Saturday, February 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Radio & Television

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog has developed this year-long series of weekly subjects to promote regular blog updates and provide interesting ideas for discussion.  Thanks Amy, and thanks also to Thomas McEntee of Geneabloggers for the reminders!

This week's subject is Radio and Television. What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

I was born in the mid-60's.  Television was pretty well established - in black and white.  Color was there, but still a relative newcomer for most folks, as color televisions were hideously expensive.  Many shows produced in the 60's were done in black and white even though the technology was available to make them in color.

Radio simply did not factor in to my childhood.  I don't recall my mother ever listening to radio other than possibly in the car, and since my father is deaf, radio just doesn't work for him.  I started listening to radio more when I was in high school, for music.  By the time I got to be, the age of radio drama was long gone, and news came from Walter Cronkite on the TV.  My high school years (when people tend to form their musical identity) were the early 80's, and I still enjoy a lot of 80's rock and New Wave, and 70's classic rock.  Unlike many people my age, I also liked a lot of 50's and 60's rock and R&B.  Those were "oldies" when I grew up.  Now, MY music is "oldies"!  I absolutely abhorred the whole Disco craze of the late 70's.  Seems like a person was either Rock or Disco, few liked both.

I liked to watch anything science fiction on television.  I was born at the same time as the original Star Trek series (I'm a month older) and I remember watching it as early as age 5 when I could get at the TV.  Yes, the TV.  We were lucky to have one TV, let alone the plethora of screens you find in the average house today.  For that matter, we had a TV antenna on the roof that picked up (at best) 5 or 6 channels.  There were no 250 channel satellite packages or even cable TV until later, and my folks never got cable until after I moved out.  Dad liked to watch sports anytime and all the time, so it was hard for a 5 year old to get access.  To this day I avoid sports on TV.   I have a younger brother (two, actually, but one is much younger) and we fought over control of the TV more than anything else I remember fighting about.  He liked to watch stuff like Dukes of Hazzard or Price Is Right.  For some reason, shows he wanted to watch were virtually always scheduled at the same time as my shows! 

I don't remember for sure when we got our first color TV.  It was a Philco Ford model, and we had it for many years until it died.  It was an old tube model, of course, and we occasionally had to replace burned out tubes by taking the old one down to the shop and buying a replacement.  You had to wait to remove them from the TV, though, as they got HOT.  I remember doing this myself as a young teen, maybe even younger. Oh, and TV's didn't have remote controls, either.  Unless you count children as remote controls, that is!  "Dan, go turn the TV to channel 5, and turn it up a little!"

Other things I remember watching were variety shows.  My father loved to watch those, as he could put on his hearing aid and sit up by the TV with it on the speaker to hear the music.  He got some sense of the bass and percussion with a little of the music, but speech was totally unintelligible.  That era had a lot of music, both in these shows and in musical movies.  I'm not a fan of either.  I don't live in a world where people randomly break into song over any little thing.  Seems silly to me.

Well, I've started to wander afield, so I'll wrap this up by asking you - What did you watch/listen to?