Hi There, Boys and Girls! America's Local Children's TV Programs

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Whatever happened to Bozo the Clown, to Aunt Norma, to Solomon C. Whiskers, those television celebrities who hammed it up between cartoons and contests during local kids' shows?

In Hi There, Boys and Girls! America's Local Children's TV Programs, Tim Hollis tracks down the story of every known local children's TV show from markets across the United States.

There have been many books about children's television on the networks, and such shows as Captain Kangaroo, Howdy Doody, and Sesame Street are legends in broadcasting.

However, the local branch of children's programming has received much less attention. For every performer on the scale of a Captain Kangaroo or a Buffalo Bob, there were five or six local personalities who were just as beloved by their viewers—and sometimes even more so—since these local stars could be counted on for appearances at stores, children's hospitals, and shopping centers, where kids could meet them face-to-face.

Anyone over the age of thirty who grew up with a TV set will remember at least one or two of these productions. Whether it was hosted by a cowboy character, a clown such as the one on the many-franchised Bozo shows, a policeman, a sea captain who showed Popeye cartoons, or one of the gentle and lovely ladies who presided over Romper Room, these hometown stars were some of the Baby Boomers' first friends. Although children loved them, these hard-working performers garnered less respect from the rest of the TV industry.

Hi There, Boys and Girls! includes a capsule history of this programming from the earliest days of radio to the early 1970s, when a combination of social changes and broadcast regulations sent most of the hosts into retirement.

Walt Disney once observed that while there is very little adult in a child, there is a lot of child in every adult. This book will bring back a flood of long-submerged memories for anyone who was a child during this golden era.

Tim Hollis lives in Birmingham, Alabama. His previous books include Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun (University Press of Mississippi) and Cousin Cliff: 40 Magical Years in Television.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
From the earliest days of television until the mid-1970s, children's programming was a staple of local TV broadcasting in the United States. Here, Hollis (Dixie Before Disney) presents a comprehensive compendium of information about local children's TV shows, organized by state. Capsule descriptions are provided for individual programs and hosts in major TV markets within each state. Hollis cuts off the scope of his book at the 1970s, when, for a variety of reasons, most local children's TV programming in the United States simply ceased to exist. This valuable and unique reference book has only one drawback: some markets either could not or would not cooperate with the author to provide historical information on shows, so some entries are much shorter than others. Hollis's preface summarizes this often ignored area of broadcasting history, and an excellent bibliography concludes the book, offering a list of additional sources of information on children's TV. In addition, numerous vintage photographs of local TV personalities are sprinkled throughout. Highly recommended for broadcasting and media libraries, in addition to public libraries. David M. Lisa, Wayne P.L., NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578063956
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 10/29/2001
  • Pages: 321
  • Product dimensions: 8.15 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction ix
The History 1
The Shows 25
Alabama 25
Alaska 35
Arizona 36
Arkansas 40
California 44
Colorado 61
Connecticut 65
District of Columbia 69
Florida 72
Georgia 80
Hawaii 88
Idaho 90
Illinois 91
Indiana 108
Iowa 117
Kansas 123
Kentucky 125
Louisiana 129
Maine 135
Maryland 137
Massachusetts 141
Michigan 149
Minnesota 156
Mississippi 161
Missouri 163
Montana 173
Nebraska 175
Nevada 177
New Hampshire 178
New Mexico 180
New York 181
North Carolina 204
North Dakota 211
Ohio 212
Oklahoma 228
Oregon 233
Pennsylvania 235
Rhode Island 248
South Carolina 250
South Dakota 253
Tennessee 256
Texas 268
Utah 285
Vermont 286
Virginia 287
Washington 291
West Virginia 294
Wisconsin 298
Wyoming 303
Epilogue 305
Bibliography 309
Illustration Credits 322
Index 323
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