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The Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television

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There was a time when every television station in Chicago produced or aired programming for children, and this book discusses the back stories and details of this special era from the people who created, lived, and enjoyed it, such as producers, on-air personalities, and fans. This compendium describes how from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, local television stati There was a time when every television station in Chicago produced or aired programming for children, and this book discusses the back stories and details of this special era from the people who created, lived, and enjoyed it, such as producers, on-air personalities, and fans. This compendium describes how from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, local television stations created a golden age of children's television unique in American broadcasting and how the FCC changed the regulations governing the relationship between sponsors and local programming in 1972, effectively bringing the genre to a close since the programs operated under strict budgetary constraints. The story of this chapter in television history show the richness of imagination and inventiveness of children's programming and the devotion of the fans. Featured shows include "Bozo's Circus"; "Garfield Goose"; "Kukla, Fran, & Ollie"; "The Mulqueen's Kiddie-A-Go-Go"; "Ray Rayner and Friends"; and "Super Circus." "Today, we can be nostalgic about the passing of great local children's fare such as Bozo's Circus . . . and Garfield Goose. However, I believe that today's children have more and better choices in programming . . . . What is missing is the localism, the heart and soul that emanated from these and other programs. Economics, regulation, and expectations for what a program should look like have altered children's television forever. As you read this book, perhaps you will not only find memories or curiosities from a bygone era, but inspiration to create children's television for today's audiences. A pie in the face is still funny, kids still like to dance, and the last time I looked, you could still buy six buckets and nail them to a board and call it a Grand Prize Game."--from the foreword by Neal Sabin, WCIU-TV, Chicago Behind-the-Scenes Stories of the Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television as Told by the People Who Lived It At one time every station in Chicago--a maximum of five, until 1964--produced or aired some programming for children. From the late 1940s through the early 1970s, local television stations created a golden age of children's television unique in American broadcasting. Though the shows often operated under strict budgetary constraints, these programs were rich in imagination, inventiveness, and devoted fans. The mere mention of their names brings smiles to the faces of Midwestern Baby Boomers everywhere: "Kukla, Fran, & Ollie, Super Circus, Garfield Goose, Bozo's Circus, Mulqueens' Kiddie-A-Go-Go, BJ & Dirty Dragon, Ray Rayner and Friends," and a host of others. In 1972 the FCC changed the regulations governing the relationship between sponsors and local programming, effectively bringing to a close this chapter of television history. What Chicago kids' show had "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark dancing on T.V. for the first time ever? Why did one have to wait months and, more often, years to get tickets for "Bozo's Circus"? Which very popular and successful host never wanted to do a children's T.V. show? Who really made the puppet Garfield Goose (you may not have known it was a mystery)? Remember the "talent" that bit the head off a parakeet on live TV and the shocked emcee's reaction? What sent television executives into a quandary when "Kiddie-A-Go-Go" went on the air? Which show was almost forced off the air because a giant soft drink company opposed a so-called rival's use of the word sip? Now, discover the back stories and details of this special era from the people who created, lived, and enjoyed it--producers, on-air personalities, and fans.


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There was a time when every television station in Chicago produced or aired programming for children, and this book discusses the back stories and details of this special era from the people who created, lived, and enjoyed it, such as producers, on-air personalities, and fans. This compendium describes how from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, local television stati There was a time when every television station in Chicago produced or aired programming for children, and this book discusses the back stories and details of this special era from the people who created, lived, and enjoyed it, such as producers, on-air personalities, and fans. This compendium describes how from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, local television stations created a golden age of children's television unique in American broadcasting and how the FCC changed the regulations governing the relationship between sponsors and local programming in 1972, effectively bringing the genre to a close since the programs operated under strict budgetary constraints. The story of this chapter in television history show the richness of imagination and inventiveness of children's programming and the devotion of the fans. Featured shows include "Bozo's Circus"; "Garfield Goose"; "Kukla, Fran, & Ollie"; "The Mulqueen's Kiddie-A-Go-Go"; "Ray Rayner and Friends"; and "Super Circus." "Today, we can be nostalgic about the passing of great local children's fare such as Bozo's Circus . . . and Garfield Goose. However, I believe that today's children have more and better choices in programming . . . . What is missing is the localism, the heart and soul that emanated from these and other programs. Economics, regulation, and expectations for what a program should look like have altered children's television forever. As you read this book, perhaps you will not only find memories or curiosities from a bygone era, but inspiration to create children's television for today's audiences. A pie in the face is still funny, kids still like to dance, and the last time I looked, you could still buy six buckets and nail them to a board and call it a Grand Prize Game."--from the foreword by Neal Sabin, WCIU-TV, Chicago Behind-the-Scenes Stories of the Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television as Told by the People Who Lived It At one time every station in Chicago--a maximum of five, until 1964--produced or aired some programming for children. From the late 1940s through the early 1970s, local television stations created a golden age of children's television unique in American broadcasting. Though the shows often operated under strict budgetary constraints, these programs were rich in imagination, inventiveness, and devoted fans. The mere mention of their names brings smiles to the faces of Midwestern Baby Boomers everywhere: "Kukla, Fran, & Ollie, Super Circus, Garfield Goose, Bozo's Circus, Mulqueens' Kiddie-A-Go-Go, BJ & Dirty Dragon, Ray Rayner and Friends," and a host of others. In 1972 the FCC changed the regulations governing the relationship between sponsors and local programming, effectively bringing to a close this chapter of television history. What Chicago kids' show had "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark dancing on T.V. for the first time ever? Why did one have to wait months and, more often, years to get tickets for "Bozo's Circus"? Which very popular and successful host never wanted to do a children's T.V. show? Who really made the puppet Garfield Goose (you may not have known it was a mystery)? Remember the "talent" that bit the head off a parakeet on live TV and the shocked emcee's reaction? What sent television executives into a quandary when "Kiddie-A-Go-Go" went on the air? Which show was almost forced off the air because a giant soft drink company opposed a so-called rival's use of the word sip? Now, discover the back stories and details of this special era from the people who created, lived, and enjoyed it--producers, on-air personalities, and fans.

31 review for The Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    Great memories of the early days of television. Ironically I found this book in a used bookstore in California.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Darek Makowski

    Local Television is the best part of television.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Riegs

    Very cool resource.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ron

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Ernst

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  8. 4 out of 5

    Suzi

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jan Morrow

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deb

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rudy Darken

  14. 4 out of 5

    J. Dallas

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  16. 4 out of 5

    DENNIS

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hcovitz

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Berman

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  22. 4 out of 5

    PAPENFUSS

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christine Okon

  24. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sunchaser1203

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  28. 5 out of 5

    THOMAS RYASKO

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

  31. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cary

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