We got our first television set back in 1953 when I was but a mere lad – an RCA Victor 19” black-and-white table model.
We weren’t the first ones on the block to get a TV by any means, but we were the first household with children to get one, so every afternoon after school there were a half dozen neighborhood kids sitting on our living room floor with us watching whatever might be on. There was only one station, WDAF Channel 4 out of Kansas City and it seems like half the time it was only the test pattern – if you remember those – but believe it or not, we watched them. When the afternoon test pattern went off the air it was time for Howdy Doody, followed by Pinky Lee.
Some of those other early shows of the time that I can remember were Superman, the Red Skelton Show, My Little Margie, I Love Lucy, The Ed Sullivan Show, Queen for a Day, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger. I can remember Our Miss Brooks, The Hit Parade and Art Linkletter’s House Party; Name that Tune and What’s My Line. Also a couple of other early shows I can still remember were The Cisco Kid, Sky King, and Gunsmoke with Chester.
So, just for fun, how many other shows can you think of that have aired since the beginning of television that cross your mind? Some I know were short lived, but a great many others I am sure have lived on in reruns such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Petticoat Junction; Flash Gordon, M*A*S*H, Get Smart, Leave It to Beaver, Car 54, Where Are You?, Route 66, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Munsters, Star Trek, Lost in Space, The Carol Burnett Show, The Waltons, Miami Vice, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Bonanza, The Rifleman, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, Happy Days, All In The Family, Gomer Pyle, Gilligan's Island, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, The Lucy Show, Maverick, Batman, The Fugitive, The Brady Bunch, Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, The Love Boat, Touched by an Angel, Laugh-In, Murder She Wrote, The A-Team, The Donna Reed Show, Alf and Sea Hunt. We can still watch them if we so choose.
Some of the others that I can remember from days gone by, which I haven’t seen in recent years as reruns, are The Flying Nun, Chip and Dale, Bugs Bunny, and The Mickey Mouse Club, at least not on my TV. What about Puff the Magic Dragon, American Bandstand, Have Gun Will Travel, Lassie, Dragnet, The Millionaire, Bachelor Father, Ben Casey, Dark Shadows, The Smurfs, Where The Action Is, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, My Three Sons, Hee Haw, and The Real McCoys.
Since I began compiling these names a few more past shows have crossed my mind such as Underdog, Land of the Giants, Captain Kangaroo, Little House on the Prairie, Marcus Welby M.D., Candid Camera, The Phil Donahue Show, Emergency, The Muppet Show, Your Show of Shows, The Mike Douglas Show, Buck Rogers, Abbott & Costello, Let's Make a Deal, This Is Your Life, The Clay Cole Show, Hey Dude, Ma and Pa Kettle, Chips, Melrose Place, "WANTED" Dead or Alive, The Rebel, Topper, Adam 12, Dallas, Match Game, H.R. Pufnstuf, That's Incredible, I've Got A Secret, Hunter, My Girl, Dr. Kildare, T.J. Hooker, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Knight Rider, Punky Brewster, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Full House, Quantum Leap and Winky Dink (a children's show).
I’ll bet I never covered a fraction of the many shows that have crossed our TV screens over the years, and I apologize if I skipped one of your favorites. How many more do you think you could add?
To reach Ted W. Stillwell send an email to <Ted@blueandgrey.com> or call him at 816-896-3592.