A fun trivia question

Dave Doherty dave@skywaves.net
Sun May 6 23:00:12 EDT 2007

My Dad was hired by NBC in late 1949 or early 1950 to crew the first Today 
show. He knew Buffalo Bob, and my earliest memory of TV was Buffalo looking 
straight into the camera and saying "David, you have to eat your 
vegetables". This must have been around 1954. I would have been about 3 
years old. I ran into a closet and refused to come out until Dad came home 
and talked me out.

He brought home an RCA color set sometime around 1956. I was very young, so 
I have some confused memories about that time. I remember watching Bonanza 
in color, but I think that show didn't air in color until 1957 or 1958. He 
transferred to RCA in Camden in 1958, and I remember staying a couple of 
nights in the now-demolished Cherry Hill Inn, which featured an RCA color 
set in each room. The RCA color set in that room was of a clearly more 
recent vintage than the set we had at home.

Years later, in 1968 and later in 1972, I worked at channel 13 in Albany, 
WAST at the time, in their old meat-locker facility on North Pearl Street. 
We aired the Soap Opera "Dark Shadows" on a one-week delay. ABC sent us 
monochrome kines but they aired the show in color, so I had to cut the audio 
briefly to block the phrase "in color". We aired Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett, 
and Roller Derby on quad tapes. It was, needless to say, an interesting 

Somewhere, I still have the RCA "Color TV Manual" that described methods 
that could be used by TV stations to convert gradually to color. Not a lot 
different in concept from the transition to digital TV and the transition to 
digital radio.

Lots of memories here, but that's about it for the introduction of color TV.

-Dave Doherty
 Skywaves, Inc.
 97 Webster Street
 Worcester, MA 01603

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Doug Drown" <revdoug1@verizon.net>
To: "Boston Radio Interest Board" 
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 2:28 PM
Subject: A fun trivia question

> While we're on the subject of Muntz TVs and their reportedly awful color
> sets, here's a good question to pursue:  What was the first time you ever
> saw a color telecast?
> In my case, I was about fifteen, I think, and it was a telecast of the
> weekday afternoon Merv Griffin Show that used to be on Channel 4 in the
> mid-'60s.  The set was a brand-new RCA Victor color console that was in 
> one
> of the waiting rooms of Henry Heywood Hospital in Gardner.  Someone had
> donated it to the hospital.  The thing had quite a number of knobs and
> buttons on it, including at least three or four by which one could adjust
> the color, but obviously no one on the hospital staff knew what to do with
> them.  Poor Merv was as green as a Martian.
> -Doug

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