The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Paul Coates, Feb. 28, 1961

  Feb. 28, 1961, Mirror Cover  

  Feb. 27, 1961, KNX ad  

Feb. 28, 1961: Arthur Godfrey announces that he’s leaving TV’s “Candid Camera” and Paul Coates takes the opportunity to say he can’t understand Godfrey’s appeal.

Notice: This KNX ad actually ran Feb. 27 but I wanted to include it because it has the full day’s programming schedule. Please notice Bob Crane in the morning slot. (And, yes, Arthur Godfrey!)

  Feb. 28, 1961, Paul Coates  

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Comments (6)

Wow...Bob Crane. You mention that name and I get the chills.

Crane was an affable fellow, but he had a dark, dark side: he liked to film women naked. And he and his buddy checked into a hotel in Scottsdale, AZ, where the friend (his name escapes me right now) bludgeoned Crane to death for some unknown reason. A jury heard the case and later found the friend not guilty, even though spatters of Crane's blood were found all over the friend's car. The friend died a few years ago, taking his reasons for killing Crane to the grave. I passed the hotel where Crane was killed some years ago; it is still there. However, the hotel where Crane had his last meal before he was murdered was torn down more than a decade ago.

And time marches on.

So many good programs on KNX in the "good old days". Our listening habits were so different then, now they expect you'll tune out within 12 minutes (maybe less), oh yeah, Group W needed 22 minutes to give you the world.

I don't see it listed in the ad, but in early 1961 KNX was still running dramatic series -- vestiges of what we now refer to as "old-time radio" -- on weekends. Programs aired included the brilliant "Gunsmoke" with William Conrad as Marshal Dillon (it had run since 1952, and would close in June), the anthology "Suspense" and "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar," the tales of an insurance investigator (several actors portrayed the title character, most famously Bob Bailey, though I'm not sure whether he was still doing it in 1961). The latter two programs would air through Sept. 30, 1962, the unofficial close of the OTR era.

The current crop of mostly rightwing pundits remind me of Godfrey in terms of their odd, everyman appeal although with a vastly greater degree of venom.

The friend of Crane was John Henry Carpenter.

From Crane's bio: "Crane had been appearing in Scottsdale in his Beginner's Luck production at the Windmill Dinner Theatre (now Buzz, located at the southeast corner of Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road)."

I think this place is still there as well.

Pat Buttram as the next Mark Twain. How could I have missed that one?


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