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Pictures on the Prairie:
The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television

$19.99 plus tax

Mid-Illinois Television Station History

Examine the history of each of the mid-Illinois TV stations along with stations in Peoria and St. Louis

Follow their paths from the very beginning in "Pictures on the Prairie: The First Ten Years of Mid-Illinois Television" then catch up with the histories of each station from the early 1960s to the present on Central Illinois On-Line Broadcast Museum.

Pull down your selection from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Area Radio Station History

I spotlight stations that became very special in my radio career. WTIM/WTIM-FM in my hometown and WDAN/WDNL at which I spent most of 25 years.

The select area radio stations all have something in common, in that they were all automated and I worked at two of the stations highlighted.

Legendary radio stations include in my opinion the greatest radio stations heard in mid-Illinois during the era.

Pull down your selection from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Automated Radio History

Automated Radio formats include those program syndicators as well as the equipment used by stations to establish many FM stations during the AM radio era.  

There's the audio from the companies represented of demos of many of the formats. You'll also see which local stations subscribed to each format.


See photos of many automation systems used by many radio stations from around the country as well as local stations.


Pull down your selection from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

  • Industrial audio/video training

  • Industrial video narration

  • Infomercials

  • TV commercials

  • Public Service announcements

  • Radio commercials

  • Powerpoint presentations

  • Telephone on-hold messages

  • In-store announcements for music services

  • TV Station news/promo image voice

  • Website Audio narration/training

  • Click HERE to go the web page

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Videos of the Week

Ford Commercial (1959) Leave it to Beaver-Color

As part of their contracts with a star of a TV series, actors were often used in commercial messages, especially when the ad agencies owned that program, or was exclusive sponsor.

This long-form commercial featured the Ford lineup for 1960. This was posted on the Classic Car Channel on YouTube, and was probably seen during at least one episode of "Leave it To Beaver." 

 

Here's the description of the video according to the YouTube Channel:
Leading into the 1950s, Ford, along with many other top of the market car manufacturers were capitalizing on the post-war boom. 

Many new advancements in technology and products were being developed during this time that allowed for cars going into the future to have features never seen before or features that were not normal until now. The automatic window, for example, was a new feature that made Americans see their current cars as outdated and technologically behind. 

The 1960s were one of the best eras for the production of cars, as the war between Ford and Chevrolet heated up and produced some of the most classic and recognizable cars in America still to this day.

The mainstream full-sized Ford line of cars from 1960 to 1964 was now complemented by a variety of other Fords, including the Thunderbird and compact Falcon, and from 1962 the midsized Fairlane. 

So the mainline car grew even more, now riding on a 119 in (3023 mm) wheelbase. The engines were carried over from the 1959 Ford, as was the basic chassis design, but the sheet metal was modern. The retracting Skyliner hardtop was gone, though the Sunliner convertible remained, and the Fairlane name would last only two years before migrating to a new midsize model.  

This long-form commercial for Ford was probably seen during "Leave it to Beaver" in mid to late September 1959. It would have been seen on ABC at that time, locally across mid-Illinois on WTVP, WTVH, and KTVI. Unfortunately, it was only seen in black and white, as neither ABC nor any ABC affiliates at that time had the ability to broadcast in color. 

It's also possible it was seen in movie theaters as a paid commercial before the main feature. There it would have been seen in color!

Sta-Flo Commercial (1950s) Durwood Kirby

Here's a commercial for a product produced in Decatur, Illinois by the A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company.

I must state that my father and his brother were both employees of Staley's from the 1950s through much of the 1980s.

Among the products produced at the Decatur facility were Cream Corn Starch, Sta-Pub fabric softener, Sno Bowl toilet bowl cleaner, and Sta-Flo liquid starch (seen in the commercial above).

The commercial above was done live during the "The Garry Moore Show" with Durwood Kirby, the show's announcer. It was broadcast weekday mornings on CBS and would have been seen locally during that time on WCIA, WTVH(pre-1958), WMBD-TV(1958-1964), WTHI-TV, KHQA-TV and KWK-TV(later KMOX-TV). 

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

Classic Radio

WDBR (1972) 50th Anniversary

Former WDBR veteran announcer and account executive, Rich Styles, brought to my attention the fact that WDBR went on the air on January 14, 1972, just over 50 years ago!

Unfortunately, I don't have any recordings of the first few days of the station or even the first few months. The oldest recording I have goes back to December of 1971.

WDBR at that time was a subscriber of the Drake-Chenault automated format called "Solid Gold." The format was designed for the 18-34 to 18-49 listener and combined a mix from the late 1950s, the 60s, and early 70s with the hits of the days.

It was up to the individual stations to add a local flavor with public service announcements, newscasts, weathercasts, and of course commercials. WDBR certainly did a lot of that.

 

Drake-Chenault provided a voice(s) for the format to announce song titles, station ID, and format liner drop-ins, along with their music selections.

The complete story of the history of the station at 103.7FM is on the "Select Area Radio Stations" History page. To read more click here.

The recording above was from December 1972.  This is the earliest aircheck I recorded.  WDBR was just about one year into the Drake-Chenault Solid Gold format.  

It was just a couple of months later that WDBR dropped Solid Gold and went with their own automated format.  A couple of the future jocks were heard here(also account reps) Bob Taylor and Rich Styles.  Longtime newsmen at WTAX Dave Anderson and Coley Cowen are also heard.

(Source: YouTube and various posters and contributors.

They may be removed without notice)

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Historical 
Television
Highlights

Click on each Graphic/Title Below to go directly to an in depth story of each with pictures/videos of Television's Past

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Meat Loaf

In memory of Marvin Lee Aday, better known as "Meatloaf." Born in 1947 he became a singer and actor selling more than 65-million albums worldwide from the 1970s into the 80s. He also was an actor on stage and screen. He passed away on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

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Louis Anderson

In memory of Louis Anderson, born in 1953. He was a stand-up comedian, actor, author and TV game show host. He died on Friday, January 21, 2022, was reported to have been battling cancer for some time. 

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Central Illinois On-Line Broadcast Museum and dougquick.com supports the work of the St. Louis Media History. 

Visit their website at:

stlmediahistory.org

 

 
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