Home  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  
Search our online archive of 4,610 clips.
Category Search:
Keyword Search:  
Latest Additions - Recently Viewed - - My Favorites - Most Favorited - Most Commented - Sponsored - Random
Loading the player ...
Share You must Log In to store favorites.
This clip is favorited by 2 people.
 Link/Embed

WIIC Channel 11 - 6:30 News Roundup With Len Johnson (1962)

Exactly 53 years ago today (at 6:30 PM)!

Here's an incredible find - usually anything this old, if I am lucky to find it, is on a 16mm kinescope (remember, in 1962 Quad tape itself was only 6 years old). And even though it's from a Pittsburgh station, it has a very strong Chicago connection, as it is anchored by Len Johnson, whose voice (if not face) will no doubt be very recognizable to people who watched WGN in the 60s, 70s, and very early 80s. He was one of the ubiquitous staff announcers that did everything from local movie show openings, to kids cartoon bumpers, to editorial bumpers. Len was also heard for many years on WGN Radio - you can read more about his history here.

Tremendous thanks to Kevin McCarthy, who was a longtime friend of Len's, and who inherited some tapes of his after Len passed away - including this rare broadcast segment. He contacted us and we helped get the tapes transferred to DVD for the first time. One of them was completely unlabeled - even Len did not remember what was on it. Well, let's just say for now that it's of even more interest to Chicago TV viewers than this one is - and you will be seeing it here soon! :-)

Here's the local segment of the 6:30 News Roundup on WIIC (now WPXI) Channel 11 in Pittsburgh, PA - then as now, an NBC affiliate. The anchor was Len Johnson, who would go on to a long career at WGN Channel 9. This was from an original live 2" quad tape recording. Includes:

Opening of newscast (tape comes in during the middle), with shots of traffic, fireworks exploding and women in a local area beauty pageant, and sponsor billboard for the Natural Gas Companies including:

- Equitable Gas Company
- Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc.
- The Peoples Natural Gas Company

Len Johnson previews the following headlines:

- Traffic accidents, including one which was fatal
- Beaver County man held for murder
- More labor troubles hit Pittsburgh area

Commercial: Your Gas Company - for low-cost gas air conditioning - for sleeping comfortably on the hottest nights - featuring a gas company representative in bed who is awoken in the middle of the night by a call from a customer (voiceover by ??)

Len reads the following items, starting off with a rash of traffic accidents:

- Near Butler, PA on Route 8, Sandra Weigel, 20, of Butler, collided with another car on her way home from work and was dead on arrival on the way to Butler Memorial Hospital

- Near the New Stanton Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a New York-bound Continental Trailways bus collided with two trucks, with nine injured, of which three are treated at Westmoreland Hospital (none of whom were from Pittsburgh)

- In Forest Hills, a truck carrying cases of beer tipped over, spreading the contents along Ardmore Boulevard; driver Frank George (sp?) had lost control of the rig after a tie rod end broke, and had managed to crawl out without a scratch

In other news:

- Dennis Angle, 8, about to start the third grade at St. Luke's School in Carnegie, dies of suffocation after he climbed into a trunk in the attic of the family home; the trunk somehow locked after the lid fell, as his brother was playing outside; a film of Allegheny County Coroner Joseph Dobbs speaking of this and another death involving a child is shown (the other case was of a 9-year-old who was riding a bicycle without brakes and lost control); he urges parents to take their children's bikes to be serviced

Commercial for Natural Gas Companies - in which a lady envisions an airy, cool, modern gas kitchen - including a tap and gold star gas range with rotisserie inside for barbecuing and flame-kissed smokeless broiling, and a counter-top with stove (voiceover by Len Johnson)

Len reads more news items:

- In a report from State Health Department on coal miners brought out at Penn State University, Dr. W. Wayne McBride says 1 out of 10 Western Pennsylvania coal miners suffers from a potentially fatal lung disease caused by dust from the mines

- A search in the Ohio River halfway between Freedom and Rochester in Beaver County for the body of 62-year-old William Snyder who had gotten in a fight with 40-year-old Clarence Burroughs of Freedom, who was picked up by State Police after admitting he hit Snyder in the head with a rock during an argument and dumped his body in the river; Snyder had been missing 10 days (and his body was discovered on October 22nd in a wooded section of Rochester Township)

- In Huntingdon County, PA, 17-year-old John Robert Minemier of Franklin Township is charged with murder in connection with the death of his 13-year-old brother Charles; according to District Attorney Warren Yocum, John choked his brother into near-unconsciousness and then backed a tractor over his body

- In labor news, United Steelworkers Local 1531 to hold a special meeting in Lawrenceville to vote on a new contract offer from strike-bound McConway & Torley Corporation whose 260 workers were off the job since July 31 after the old contract expired; and at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in East Pittsburgh, 40 carpenters from Local 601 of IBEW (which Len refers to as the International Union of Electrical Workers) are handed disciplinary one-day furloughs after they staged a wildcat strike in protest of jobs being handled by other craftsmen, and the company has ordered the workers back on the job on Monday (the 27th)

- In the Ohio River between Emsworth and Athlon, thousands of dead fish are found floating in the area, and it is not known what killed them; investigators from State Health Department are checking into the cause

- Former President Harry Truman makes a brief stop in Pittsburgh en route to New York; while there, he says he has not tried to advise President Kennedy, noting that anyone who does try to advise the President is a fool who does not know all the facts

With this last item, Len closes the local segment of the news roundup, and the tape cuts out just after he segues to the weather report.

This aired on local Pittsburgh TV on Thursday, August 23rd 1962 from 6:30pm to 6:40pm. (Eastern Daylight Time)

Click here to search for related videos.

This clip aired on Thursday, August 23rd 1962, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

It was less than 15 years after this newscast that WIIC (now WPXI) had one of the most infamous moments in television - then-anchor Beverly Byer, on the August 19th 1977 newscast, intoning, "Groucho Marx has taken a turn for the worse - in fact, he died."

But as far as this amazing find, given that Len joined WGN soon afterward (based on one of the links), let's just say Chicago's gain ended up being Pittsburgh's loss. Or was it Pittsburgh's loss being Chicago's gain?

Comment posted by W.B. on Thursday, August 23rd 2012 at 5:05pm.

I've never heard background music on hard news b-roll before this.
Comment posted by Szake on Thursday, August 23rd 2012 at 5:14pm.

Sponsored by 3 Pittsburgh NATURAL GAS COMPANIES?
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Thursday, August 23rd 2012 at 8:39pm.

Background music was a relic from newsreels ... John Cameron Swayze's Camel News Caravan used a lot of it.

It doesn't sound like they made much effort to match the tenor of the music to the stories here... a lot of it is pretty sinister sounding, like it should be used in a horror movie.

If only we could see a Paul Long or Bill Burns newscast from KDKA around this time!

Comment posted by T.K. on Thursday, August 23rd 2012 at 9:48pm.

I'm loving these classic news clips.
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Friday, August 24th 2012 at 7:45am.

Speaking of Paul Long . . . YT has some short clips of newscasts from him on WTAE Channel 4 with Don Cannon.
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, August 24th 2012 at 10:55am.

Sounded like another happy day in Pittsburgh.
Comment posted by ArmitageNLowell on Friday, August 24th 2012 at 2:34pm.

What a great find. Thanks for posting it.
Comment posted by Erniebaud on Friday, August 24th 2012 at 6:05pm.

When did Len Johnson pass away?
Comment posted by VintageCanada on Saturday, September 1st 2012 at 5:51pm.

This aired on my mother's 30th birthday...she just passed her 80th.
Comment posted by TomServo56954 on Tuesday, October 9th 2012 at 5:56pm.

Happy 51st anniversary to this classic TV treasure! Thank you Rick & Kevin
for making this available!

Comment posted by Matt on Friday, August 23rd 2013 at 12:22am.

You must be logged into the forums to add comments.

This clip has been viewed 5981 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Thursday, August 23rd 2012.
Latest News & Views:
2015 Christmas Presents (12/30)
Latest Forum Posting:
A Nite Owl Party!

Latest Additions
10 total pages
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 8 9 1 page forward10 pages forward

WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 1, 1980)

WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 2, 1980)

WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 3, 1980)

WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980)

WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 5, 1980)


Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in Coleco - Adam - "Is This Legal?" (Commercial, 1984) by Fygee on Friday, February 12th, 2016 at 7:04pm CT

Funny that Lori mentions having to start over. One of the biggest problems with the system is it generates a surge of electromagnetic energy on startup, causing it to sometimes wipe any disks or tapes that are in it or on it.


Comment posted in Time-Out Games by Mego (Commercial, 1980) by Fygee on Friday, February 12th, 2016 at 6:54pm CT

These actually are Game and Watches, just branded under and distributed by Mego since Nintendo had no presence in America yet. That all changed the following year when Donkey Kong came out.


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by W.B. on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 2:39pm CT

I also wish to add that, checking the LOC's (Library of Congress) catalogues of copyright entries as in Google Books, Raim's "Big Show Theme" copyright was registered on November 22nd 1968, five years to the day after JFK's assassination - a wild coincidence if ever there was one. But the original "4:30 Movie" opening, from all accounts, was also used in Detroit by WXYZ Channel 7 as well as by WABC. If it's true WLS never used this type opening with the difference in title, it'd be a surprise - given the use of that type of logo design in one of the promos Cathy Mustari designed.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Movie Eleven - "Dr. Who" (Opening, 1976) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:58pm CT

Music Source Discovered!

Another mystery music track is identified...

(are you ready?) :-)

The theme used for Movie Eleven here was composed by Dave Grusin and is from the soundtrack for the film "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" [1968]. Apparently, although not yet confirmed (since the soundtrack is hard to come by) - the specific name of this track is called "Growing Pains". Here's a link right to the scene in the movie where the music is used.

Many thanks to Paul Simmons for providing us with the answer!


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:24pm CT

Bernie Drayton actually e-mailed me with this information back in October of 2013, but somehow it got overlooked until now. Sorry for the oversight. :-(


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:19pm CT

From W.B. - "It has since been revealed that the theme was composed by a chap named Walter Raim (who over the years, wrote many music cues for ABC promos) around 1968, in the movie program's waning months under its original title "The Big Show," and indeed it is registered with ASCAP as "Big Show Theme." It had been commissioned by ABC in New York, and was recorded at the now-defunct Gotham Recording Corp. in New York City, with Bernard Drayton and Susan Hamilton as producers and Herman Edel Associates as the music house, with The Lampert Agency and two of its staffers, agency producer Diane Flynn and agency creative director Bill Wurtzel, also involved in the making of this piece (this info courtesy Mr. Drayton himself, in a message to this individual on YouTube, where he has an account under the name "Last Minute Entertainment"). Ed Rice was the recording engineer."


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Summit Series Game 8 (Commercial Break, 1972) by AnnArborMI90 on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 5:59pm CT

I am curious as to what format this may be. I know it's not CV-2000, since that only recorded in black-and-white. I'm thinking Type A VTR.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980) by W.B. on Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 6:12am CT

I.I.N.M., Chuck Barris, besides being responsible for both "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game" (not to mention "The Gong Show"), also produced "The New Treasure Hunt," which may explain how that post-Game 1 music on "The Dating Game" that 'BobAnthony' mentioned, ahem, got around . . . as well as the tuxes.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980) by BobAnthony on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10:10pm CT

You kind of get the feeling that this go round of The Dating Game was quite ribald...Jim Lange's tuxes notwithstanding. These I think were among those worn by Geoff Edwards when he hosted "The New Treasure Hunt." And yes to WB's point this was the version seen on WOR-TV Channel 9 along with The Newlywed Game's 1977-80 run. I remember seeing reruns of these shows on 9 in the mid 80's as a prep for the "New" versions of these shows.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 2, 1980) by BobAnthony on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10:05pm CT

By the way, the music used after the end of game one should be familiar to game show fans like myself. It was used when one of the prizes was won or perhaps passed up on The New Treasure Hunt (1973-77). It also served as the show's closing theme.


<<< Older
  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  Disclaimer  Links  Press   
This page was created in 0.88455 seconds 2007-2016 Museum of Classic Chicago Television