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June 8, 2018 7:21 am  #1


Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

It’s amazing to look back at events or items that were supposed to change the world and see how different things turned out. Take the now defunct VCR. Just about everybody had at least one of them. (I had three if memory serves and still have a few unopened VHS tapes lying around somewhere.)
 
But this article from Oct. 1969 shows what those newfangled videotape recorders might have been like if the early plans had come to fruition. (Imagine a laser beam and a TV camera inside one of them.) I’m fascinated to see they were actually talking about this before the 70s even began. But they didn’t get them into homes until sometime around 1977.
 
http://i63.tinypic.com/2nkhrp2.jpg

 
They finally got it right, as this early ad from 1977 illustrates.
 
http://i64.tinypic.com/25f85m0.jpg

 
According to this blurb from 1955, Ed Sullivan – then the king of variety programs hosting a show called “Toast Of The Town” on CBS – was going to be bringing his show to Toronto and produce an hour from the C.N.E. using Canadian talent. I’d be curious to know if this ever really happened.
 
http://i64.tinypic.com/iqylpx.jpg

 
 
These days, skyping or facetiming is old hat. But if Bell had its way, we might have gotten there a lot sooner. Check out this ad from August 1970.
 
http://i63.tinypic.com/258z6eb.jpg

 
Apollo 13 is now a synonym for both failure and ingenuity and the Ron Howard film of the same name is a classic of its kind. But what if the mission had gone right instead of horribly wrong? Here’s the schedule that was supposed to happen if unlucky 13 hadn’t gone off course and nearly killed its passengers. (The irony in the words “if it’s a textbook flight” in the description below isn’t lost on anyone.)
 
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The CBC Building on Front St. W. opened in 1992 and occupies a huge swath of land downtown. But did you know a new CBC H.Q. was the subject of a major controversy as far back as the mid-70s? Here’s an editorial arguing against doling out what was then thought of as an astronomical amount of money - $150 million – instead of spending it on programming. In the end the thing cost $350 million making that first estimate seem almost like a bargain.
 
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We all remember those great beer ads of the past (“Mabel, Black Label” was the one that comes to mind most for me.) But who was the first to air a spot for hard liquor? Turns out in the U.S. it was probably the one station you’d least expect – the old WQXR New York, a classical music station owned by no less an entity than the New York Times. Needless to say, it engendered the usual outrage about the world going to hell in a hand-basket. But last I checked, the commercials aired - and the world is still here. And so is WQXR.
 
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Remember when TV tuners came with only VHF stations on a rotary dial? Yet when Channel 17 in Buffalo first signed on in 1953, it eventually became an NBC-owned station, part of an effort to get its programming into Buffalo - and by extension, Toronto – fulltime. So how to get it if your set didn’t have that band? Turns out, there was an entire industry that was prepared to help you pull it in, even if your TV couldn’t. 
       
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And finally, how times have changed. Can you imagine a telethon like this using the now verboten "R" word airing in these politically correct times? This one, fronted by no less than “Al-Capone’s-vault-is-empty” newsman Geraldo Rivera, went on the air back in 1975.
 
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June 8, 2018 11:32 am  #2


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

Well this is not a weird TV event but could be considered a What Might have been if Billy Joel had continued in Journalism. Something I found while thumbing through an old Magazine called Go. I will include an ad for a FM radio station from the same issue::
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bill-Joel-Lenny-B-1.jpg
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/img033.jpg
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/img035.jpg

 


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June 8, 2018 11:57 am  #3


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

I'm not sure if this is the same GO Magazine that affiliated with radio stations (one per market) in the late 60s and early 70s. In Toronto, CHUM was the one that had its name plastered on the front cover every week. At first it sold for 10 cents and then it was given away free. 

The basic premise of the weekly newspaper was international (mostly U.S. and England) music news, with the centre pages given over to the local sponsored station for promo purposes. Perhaps Doug Thompson could fill in some blanks about it.

Either way, here's a sample from the May 31, 1968 edition. Notice the ad on the last page for "The Hawks Nest" billed as 'Canada's Finest Teen Nite Club."

http://i65.tinypic.com/2s8pyzs.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/11h89c1.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/34no0oz.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/5o1zo.jpg
 

     Thread Starter
 

June 9, 2018 7:19 am  #4


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

I remember the version of "Go" that you posted and may have an issue or two. Not sure if the new "Go" that I posted from 1970 had any relation to the original one but it might have as I see one of the letters to the editors in the new mag mention a move away from "teenybopper" content.


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June 10, 2018 5:15 pm  #5


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

RA would you know the name of the first group pictured in your "Go" scan. I think it might be the Rising Sons who were an integrated group with some semi-legendary talent that eventually made a name for themselves outside the group.

Last edited by Fitz (June 10, 2018 5:15 pm)


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June 10, 2018 5:26 pm  #6


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

Fitz wrote:

RA would you know the name of the first group pictured in your "Go" scan. I think it might be the Rising Sons who were an integrated group with some semi-legendary talent that eventually made a name for themselves outside the group.

You'll probably be amazed at who it us - The Steve Miller Band!

They're billed as being "San Francisco's heaviest," along with their then album cover. 

Of course, Steve Miller wouldn't really hit the charts in a big way for nearly a decade after that cover ad. 

     Thread Starter
 

June 10, 2018 7:23 pm  #7


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

They really hit their stride later in the decade, but the Steve Miller Band did go to #1 with The Joker in 1973.

 

June 10, 2018 7:29 pm  #8


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

Lorne wrote:

They really hit their stride later in the decade, but the Steve Miller Band did go to #1 with The Joker in 1973.

You're right. I was thinking more of the "Fly Like An Eagle" years, but "The Joker" did hit earlier.  Now if we could just figure out what the Pompatus of Love was. (Actually, it's fairly well explained here.

     Thread Starter
 

June 10, 2018 7:47 pm  #9


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

As mentioned, CHUM was the station that "sponsored" GO Magazine in Toronto. (It was actually more of a newspaper, much like NOW is today.) But other stations used it for promo purposes, as well. For the three and half people who might be interested, here are two other examples. 

WKBW Buffalo

http://i68.tinypic.com/xndzrp.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/10fri2p.jpg

http://i67.tinypic.com/hu2a1w.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/2m32vb5.jpg

WMCA New York

http://i64.tinypic.com/2v0mjjk.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/wisvv8.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/160a5wn.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/m8fwcy.jpg

http://i66.tinypic.com/5oxeva.jpg

 

     Thread Starter
 

June 10, 2018 8:03 pm  #10


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

RadioActive wrote:

Lorne wrote:

They really hit their stride later in the decade, but the Steve Miller Band did go to #1 with The Joker in 1973.

You're right. I was thinking more of the "Fly Like An Eagle" years, but "The Joker" did hit earlier.  Now if we could just figure out what the Pompatus of Love was. (Actually, it's fairly well explained here.

If the forum allowed it, I was actually thinking that I would have changed my name to the Pompatus of Love for that post.

 

June 10, 2018 8:26 pm  #11


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

RadioActive wrote:

Lorne wrote:

They really hit their stride later in the decade, but the Steve Miller Band did go to #1 with The Joker in 1973.

You're right. I was thinking more of the "Fly Like An Eagle" years, but "The Joker" did hit earlier.  Now if we could just figure out what the Pompatus of Love was. (Actually, it's fairly well explained here.

This kind of thing is why I loved listening to radio, when the DJ, in this case, RA, would share a little known kernel of knowledge that would make the music that much more interesting.

I always thought "pompatus of love" was a play on "pompousness of love". I never got tired of playing the Steve Miller Band. Good trivia, now I want to check out the Cryer flick too. Thanks RA
 

 

June 10, 2018 9:09 pm  #12


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

If you can ever find a reasonably priced copy of the long out-of-print "Behind The Hits" by New York DJ Bob Shannon, you'll get an entire tome filled with those kind of amazing stories, divided into chapters like "Weird Inspirations, "The Deejay Did It" or my personal favourite, "Accidental Hits." There are a ton of the latter, songs that became huge hits almost by mistake, or something weird happening in the studio.

There's also a website where you can enter a song title or an artist's name and find out some fascinating facts about a hit tune from nearly any part of the rock era. It's called "Song Facts" and you can find it here.  

     Thread Starter
 

June 10, 2018 11:37 pm  #13


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

RadioActive wrote:

Fitz wrote:

RA would you know the name of the first group pictured in your "Go" scan. I think it might be the Rising Sons who were an integrated group with some semi-legendary talent that eventually made a name for themselves outside the group.

You'll probably be amazed at who it us - The Steve Miller Band!

They're billed as being "San Francisco's heaviest," along with their then album cover. 

Of course, Steve Miller wouldn't really hit the charts in a big way for nearly a decade after that cover ad. 

Thanks RA I should have known better I think the that's from the cover of The first Steve Miller Band album called Children of The Future which I have. Steve Miller's picture is cut off but I think that's Boz Scaggs on the far right.


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June 11, 2018 6:55 am  #14


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

In looking up when The Joker was a hit, I found that the Steve Miller Band actually first charted in 1968 with Living In The USA. It was from their next album and it only got to #94, but I thought that might be of interest.

 

June 11, 2018 8:13 am  #15


Re: Friday Flashback: What Might Have Been & Other Weird TV Events

The early Steve Miller Band were staples on free form underground FM which I go on about as it was my favorite radio format. Lots of their cuts got heavy airplay and then with the Joker and Fly like an Eagle etc they really took off on AOR and Top 40.

This from their third album and Steve Miller does sing the lead vocals:



 

Last edited by Fitz (June 12, 2018 8:12 am)


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