"Online since 1999"
radio and growing up in New Orleans in the 50's, 60's and 70's!
YVONNE OWENS HATCH - Las Vegas:
I am sure you receive plenty emails from all of us who grew up in New Orleans. I found your site by accident, and what a great accident it was. I was born in New Orleans on 11-21-1941. We lived at 1318 Burdette St. and went to Mater Dolorosa Church and schools like the old Robert E. Lee, McMain and Fortier. We moved around a lot and also lived on Carrollton and Oak, and St. Charles and Adams. We went to the Poplar and Mecca theatres, Rockery Inn, Rocky's for po-boys, parked out on the point and had fun on the midway at Pontchartrain Beach and the Zephyr. I even remember Itema the elephant at the zoo.
I remember our priests at Mater Dolorosa. There were Father Whitney and (Monsignor) Father Joseph. Father Joseph used to try and keep us out of Arnaud's Drug Store on Carrollton and Willow St. He and I did not like each other. He would always watch my friends and me when we hung out in Arnaud's. One day we were standing by the juke box and "Great Balls Of Fire" was playing. He walked over and reached behind and unplugged the juke box. Mean old man.
We used to have king cake parties. I was surprised to find out that McKenzie's Bakery is no more.
I read one of your letters from Rosalyn Dodds about the snowball stand on Plum St. Mr. Williams had that on the side of his store, not from our house on Burdette St. Also, my older sister lived in Nix Library, even our doctor was Dr. Nix.
Do you remember a local band called "The Barons?" In 1958 when I was going with their guitar player we met ELVIS. I still have his autograph saying "Thanks, Elvis Presley" written on the back of a post card from the Roosevelt Hotel.
My sister Betty Owens sang every Saturday night in 1947 at Uncle Roy's Barn Dance at Municipal Auditorium, when she was about 14 years old. There were many country singers and movie cowboys that would be there. I was about 6 years old but remember it well. It was broadcast live on WDSU radio. We have been searching all over for anyone who remembers the old barn dance.
Later she joined the Dukes of Dixieland, and in 1955 she married Freddie Assunto of the (REAL) Dukes of Dixieland at Mater Dolorosa Church, with Father Whitney as the officiant. Pete Fountain was one of the groom's men, as was Frank Assunto.
Frank Assunto's son, Deano Assunto, has a nice site on the original Dukes of Dixieland at http://www.thedukesofdixieland.com .
It sure would be nice to find my old friends whom I have lost contact with. Keep this going forever. I love this site!
Nice to share growing up experiences with a Carrollton gal. Father Joseph never did win any popularity contests. I think he sucked lemons. And nothing would beat a visit to the cool Poplar and Mecca theatres on a hot summer night.
Nice to meet someone else who met Elvis when he was here filming "King Creole." I met him at the door of his room in the Roosevelt and got his autograph as Delores Hart took a picture of Elvis and me. Just a few weeks ago (August 2003) I stayed overnight at the Fairmont (the former Roosevelt) and they gave us a suite. Out of all the rooms to assign us in the entire hotel, when we got there it was...Elvis' room...where I had met him all those years ago. Staying in that room was surrealistic.
MARGARET OWENS CRIST, Las Vegas:
HI BOB. My memories start in 1940 when my fam moved from Baton Rouge to NO. I first attended St Joseph school near Magazine, then we moved to Burdette Street between Maple & Willow Streets. Next school was Mater Dolorosa and do I remember Father Joseph! I bonded with Father O'Neil by giving him the mumps on the day I was to be confirmed. Next school was Robert E. Lee on Carrolton. Then to Eleanor Mc Main High School on Claiborne. I remember the Poplar theatre, the poultry yard, Mr. Willimas sno-cones on Maple St. and the fruit tree behind his shop where we snatched the fruit hanging over the fence. I worked at Woolworth's after school and on Saturdays and summer vacations. The White Castle hamburgers on Canal St. The street cars. I lived in the public library on Carrolton. I left in July 1950, joining the USAF, coming back for visits and finally to stay for a few years, then moving to Las Vegas, Nv. I believe my younger sister Yvonne Hatch has also written to you. I have enjoyed reading from all of your fans.
Carrollton was a very unique neighborhood and I'm glad we had similar memories to share, to the tune of the streetcar bell clanging. I wonder if the streetcars up there still have that sign on top by the conductor that said "Do not spit upon the floor.
+ Schwiekhardts (his name was Waldemar) SSS Pharmacy
+ H.G.Hill Store at Carrollton and Jeannette (and the one that opened in 1952 at the Carrollton Shopping Center)
+ Arnaud's Drug Store (and soda fountain)
+ Simpson-Stoutz Co. Sporting Goods
+ The billboard that stood in the yard on the downtown side of Carrollton between Green and Hickory
+ Royal Castle Hamburgers (Carrollton and Hampson)
+ Hopper's Drive In (on Jefferson Hwy)
+ Arrow Room
+ Van Fleet's auto repair on Hickory (at Fern?)
+ Plantation Fried Chicken (1400 blk Carrollton)
+ Post Office (1400 blk Carrollton, opened 1961)
+ Dr. Nix Clinic (1400 blk Carrollton)
+ Fae Do Do Bar (1976-1978, owned by Milton Mary) on Maple St.
+ The Raven (across from Bruno's on Maple)
+ The Maple Hill Restaurant (owned by Everett Beelman) ... My mother remembered a fire there in the 1930's that might have burned down either the original Bruno's or an early version of Pat O'Brien's. Not sure of how this went.
+ Piggly Wiggly (started in 1929 I think)
+ Ched's Lounge
+ Lee Tilton's Photography Studio
+ Betz Funeral Home (7611 Maple Street)
+ Meynier & Dillman Hardware (7724 Maple Street)
+ Toddle House (611 Carrollton)
+ McMahon's Pharmacy (632 Carrollton)
+ The locomotive engine in the back of Audubon - the same one (#745) that is being rebuilt across from Ocshner Hospital for the Louisiana Purchase celebration.
+ Itema, the OTHER elephant at the zoo, named for the Item newspaper. Also Vicky the chimp from the zoo, from whose loving grip I fought valiantly when my grandfather (then head of the S&WB) took my cousin Roger and I to visit zoo vet Johnny Northcutt.
+ In 1956, taking a picture in the Audubon Zoo, with me sitting on a threadbare bear, with my cousin (who went on later to be a Playboy bunny) and my grandmother (who lived to 92) by my side.
+ Shoot The Bear at the Audubon zoo concession (R-R-R-R-rrrrrrrr) - may still be at the casino building at City Park.
Not to scare you but I have research on Carrollton going allllll the way back (do you smell a book collaboration here?)
If you ever go on Jeopardy and the category is "Carrollton" my money is on you! But how did you overlook Amy's Ice Cream Stand with the outdoor tables and chairs, just to the left of the Betz Funeral Home, and across Maple from the Mecca and the (future) Raven??
I think the thing I remember more than anything else was the smells from the Bali Hai as you came into the Beach. Also it was those hot dogs (great). One of my best childhood memories was the BEACH. I was saddened when I heard the beach had closed. Looks like you and I must have spent a lot of time at the same places. All those spots come flashing back, with great fondness. But do you remember the Stardusters the only Drum and Bugle Corps from Arabi?
BOB: Those Stardusters sure looked sharp, marching sharply in those crisp black uniforms with the silver sash. They were a highlight of every parade they marched in!
ANDREE COUGET , Baton Rouge
Hello, New Orleans and Bob! I have lived in Baton Rouge for the last 23 years, but reading this website brings back the sights, the smells, and the tastes of growing up in the Crescent. You reminded me of blackout cakes from McKenzie's, fooze ball at Jack Daniel's, banana banshees at Nick's on Tulane, beer blasts at the lakefront, and of course the ever present aromas of pot and Strawberry Hill in the French Quarter at Mardi Gras.
I was reading some of the memories posted here, and they reminded me that the circle never ends. I remember a slumber party at Charlynn Mumphrey's house in the late 1960's or very early 70's. We were all huddled around the transistor radio in our Flower Power sleeping bags listening to the new song "Lady Madonna" by the Beatles on WTIX. We turned it low when the words "...baby at your breast" floated through the speaker. That was shocking back then. Charlynn's mom passed through the room and commented at how terrible that was for children to hear that on the air.
Today I pass by my 14 year old's room to hear some of the things coming out of her radio.
Amazing how I turned into Mrs. Mumphrey.
Even quite a few banana banshees from Nick's wouldn't block out the filth from today's music. And to think that I was called down by management in 1968 and put on probation for airing a hiccup during a joke bit!!
GEORGE MARTIN, Pacifica, CA:
When I was 7 or 8 years old in the mid-forties there was a program on WJBW called, "Mid-Day Serenade." A gentleman named Harry something or other used to play requests and read letters from Raceland, Cutoff, Grand Isle and places I thought were so far away, but were just across the river, or lake from New Orleans. I used to lay in the shade of an old evergreen tree, on the porch of our house on Fig Street and listen to the Ink Spots, or Mills Brothers, or The Harmonicats, or Frankie Laine, or Jimmie Wakely. Those hazy, lazy days of summer seem like a century ago.
I bet he was Harry Negosia. Sounds like his type of show. Ah, for the good old days. But they were only 3/5 of a century ago! And who could ever forget the DJ blooper back in those days when he referred to the Ink Spots as the "Stink Pots."
DALE SHAW, New York City and Philadelphia:
Hey Bob...Dale Shaw here...used to do Afternoons at Q93 from 1980-1983. I'm looking for an old friend who kinda acted as a "Big Brother" to me and helped me get into radio. His radio name at WTIX was Johnny Drake...his real name was Mike Edelman. He worked there in the late 60s to early 70s. I've just lost track of him. Do you have any idea what happened to him or where he is? I think he is a native "N'Awleanian. Thanks! Oh...I have some really fun pix to send you of The Krewe of Q from the early 80's for your website. :-) (We're all in bikini undies...Yow!) Thanks, buddy...
Wow, seems Johnny Drake rode into the sunset around 1970, never to be heard from again. But we'll put the word out and see if anyone knows of his whereabouts. And the pics of the "Krewe of Q" (I wonder if they stole that from the "Krewe of 'TIX") are enthusiastically welcomed, unless Walton and Johnson are only wearing jockstraps in the pics!
RODDY FREEMAN, Atlanta:
Hi Bob, I'm a radio geek going back many years. I remember you from WTIX from when I visited my brother in the 70's, when he was attending medical school at Tulane. I love your site. I grew up in the 60's and first visited New Orleans in 1964, when WTIX and WNOE were battling it out. And somehow, little 250-watt WNNR ("the all new winner in town") was also doing top 40. We stayed at the Sheraton Charles Hotel right after WNOE moved out. In fact, probably due to lease obligations, NOE was saying, "located in the French Quarter, just 4-and-a-smidgeon blocks from the Sheraton Charles Hotel."
Anyway, I distinctly remember the "inhaling-sounding" jingles at the top of the hour on WTIX ("David Nebel show time"). Both WNOE and WTIX sounded great. Your site says that WTIX eclipsed WNOE in the early 60's. But I got the impression from listening that they were neck-in-neck in 1964. Was I wrong? Did they keep trading places through the mid-60's?
I remember hearing Ted Green at night on WTIX and CC Courtney opposite Green on WNOE. New Orleans top 40 radio was terrific in those days. Then, when I visited my brother around 1976, Courtney was back on mornings during the Buzz Bennett era. I liked Courtney and thought he was kind of unique-sounding in both slots.
I have 2 more questions: I attended Mardi Gras in either 1977 or 1978. At the time, Terry Young was all over the air at WTIX. I remember his sound well. In 1982, a notorious night jock turned up at Hot Hits WCAU-FM in Philly named Terry Young. He was kind of a screamer and sounded a lot different from the Terry Young on WTIX. But were they one and the same?
When I first visited in 1964, Poppa Stoppa was the afternoon jock at WNNR; I assumed he was black. I see from your site that there were at least 2 Poppa Stoppas. My question is, in the picture with the mayor, which one of the 2 gentleman is Poppa Stoppa?
Once again, great site!
Wow, lotsa ground to cover here.
Glad you mentioned WNNR, "The Center Aisle Of Your Radio Dial." I loved that little station...a 250 watt monument to what can be done without #$@%$ consultants.
WTIX & WNOE didn't trade places during the '60's. We kicked 'NOE's ass. End of story.
CC Courtney was unique in any air shift he found himself. He was the ultimate DJ in my opinion. He's a prince of a person who was born with the charisma that haunts people forever. Once they meet him they never forget him.
Terry Young ended up in PA for several years after his TIX tenure. Terry's good friend and TIX Alumnus Marty With The Party tells me that seems to be the same Terry Young.
There were3 Poppa Stoppas (3 Poppas Stoppa?) ... Vern Winslow (later Dr. Daddio), Duke Thiele and Clarence Heyman. Clarence is the one in the pic with Mayor Schiro, and he was the most well-known Poppa Stoppa, carrying the title from the late 50's until he passed away in 1999.
Whew! After all that I need a Bud Light. Back later!!
Hello Bob, being a born and bred yat I just wanted to say how much fun it's been digging around your web site. An old 9th ward buddy sent it to me and I've enjoyed getting my memory cracked open. I haven't lived in N.O. for too many years now but I always keep the option open.
I worked in radio during the late 60's and early 70's at several stations in town; WNPS, WWOM, and WRNO. No big shacks but at the time FM radio was just starting to happen and it was a blast doing the late night shifts and turning the city, at least the seven hippies in the French Quarter, on to a whole new kind of music.
Even got in touch with C.C. Courtney because of your site. He and I spent time together in the booth at OM.
Anyway, nice to be pulled back across the years. Take care.
A N'Awlins boy made good! From "Judas" on WWOM "Mother Radio" to Dan Fielding on "Night Court," to several Emmy's, to hit movies and TV series to this day. But ain't nothing like N'Awlins. Hey John, keep those good times coming ... we're proud of you!
Bob, John Larroquette just sent me the link to your site. We talked about "Jingle Jangle Jingle", You and Ben Bourgeois and Exposition Blvd.. John and I both have our stuffed Mr. Bingles which we add to our Christmas displays each year. Great site, lotsa memories. Whatever happened to the "Blue Army"and "The Nudeles?
Ah, the Blue Army ... our 13-week-wonder band in 1968. Born in hype on WTIX and in a great concert on the Audubon Park bandstand. The group arrived to much fanfare in a stretch limo, and they wore wool pea coats on stage (to copy the Inion Gap) in the dead of the 1968 summer. From there they recorded a hit song that never got played, and appeared on the stage at Pontchartrain Beach and had a road tour to Galliano before vanishing into history. But you should remember that, Doug. You were the guitar player! :-)
BETSY McFARLAND CALLAND:
As I do occasionally, I did a Google search this evening for my dad, Spanky McFarland. I just want to say thank you for having those photos of him STILL on your site. I remember he had a "grand" time as Marshal of the parade. My pleasure. And thank you for the kind words about Daddy. I don't think people know how it made him feel when he was asked to appear at events such as that parade or county fairs or even suburban mall events. He was a very charismatic man, but he was also a very emotional one. His humility in the face of recognition was a very real thing. It never ceased to amaze -- and honor -- him when, as he put it, people "remembered" him.
He was just my dad, but he was a truly incredible role model for me. I do miss him so very much.
BOB:What an honor it was to meet your dad during the line-up of the January 1993 Krewe of Little Rascals parade, in which he rode as Grand Marshal. When I shook his hand I was immediately back in the dark and cool Poplar Theater at the Saturday matinee, watching Spanky and the Little Rascals on the silver screen. Sadly, he passed away not long afterwards that same year, on June 30, 1993. He was such a gracious person and such a gentleman. I treasure thosepictures he let me take of him and they will remain on my site in his honor and memory. And I still have a wooden nickel throw that he gave me, with his name on it commemorating his ride and reign.
MATT RUBY, Northfield, MN:
My name is Matt Ruby, Bob Ruby's son. I came across your website and it was so nice to see how fondly people remember my father's radio program. The book "Ruby in the Rough" is, in fact, his autobiography ... penned when he was still in New Orleans. Bob and Eunice now live up north in Minnesota enjoying their children and grandchildren.
Thanks for the update, Matt. Your dad is still quite fondly remembered here as one of the last "greats" before the corporate no-talents took over the microphones.
MARY ANN DOHERTY TULLIER:
These are some of my favorite memories:
Pontchartrain Beach: - No gates, just walk in - Swimming at the pool - WTIX Appreciation Night - Laughing Clown at the Laugh in the Dark Ride - Screaming on the Zephyr - Walking along the Midway - Ferris Wheel - That scarey sharp right turn on the Wild Maus - The Wizzer and the Bug - The Penny Arcade - Flying Horses (Carousel)
Picnic Places: - Old Beach - Audubon Park - City Park
Favorite Restaurants: - Clarence's on Airline Hwy - Gennaro's on Metairie Road - Fitzgerald's at West End - Jim's Fried Chicken (one on Airline Hwy & one on Carrollton)
Neighborhood Theatres in Metairie: - The Aereon on Metairie Road - The Grand on Metairie Road - The Patio on Airline Hwy
Drive-In's in Jefferson Parish: - Airline Drive-In on Airline Hwy. - Do Drive-In on Metairie Rd. - Jefferson Drive-In on Jefferson Hwy. - Westgate Drive-In on Veterans Hwy. - Algiers Drive-In in Algiers
Going to the Show in Town: - Joy Theater - Saenger Theater - Orpheum Theater - Loews State Theater
Dances: - Metairie Lodge - Germania Hall - Arrow Room - CYO Dances - VFW Dances
Hang-Outs: - Hoppers (Carhops, Cheeseburgers, Cherry Cokes) - Rockery Inn on Canal Blvd. - Lenfant's on Canal Blvd. - The Sands - The Beaconette - Frost Top (Love those Lot-O-Burgers and Birch Beer) - Ye Ole College Inn on Carrollton (Great Roast Beefs) - JC's on Veterans - Papa Joe's on Bourbon - The Point (Lakefront)
Some Old Memories: - Shopping on Canal St. (there were no malls) - Maison Blanche & Mr. Bingle - Cruising the Lake Front and Marconi Drive on Sundays - The Roman Candy Man (horse & wagon) - Banana Splits at Borden's on Airline Hwy. - Walking the Nine Churches on Good Friday - Nickel cokes & nickle candy bars - Lawrence's Bakery "Mr. Wedding Cake" on Elysian Fields - Mardi Gras Fountain at the Lakefront - Fulco's Grocery & Bar in Metairie (we charged cold cuts, bread and drinks during the weeks and parents paid bill on Fridays) - Eating watermelon at Lakefront (25 cents a slice) - Eating at the cafeteria above Waterbury's Drug Store on Canal Street - Vegetable-Man driving in pick-up trucks through neighborhoods yelling "I've got tomatoes, potatoes and watermellon, red to the rind!"
Westbank Hangouts: - Da Wabbit - Dairy Queen on General Meyer - Nelson's
BOB: I think that about sums it up!
Hi there......name is Joe..live in Indianapolis but finally found your site.............what a great time I'm having sitting here looking at all the e-mails you recieve from people who listened to WTIX in the late 50's and 60's.was the best yrs of my life...........so many memories........I graduated from Fortier High School in 68.........hope someone from that yr would read this and contact me in some way...
but anyway..............TIX at that time was one of the best radio stations in the country.....I traveled around alot but never could find another statione that could compare do the DJ's on TIX,,,,,,,,thanks for all the good times I had with my friends listening to your great station...................without it......my teenage yrs would have been very dull....and I'm sure thousands of other people feel the same way........thank you guys!!!
Thank yew, thank yew, thank yew backatcha. Our pleasure!
RONNIE BELL, Roanoke Rapids, NC:
Bob, just wanted to correct sommthing on your piece about the Gus Stevens Supper Club in the piece on Jayne Mansfield. Johnny Rivers and Jayne Mansfield were not the only big time celebrities that appeared there. Among those who performed there were Jerry Lee Lewis, Brother Dave Gardner, Justin Wilson and Andy Griffith. The reason I know is that father was the general manager at Gus Stevens during that period.
I have the unique distinction of knowing the Stevens family since 1954. I used to see Elaine often. Ironically Ronnie Harrison was one of my very best friends. We used to pal around together and play music, mainly Beatles stuff. He was a real character, the sort of person who never met a stranger, everybody liked him. He was probably the first "larger than life" person I ever spent time with and I learned a great deal from him. Not much has been written about him, but I have many fond rememberences. We shared many experiences together.
I really like you website. As a younster growing up on the Gulf Coast my connections to New Orleans run deep. Our primary source for radio and TV were New Orleans stations in those days. I remember when WTIX was "Boss." What weekend would be complete without watching "Morgus The Magnificient?"
Hi Ronnie! Thanks for the added info. Now that you mention it I remember those other names that Gus Stevens used to present frequently. I still think of the Gus Stevens club when I pass that intersection in Biloxi. The original building stood vacant and dilapidated until around 2000, then it was demolished and replaced with (yet another) Biloxi souvenir shop. I always thought of the spirits and memories of good times in years gone by that still lived inside those crumbling walls...
COYOTE KINCAID (Ray Taylor):
Dear Bob, just ran across your site. I'm trying to remember you! I was at WNOE during the "Real Rock" phase. My air name was Coyote Kincaid. I noticed a lot of folks I knew from the period in your WNOE list. Another name I didn't see was Jim Cassidy. We went through Jason O'Brien and E. Alvin Davis. Would be good to know how many of those people are still alive! I first met Bobby Reno at WHBQ, Memphis in '72. Thanks for your time Bob, hope to hear from you sometime.
Hi Ray, Thanks for visiting the site. I've got my WNOE list updated now with you and Jim Cassidy. I was here somewhere during your stay...probably on the air at WTIX late mornings or early afternoons during that period. I assume most of the names are still alive, although it's a miracle those late nights in bars having our egos stroked by adoring fans didn't kill us all!
TERRY GLAUDI AIME:
Hi Bob. A friend of mine sent me the e-mail from TD Carey (posted here on an earlier page) about my Dad, Hap Glaudi, having a part in Gunsmoke. Yes, it was him. Gunsmoke was on CBS and asked WWL for a local celebrity to play a bit part as part of a promotion for WWL and Gunsmoke. It was 1964 and my Dad took my younger sister, Karen and me with him to Hollywood. It was the first time we flew and our first time in Hollywood. We met Matt Dillon, Festus, Doc and Miss Kitty. My dad dressed as a townsman with a mustache, hat, gun and holster and boots. By the time they finished splicing the film, my dad's part was so quick that if you blinked your eyes you would have missed him. I do have some pictures of him on the set with the stars. It was fun and most of all are our memories of being with our Dad.
Unfortunately, my Dad never had a son. He was blessed with three daughters and a wonderful wife, Millie. He wanted a boy so much, that he named me after two baseball players. My name is Glen Terry. Maybe someone knows who the baseball players are ... I think one may be Bill Terry. Anyway, my older sister was named after him. Her name is Gayloyd. My dad's real name is Lloyd and he was given the nickname "Hap" at Jesuit High School, short for "Happy." "Gay" meant "happy" also, so he put it together and named her Gayloyd. My mother said that she was going to name the third daughter, so she named her Karen. We all live in the area. Karen and I live in New Orleans, and Gay lives in Covington.
Thank you for letting me relive those memories and for your wonderful website.
What an honor to be visited on my site by the daughter of a great friend, Hap Glaudi. Hap was certainly one of the most beloved broadcasters ever on the airwaves in New Orleans, and a prince of a person.