This guy I wrote about a few months back who was interested in finding out about my grandfather wrote this about that station where Pop used to work. And since it’s New Year’s Eve:
I am a nostalgia person. I’m always looking up things from my childhood that evoke pleasant memories. WNBF-TV was the first channel that Binghamton had. One of the things I discovered Monday night before I hit your site was a listing of the first commercial TV stations from 1950. WNBF started Dec. 1, 1949. We received our first TV for Christmas 1951. In those days I believe channel 12(WNBF) was located in the Arlington Hotel at the corner of Chenango & Lewis Sts. across from the train station.
My first memories were coming home from school and watching Kate Smith and then “Chuck Wagon Playhouse” from NYC. That was like 4 or 4:30. WNBF started the broadcast day at 3:30, I think, and went to about midnight. This was a few years before Bill Parker started his shows. I remember the Ranch Club, Officer Bill and a couple of others that he had of course. In those days a lot of programs were 15 minutes or a half hour and very short commercials. My favorite night was Thursday when my mother’s father(who lived up the street from us) would come down for The Lone Ranger at 7:00 and right after was the Cisco Kid. We had a 17″ Admiral TV (B&W naturally) that my brother made a stand for. We were the first in our neighborhood and all my friends would come over to see the westerns and Kukla, Fran and Ollie. I was about 10 or 11 then. As a matter of fact the TV signals use to come by microwave(I think) through Albany and Cherry Valley. Whenever they had signal problems they would flash a sign saying “Trouble with signal from Cherry Valley”.
In those days too, WNBF and WKOP Radio had disk jockeys. Bill Parker, Ken Kirkander, Bill Kunkel and several others would ply the time on WNBF. They also filled in on TV since it was the same ownership, Clark Associates, I think. Several years later in the late fifties they moved to the Sheraton Hotel on Front St. which is now a senior housing facility. As far as I remember WNBF was always a CBS affiliate primarily but they carried programs from all the networks (NBC, ABC, DuMont and syndication) until WINR-TV started in 1957. It was owned by Gannett Newspapers and was primarily NBC. By then, I think, DuMont was gone and they split ABC programming.
I don’t remember just when channel 34 started 1962 but it was the ABC affiliate.
Sitting watching what was there then something there. I thought Sat, clearly a Sunday (Nov 25, 1962)
Anyway, I just usually go on Google on nights when the Yankees aren’t on and type in things that are pleasant for me and see what comes up. That is how I came across McKinley Green by accident and to my great pleasure. The only problem is I have dial-up because I’m too cheap for Roadrunner. I’m also a fan of Jerry Colonna and Jimmy Durante. There is a great site from England… http://great-song-stylists-uk.com/ that has Colonna, Durante, Danny Kaye, Eddie Cantor, etc. with songs and radio programs that I go to quite often for a few laughs.
I read that you used to listen to the out of own stations when you were a kid, so did I. In the 50s I’d pick up Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis, DesMoines and even Tulsa. When rock-n-roll was in I used to listen to Dick Biondi on WLS-Chicago every night. When I was going to Broome Tech in 1959-61 it would start coming in at about 9PM very clearly to about midnight. I used to listen while doing my assignments. One of my favorite programs was easy listening music. Holiday Inn and American Airlines used to have a female disk jockey that sounded very sexy. It was syndicated I think and on several clear channel stations that I could pick up. Ah, those were the days.