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Sunday, December 31, 2006

WNBF-TV

This guy I wrote about a few months back who was interested in finding out about my grandfather wrote this about that station where Pop used to work. And since it's New Year's Eve:

I am a nostalgia person. I'm always looking up things from my childhood that evoke pleasant memories. WNBF-TV was the first channel that Binghamton had. One of the things I discovered Monday night before I hit your site was a listing of the first commercial TV stations from 1950. WNBF started Dec. 1, 1949. We received our first TV for Christmas 1951. In those days I believe channel 12(WNBF) was located in the Arlington Hotel at the corner of Chenango & Lewis Sts. across from the train station.
My first memories were coming home from school and watching Kate Smith and then "Chuck Wagon Playhouse" from NYC. That was like 4 or 4:30. WNBF started the broadcast day at 3:30, I think, and went to about midnight. This was a few years before Bill Parker started his shows. I remember the Ranch Club, Officer Bill and a couple of others that he had of course. In those days a lot of programs were 15 minutes or a half hour and very short commercials. My favorite night was Thursday when my mother's father(who lived up the street from us) would come down for The Lone Ranger at 7:00 and right after was the Cisco Kid. We had a 17" Admiral TV (B&W naturally) that my brother made a stand for. We were the first in our neighborhood and all my friends would come over to see the westerns and Kukla, Fran and Ollie. I was about 10 or 11 then. As a matter of fact the TV signals use to come by microwave(I think) through Albany and Cherry Valley. Whenever they had signal problems they would flash a sign saying "Trouble with signal from Cherry Valley".

In those days too, WNBF and WKOP Radio had disk jockeys. Bill Parker, Ken Kirkander, Bill Kunkel and several others would ply the time on WNBF. They also filled in on TV since it was the same ownership, Clark Associates, I think. Several years later in the late fifties they moved to the Sheraton Hotel on Front St. which is now a senior housing facility. As far as I remember WNBF was always a CBS affiliate primarily but they carried programs from all the networks (NBC, ABC, DuMont and syndication) until WINR-TV started in 1957. It was owned by Gannett Newspapers and was primarily NBC. By then, I think, DuMont was gone and they split ABC programming.

I don't remember just when channel 34 started 1962 but it was the ABC affiliate.

Sitting watching what was there then something there. I thought Sat, clearly a Sunday (Nov 25, 1962)

Anyway, I just usually go on Google on nights when the Yankees aren't on and type in things that are pleasant for me and see what comes up. That is how I came across McKinley Green by accident and to my great pleasure. The only problem is I have dial-up because I'm too cheap for Roadrunner. I'm also a fan of Jerry Colonna and Jimmy Durante. There is a great site from England... http://great-song-stylists-uk.com/ that has Colonna, Durante, Danny Kaye, Eddie Cantor, etc. with songs and radio programs that I go to quite often for a few laughs.

I read that you used to listen to the out of own stations when you were a kid, so did I. In the 50s I'd pick up Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis, DesMoines and even Tulsa. When rock-n-roll was in I used to listen to Dick Biondi on WLS-Chicago every night. When I was going to Broome Tech in 1959-61 it would start coming in at about 9PM very clearly to about midnight. I used to listen while doing my assignments. One of my favorite programs was easy listening music. Holiday Inn and American Airlines used to have a female disk jockey that sounded very sexy. It was syndicated I think and on several clear channel stations that I could pick up. Ah, those were the days.


A couple pieces I found re: this here and here.

6 comments:

Izzy said...

Radio Presenting http://www.isobella-lawrence.com

Anonymous said...

Hello..saw your posting about WNBF-TV (I live in Johnson City) and thought you'd like to know about the Binghamtonradio.com website.

There's images, audio and a message board there. There's also some TV stuff there too.

There'a also a WBJA-TV page at http://www.wbja.com/


Rick S.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I can't resist any longer although I promise to keep it short:
An element of my nostalgia is WIBG, home of Joe Niagara's payola scandal. I wonder if their 50,000 watts ever made it to your area?
Another source of images comes from a manufacturer of TV sets- Muntz. If you are familiar with this label, I wonder if the Muntz jingle, including their phone number stills pops into your head at 0400 hours? Just my $.00.02.
P

I write a bit about Nostalgia and so stumbled across your blog. I'm old enough to know that I shouldn’t be surprised, I must admit I took note of the fact that, with only minor changes, your blog might have been written about ‘any’ where. Ah! The good old days.
I invite you to check out Penguinella.blogspot.com

Mek1201 said...

Hi Nostalgia fans...Mr. P or anonymous or whatever you call yourself...been wracking my brain for days for the last word or words to Muntz tv's jingle.."There's something about a Muntz TV That makes you want to ....???? What ?? Makes you want to what?? Help me out, Philly boy (The WIBG reference is a dead giveaway!)

Anonymous said...

I worked at Channel 12 myself.

I noticed you mentioned McKinley Green. If you're talking about the man who worked at WNBF for many years, God, he was a super guy. I always enjoyed listening to his stories about horses, the Bloomsburg Fair in PA, and the many unfortunate stories of bigotry he experienced growing up. But he made those stories sound like it was simply a part of growing up.

So many pleasant memories for me while I worked there and grew up in the Binghamton area. (And a couple not so pleasant.)

I also listened to many out of town radio stations: WLS-Chicago; CKLW-Windsor, Ontario; WFIL-Philadelphia; WIBG-Philadelphia. Kids don't know what they're missing today.

Unfortunately, broadcasting ain't what it used to be. And also sadly for the Triple Cities area.

Anonymous said...

"There's something about a Muntz TV that makes you sing its praise.
There's something about a Muntz TV in oh, so many ways.
They're sold and serviced straight to you and that's the reason why -- factory way, no dealer to pay -- they cost you less to buy!
For television quality there's something about a Muntz TV!