Saturday, February 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 6: Childhood TV Show

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 6: 
Childhood TV Show

Another one "caught my fancy" - it also is useful as a springboard for Sharing Memories posts, as well.

Thanks to GeneaBloggers and Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog for these prompts.

Week 6: Radio and Television. What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

Captain Video and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet - the easy, quick answer!

I immediately thought of early television, even though my early childhood was pre-tv; and I did listen to the radio. Green Hornet, etc. on radio... but television put that in the far background.

I have a big scrapbook I made on space travel from about 1950 - that was my big thing (oh, and few pages of photos from the newspaper of Queen Elizabeth's coronation!).

'Captain Video' aired on the DuMont Television Network between June 27, 1949 and April 1, 1955. Al Hodge took over the Captain Video role in 1950 and he was 'my hero.' I also really liked The Video Ranger," his sidekick, played by Don Hastings. More on Don Hastings in a bit. DuMont used kinescope and only a small handful of the episodes survive.

Here is a screen shot of the set - very early, I think.

This is a photo of Al Hodge, as Captain Video, in costume (my hero!):

I regularly watched Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, (also see) at the same time - as I recall, it came on in the falling time slot, late afternoon (perhaps 5-6 p.m., approx) - but I was not nearly as loyal as I was to Captain Video.

I was a fan of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy, too, but nothing like Captain Video. As an adult, a parent of three daughters, when CB radios were 'in' in the early 1980s, my 'handle' over the radio was always 'Captain Video!' Used it all the way from Iowa to Arizona when we caravanned three cars to our new home in Tucson, in fact. Talk about memories.

Don Hastings, handsome devil, was not only The Video Ranger (had no other name!), but a few years later, he took on the role of Dr. Bob Hughes, on the soap opera, 'As the World Turns.' He continued to play the role from 1960 into 2010 (he stands third all time in playing the same role for the longest time on television).

Here is handsome Don, I just feel good, seeing his photo!  ;-)

P.S. You might also recognize his brother, Bob Hastings, a familiar character actor in all media over the last 60 years, as well.

P.S.P.S. I believe we had one of the early televisions in our part of western Iowa. We had one state, WOI Channel 4 (later 5), at Iowa State University in Ames. Our one-room country school teacher was the wife of the local 'radio man' - in, I think, 1950, they would bring one of the very first tv sets in the area out to the school, on the top of hill - perhaps 60 miles from the station - and let the family come and watch "The Lone Ranger" show, in the evening, once a week. We then got a set, a few months later. [I wonder how much of that is factual, and how I have distorted it, over the years!?!]
P.S.P.S.P.S. Ok, I checked. WOI-TV signed on the air on 21 Feb 1950... after 60 year... not too far off. But, isn't Google search amazing?!?!?!?  ;-)

Ah, the memories. Thanks again, Amy and Thomas!

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. Bill, glad this topic caught your fancy. It makes my week when I can reel you in with another subject! I enjoyed reading about your favorite shows.

  2. Amy, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I really liked this subject. Almost got carried away, actually!
    Keep up the good work! ;-)

  3. My mother was "As the World Turns" her whole life!
    I remember Penny & Ellen, and of course the handsome Dr. Hughes!

  4. Neat, Dorene. Thanks. I was "fortunate" to have a stretch of time where my work actually "let me" watch both "As the World Turns" and "Guiding Light" - a special part of our history! ;-)

  5. yes, good to see you getting caught up. I didn't know that about Bob Hughes He was one of our favorites. Of course every soap had a doctor or a lawyer as main characters. Mom and I watched it since I was eleven or twelve and until it went off the air. It was common ground for women. My favorite was Guiding Light when others were watching Luke and Laura. Funny though, after they progressed to supernatural ideas, and cloning they lost me. I'd love to do some catching up some day [ As if they were relatives]
    Gene Autry and Roy Rogers crooners were mine too. I must have been jealous of Dale Evans cause I never rooted for her, I'd have like it if the bad guys stole her and never brought her back. I also watched the Sat western movies cause well we only had one channel selection.

  6. Lot's of fun and memories. Rita and Josh, yes, and others on Guiding Light - early 80s - were favs! Thanks for comments... ;-)