had an Official WTIX "Tenna-Topper" (orange styrofoam ball) on my That was a promotion the station did to let everyone who saw you know you were listening to "The Mighty 690". (1963-1964?)

Do you remember Hopper's Drive In's? I believe Burger King bought out the two locations I knew of in the Metairie/Kenner area. There was one close to Vets & Transcontinental (where Burger King is now) and one on Airline Hwy. in Kenner. They had a great multicolored neon sign that revolved as a trademark. It was similar to todays Sonic Drive In as far as the type of food that was offered. A great place to take your date if you were short on cash.... and who wasn't at 17.

I tried searching the net for Hopper's, but there was only one mention of the Drive In, and it was a written article. It would be great if someone out there had a photo of the place they could send to you for your webpage.

My favorite Hopper's was the one on Jefferson Highway, on the right just before Ochsner Hospital coming from the Sands. There were Hopper's in Baton Rouge too when I started there at LSU in 1965, a welcome sight! If someone has a picture of Hopper's and will send it to me I will post it on these pages.

I had a TIX Tenna Topper too before I went to work for them...that promotion was more like '66-'67 (the brainchild of Program Director Buzz Bennett) and I proudly displayed it atop the antenna on my gold Mustang!

I used to listen to WTIX from Hattiesburg, MS, and my graduating class (1977) had a senior trip to New Orleans where we spent the greater part of the day at Pontchartrain Beach. I can remember riding the Zephyr (which later got transported to Hattiesburg as a ride at Kamper Park Zoo), the sky ride, the ferris wheel and the log flume. I can also remember the commercials WTIX used to run for Pontchartrain Beach (the jingle "at the Beach, at the Beach, at Pontchartrain Beach, you can ride, you can ride almost every ride"). I also remember listening to you as a DJ on WTIX. I especially remember when you guys got into the Mardi Gras spirit every year playing lots of great Mardi Gras tunes.

Living now in Hollywood, FL I miss New Orleans and also miss the good days of radio with WTIX.

"At the Beach, at the Beach, at Pontchartrain Beach
You'll have fun, you'll have fun, every day of the week
You'll love the thrilling rides
Laugh till you split your sides
At...Pontchartrain Beach."

Check out my recorded music shows in my New Orleans Jukebox Gold section at http://www.neworleansjukeboxgold.comand click on the Pontchartrain Beach show for a walk back in time from one end of the midway to the other...and hear the jingle too!

Some time ago I wrote you asking about Dick Martin who had the enormously popular midnight jazz show on WWL in the fifties, Moonglow With Martin. You didn't have any idea what had happened to him, and no contributors to your site seemed to know of his whereabouts. Nosing around the internet, I learned that Dick Martin had moved to WRKF in Baton Rouge, the public radio station. I contacted them and received a response from Eric Deweese, the station manager. I am sure he won't mind if I share his response with your readers:

"Dick died about 6 years ago (1997 ?). He had stopped his Moonglow show on WRKF a few years before his death because of poor health. He has a daughter in Dallas and a sister in Springfield, Illinois. Unfortunately, I've lost track of them.

Many people would call Dick telling him how they got engaged listening to him, listened to him on their wedding night, and were now celebrating a 40th anniversary. One man said, as a child, he put a big, 1950's table model radio under his pillow in order to listen to Moonglow. His parents were good Baptists who didn't hold with that kind of music.

Glad to know he is remembered.

I am sorry that Dick Martin is no longer with us, but he brought a lot of pleasure to many people, and he was the primary jazz teacher to a 15 year-old Mexican border boy who remembers him fondly.

We should all be so lucky as to leave behind such nice memories so many years later.

Remember at Mater Dolorosa the two Christian Brothers that taught the boys in 7 & 8 grade? Tough dudes, Brother Victor and Brother Prosperi. Wonder whatever happened to them since you lived on Maple Street and went to the Mecca Theater. Do you remember a cute little girl named Judy V, whose dad owned the grocery across the street from the show? Also when I went to Mater Dolorosa we won the CSAL Basketball CHampionship two years in a row. This must have been around 1951 and 1952. Thanks.

Victor was one mean son of a bitch, from what I heard. I thought of using the term "psychotic" but we'll let it slide. If he's still alive I hope they have him safely locked in a room somewhere.

I never knew Prosperi. When I got in those grades we had Brother Martin and Brother Gabriel. We loved Gabriel...quite a few mothers had a crush on him too. Martin was psychotic too (see and apply "Victor" comments above). Yes, I remember and I admired Judy Vinturella from a distance and she never even knew it! And there were no MDS basketball championships in my memory...all I remember is that the basketball gym was always locked up, and they kept telling us it was "condemned." The days were always interesting in the land of Father Joseph !

Hey, excellent website! In the early 70's, there was a club on Rampart at Gov. Nicholls called the D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F. (Do I Look Like I Give a F***)? Played folk, blues, country, every nite was live mike. A great place!

I missed that one but it sounds like a fun place!

Bob, my worldview as a kid growing up in Gentilly was bounded by the Industrial Canal, the Lake, Paris Avenue, and Canal Street. Life outside of these borders was a mysterious void, with no basis for existence. All of this changed on July 10, 1963 with my employment by Williams Super Markets. At that time, Williams had two retail outlets, one at State & Freret St. , and another larger store on St. Charles & Jackson Avenue, where my aunt worked in the business office. This job opportunity was due, in part, to her sense that my mother had her hands full with three kids at home during the summer. The St. Charles St. store was build originally in 1895, when it was opened as one of the original Katz & Besthoff drug stores. My job was to bag groceries and to take deliveries. The Garden District neighborhood was surrounded by large apartment buildings - The Wohl, The Carol, The Mayflower, The Georgian, and The Andrew Jackson, all of which provided Williams with a substantial customer base. During the first few weeks taking deliveries, my awareness of diverse personal living circumstances was fashioned. On one trip to a run down apartment house on Jackson Avenue, the stench of urine was overpowering as one entered the front door. In the next ten minutes, another delivery could take me to the penthouse at the Pontchartrain Hotel, to be greeted by the kitchen help and views of sterling silver dinnerware. One evening, during those first few weeks, we had a last minute rush of customers during the final hour before closing on Saturday. It had been a long day on my feet, and the lines of customers added to my feelings of exhaustion. Thoughts of all the different living conditions to which they would return triggered my realization that I would shortly be headed back to Gentilly for dinner. It was one of the first times I really appreciated my own home and family.

Day to day operations at Williams were overseen by Mr. H. & Mr. B. Direction offered by Mr. H. usually included descriptions of his vast previous retail grocery experience. Mr. B. was a crusty, Popeye-like gentleman who also had been around the block more than once; his management style was more direct - "do it because I said so". Having two bosses is never a good thing, and this situation was a constant challenge, as were the customers. Our indoctrination motto was : "The customer is always right," but the most frequent question posed by them was : "Son..., is the Cream Cheese fresh ?" On one occasion, this timeless question was extended to another level, as in, "Son..., is the 7-Up fresh ?" Mr. H. revealed his inner feelings one day, when he responded to the news that one of our "favorite" customers from The Wohl was traveling by air to visit her sister in New York. "Well I don't want to wish her no bad luck", he exclaimed, "but I hope that goddamed plane falls in the ocean ! " On another occasion, I was sent to retrieve an item from the walk-in cooler at the rear of the store, and, to my horror, noticed that several watermelon had fallen from an inside upper shelf to the floor. When I saw the smashed melon, my first thought was to avoid guilt by association and pretend that I didn't see anything. Then, on my way out, I ran straight into Mr. B. ; now, I had to relate the details of the mess inside. He listened with a stern expression on his face, and finally spoke: "That was Frank, son of a bitch, with them damn biscuits !" (L. Frank & Co. was our dairy wholesaler, who had made a delivery earlier that day.) The real watermelon smasher never came forward.

Not far from the walk-in cooler was a steep, narrow spiral staircase which connected the first floor with the warehouse and business office on the second floor. Efficient inventory movement to and from the warehouse was accomplished with a freight elevator installed at the very rear of the building. My older cousin, who hired on as a stock boy that fall, familiarized me with its operation. Essentially, it was a relay controlled conveyor belt, mounted vertically within the elevator shaft connecting the ground floor with the upstairs warehouse. Freight was moved up or down by a set of support structures mounted perpendicular to the plane of the belt. It was definitely a two man operation, since any item not removed from the topmost support was subject to a 25 ft. drop to the floor when its direction of motion was reversed at the top of the shaft. Now, this presented a challenge to my cousin, who always welcomed opportunities to "enrich" his work experience. One day, he proudly demonstrated his efficiency with a case of tomatoes, placed on the bottom elevator support shelf. In one continuous motion, he hit the "START" relay, dashed up the spiral staircase, three stairs at a time, sprinted halfway down the hallway on the second floor to the warehouse entrance, and finally ran all the way back to the opposite end of the warehouse, where he hit the "STOP" relay on the elevator just in time to prevent the tomatoes from crashing to the ground! Someday, I will ask if he ever gave in to the temptation to jump on-board the elevator himself, for a ride upstairs!

Saturdays were not only busy, but very long days for us, and our lunch breaks were a welcome relief from the workday hustle. When my cousin was willing to drive, we sampled a new cuisine, eventually referred to as "fast food", at either McDonalds or the new Burger King, both of which were across the river in Gretna. But my most vivid memories are those of our walks from Williams along St. Charles towards Canal St., past The Wohl, The Pontchartrain, Smiths Record Store, and the Chrysler-Mercedes dealership to eventually enter the Please U restaurant. My favorite order was red beans & rice, smoked sausage, French bread, and lemon meringue pie for dessert. Although they have not matched the expansion of McDonalds or Burger King over the years, knowing that Please U and Williams are still open for business today on St. Charles St. builds my sense of stability, especially after so much time has passed.

Conversely, I worked a total of three days at the National Supermarket at Claiborne and Carrollton while in high school and I ran away screaming.

Just a quick note of thanks to review all the names recalled over the 18 years. I spent in New Orleans radio (WNOE AM & FM). Hadn't thought about "Morgus" in a long while. We're retired in Las Vegas and enjoying it. Best regards and thanks again for your efforts.

What a treat to hear from the Dean of WNOE news from the late '60's to the '80's. By the way Dave, what is the color of the day? :-)

Hi Bob! My earliest memories of New Orleans radio...late at night, parked on the hill behind KELP, El Paso (where I was earning my Top-40 stripes) with a couple of other fledging DJ's, and listening to "Jockey John Stone" on WNOE. He was the coolest! And of course all of us listening on the radio late at night, wanted to be on the air in New Awelans, Laweezeeanna!

It wasn't until a decade or so later I would be on WNOE, WTIX, WSMB, WGNO, WSHO, WAIL-FM, Q-93, and a couple of others as "their" traffic reporter! But that's another story, for when you get into the 80"s.

Continued success with all that you do Bob.

The Dean of New Orleans radio Traffic Reporters who brought it into the modern era! Just hearing the name Chuck Adams makes me wonder whatever happened to Sherri Bernardi, another great name from the Walton & Johnson days on WQUE Q-93.

Hey Bob! Pat (Helmstetter) Matthews here! How's it hangin? I'm living in SoCal and doing various things in the "business" One of them is listed below. Hope you can listen! Thanks for including me on your web-site!

Listen to BEATLES-A-RAMA!!! DSL <> 

Born in '52. loved listening to TIX and NOE back then. When radio was competetive, it was great for the listener! I used to like to win things on the radio. Won an autographed Beatles Story from TIX, $6.90 a bunch of times...on NOE, they'd give away $10.60(lucky for us their frequency was higher!)

Anyway, won once from Greg Mason...a month later I called again and he said "kid, why don't you let somebody else win for a change" before hanging up. I never forgot that. Used it as inspiration to get into radio myself. Two weeks ago, I get a call here at home in Southern California from a telemarketer. He says "Hi Patrick! This is Greg Mason with........ and I have this great investment opportunity for you". I said, "wit a second, you threw me when you said Greg Mason. I used to listen to a guy on the radio with that name growing up in New Orleans". He says, "One and the same!" I like to died!Small world, eh? He's currently Semi-retired living in the Hollywood Hills.

And da hits just keep on comin' !! Hi Pat, nice to hear from yet another N.O. radio veteran from the days before big sucking corporate radio. I wondered what happened to Greg Mason. If he calls me with that investment opportunity I can finally tell him a big NO, like he told me when I applied at NOE before the TIX days. Those little radio cash prizes were big money back then. I won $25 on a TIX contest in '61 and thought I was wealthy!! Really...yeah...yeah...yeah.

Bob Walker!!! What a gas! How you is, bra? I got an e-mail from somebody who collects old airchecks (don't know how he found me) but he told me about your site. I only wish I'd been as diligent as you about saving the good old stuff.

I'm in Dallas, have been out of radio for 7 years and am an investor/manager of a company called ADcom, which is the cable TV version of Arbitron. We're on the brink of becoming a national company, fingers crossed.

I saw CC's page, wow. I visited him in NYC about 3 years ago. He & I both worked for KALB in Alexandria before we went to N.O. Listen, he pre-dates Howard Stern big-time when it comes to pushing the envelope on radio. CC worked overnights, I did afternoons & was in college and used to study all night at the station.

Hope you are doing well. If you see any of the guys, tell 'em hello!!!!!!!

SKIP!!! I feel like I'm on "This Is Your Life."

I was digitizing some old WTIX airchecks just recently and had one from our days there around '67. There you were doing spots for whatever that hip shop was at Kreegers ("Canal Street and Lakeside SHOPPING Center"), Laplace Dragway ("SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!) and the Donovan concert at Loyola Field House ("...and...bring flowers"). I could still see you and Buzz Bennett in your buckskin jackets.

Something stirred a few delicious, long forgotten, memories in my mind today. I haven't thought of Old Black Mo Mo in decades. Old Black Mo Mo was a truly impressive sight for a 12 year old boy to behold on the streets of the Carrollton section of uptown New Orleans in the early 1950's. My youthful associates and I were prone to sneak regular forbidden visits to the territory of the muddy banks of the Mississippi River at the bend in the river where Carrollton Avenue and St. Charles Avenue join.

During our explorations across the levee onto the batture (that wonderland expanse of wilderness between the levee and the river's edge), we would declare our independence, and our manhood, by smoking cigarettes that we had purchased at the rate of three-for-a-nickel from Mrs. Klein's sweet shop on Green Street. After skinny-dipping in the shallows of the river, an adventure in swimming that never lasted very long because the shrimp bumping against the exposed tender-most parts of our bodies felt like needles pricking our skin, we would emerge with immense appetites. It was our custom to eat potato chips and drink Barq's Root Beer while the sun baked us dry.

One day, after we donned our Levi jeans, polo shirts, and Ked tennis shoes, we noticed a tin- roofed lean-to in a clump of willow trees which stood on the level ground about 100 feet from the foot of the levee. My friend Ronnie and I, being the more adventurous of our group, entered the lean-to, which was not locked, to explore the interior. To our delight, we discovered a package of crackers and several tins of sardines. Our whole band of latter-day Tom Sawyers feasted on our bounty with loud hoops and hollering until the arrival of a fearful apparition in the person of Old Black Mo Mo.

Old Black Mo Mo released a shriek that curdled the blood in our veins. He stood approximately six feet in height and his magestic white robes, which were fashioned from bed sheets, billowed in the wind to create a vision which appeared to have leapt from the pages of the Old Testament. In his hand he held a 7 feet tall cross which was also wrapped in strips of white bed sheets and which he used as a walking staff. His balding ebony scalp, which was surrounded by greying curly hair, glistened in the setting sun. His eyes were huge and protruding as he shouted in his thundering bass voice, " Repent you sinful generation, you vipers depart from my tabernacle. Would you rob the anointed of God of his meager fare?"

I was in full flight and about 100 feet away from the scene of our offense against "the annointed one of God" when I heard the end of his booming proclamation.

This is a true story from the life of Joe Bosch, a resident of Lowerline Street at the intersection with Freret Street.

Also, I remember a tall, lanky character known as "Driftwood" who was the official starter for the illegal drag racing on the partially constructed roadbed that eventually became Veterans Highway. He wore a straw hat whose brim was partially unwoven all around the edges and the unwoven strands of straw waved in the air as he dramatically waved the start of each race.

Finally, Mr. Schneider is the name of the Audubon Park officer who made you pay 50 cents to fish in the lagoon. Do you remember the Swan Boat and the Flying Horses ?

Incredible! Mo-Mo was still around in the late 50's as well as the hobo Winstein, both of whom lived on the levee at St. Charles and Carrollton, and both of whom we were all warned to stay far away from by the nuns and Christian Brothers at Mater Dolorosa. The Swan Boat and da Flyin' Hawses are well remembered by anyone who ever had an end of the year school picnic at Audubon Park as a kid. Mr. Schneider got money from every one of us at one time or another.

Just discovered your web site -- what memories! I went to Dibert Elementary, Beauregard Jr. High and Kennedy High School -- first graduating class to go through all 3 years, class of '69. I lived on N. Carrollton when I was little and remember walking to school at Dibert, walking down Carrollton to the southern end to visit an ice creamery (can't remember the name-- I think there is a P.O. there now) and also, further down, a watermelon stand in the summer where you could sit outside at tables and eat watermelon -- corner of S. Carrollton and ? . I also went to a baseball game in Pelican Stadium (was that the name?) and remember when it was torn down and the Fontainebleau was built. I went to Laurent's Dancing School and Chris Owens used to come in for private dance lessons. We had a big recital each year at Municipal Auditorium. I was one of the lucky ones to go see the Beatles in City Park -- I'm not sure how I persuaded my parents to let me go. Screamed and cried and came home hoarse, with a headache and a lip full of fever blisters! Also saw the Dave Clark Five at City Park. After jr. hi. I moved to a little street off DeSaix and frequented B. & C. market and the snow ball stand next door. My father loved the race track and we went often in season--if he hit the daily double we always got a big surprise at Christmas under the tree! We could walk to the track and could go look through the fence at the horses in their stalls across the street from the E.D.White Elementary playground. When I was in high school, I joined a high school sorority -- have never heard of them in other cities -- Beta Delta Pi and had a blast. We had a big dance each year as a fund raiser -- had a contract with John Fred and the Playboys one year and they didn't show -- we had to refund all the money to people that had purchased tickets in advance. I went to college at LSUNO for a year, then USL and then back to LSUNO to graduate. Live in Virginia now and miss the atmosphere and the food, but not the heat and humidity. WTIX was my favorite station -- in fact, can't even remember the other stations!!!! have bored you long enough, but your site has certainly brought back many happy memories.

That was the Sealtest Creamery where you got that delicious ice cream. Yes, it's a Post Office now. What a beautiful thing about New Orleans...we all came from different neighborhoods but we all enjoyed similar experiences and have such warm and wonderful memories of growing up in New Orleans. I'll have a sloppy roast beef poboy in your honor there in Virginia!

Mr. Walker, I am looking for some information on radio station WYFE--the old, all-girl country station (600 AM, I think)--and wondered if you might have any clues as to how I might get in touch with any of the old DJs. I'm conducting a series of oral history interviews on classic country music this summer, and am very interested in tracking down any of the original WYFE DJs: "Sunny" Roberta Mould, "Dawn" Jeanne Reynard, "Eve" Sylvia Holmes, or "Cowboy Jim" Oakes. I recently came across your New Orleans radio shrine and thought I'd see if you had any suggestions or possible leads; any other information on the station would also certainly be appreciated. Thanks very much. And great work on putting up a wonderful website--I've had a good time checking it out lately...

Hi Burgin, I've checked high and low for you but can't find a thing about the WYFE crew. If anybody with knowledge of them reads this and sends me any info I'll let you know. By the way, I remember the daddy listened to it.

Hi Bob - came across your reference to "Mr. Bingle" while surfing the web. Strangely, Memphis also had a Mr. Bingle Christmas character. He was a snowman marionette that advertised for Lowenstein's Dept. Stores (since closed). In the early to late 60's, he appeared nightly on Memphis TV during the week preceding Christmas, in a 15 minute segment (remember those?). His assistant, Miss Holly (what a babe) would read from his story book describing how he and Santa saved Christmas or something like that. All liberally sprinkled with references to the Lowenstein's toy department. He too had a theme song:

"Mr. Bingle makes us tingle with his joy and cheer
When he comes to town, Christmas time is near
Mr. Bingle makes us tingle when he comes our way
His heart's as big as he is, and he's always bright and gay
Oh, Bingle, Bingle, Bingle, Bingle
Bingle, Bingle, Bingle, Bingle
Bingle, Bingle, Bingle, Bingle
We love Mr. Bingle"

And that was before any of us knew what hype and manipulation was! From what I can gather that store was owned by the same company who owned Maison Blanche here at the time. Boy, Mr. Bingle sure did get around. And did you know he had a Mrs. Bingle here?? I guess he would tell her he was "going on a business trip" to Memphis so he could spend time with the luscious Miss Holly!

I remember this wake-up call from WWL (radio) by the Dawn Busters:


Ah, waking up in the good old days to the Dawn Busters and the smell of mirliton for breakfast!