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WGN Channel 9 - Len Johnson and the News (Part 2, 1965)

Here's Part 2 (the final part) of an incredibly rare find - an edition of Len Johnson and the News on WGN Channel 9 from 1965! This was a forerunner to their overnight Night Beat newscast that ran from the late-sixties well into the 1980s.

You'll notice that this was during that awkward transition phase from black-and-white to color with most of the broadcast appearing in black-and-white, but then interspersed by random color commercials and a few color slides.

This came from an original 2" quad tape recording that likely hadn't been played since the day it was recorded. It came from the estate of Len Johnson, whose wife gave it to a family friend after Len passed away. That family friend, Kevin McCarthy, held on to it for a number of years but always wondered what was on the unmarked, unlabeled videotape. Kevin got in touch with us and we arranged to get the tape transferred digitally using funds donated by our loyal visitors here. :-) Robert Feder reported the news this week in his popular Chicago media blog.

You can read more about Len's WGN career here, and see a rare clip from his pre-Chicago days in Pittsburgh here.

Tech Note: Next to Len at the anchor desk is an Electro-Voice EV-667 microphone.

This part includes:

Len reading the following items:

- Albert Cardinal Meyer remains in stable condition at Mercy Hospital, breathing through a tube and fed intravenously (though not mentioned, this was after he suffered a heart attack following an operation to remove a brain tumor; Meyer died on April 9th)

- A new underground parking garage in Grant Park South opens, with Mayor Daley's limousine crashing into a paper "wall" to signify its opening; it stretches from Adams to Van Buren Street, and is well-lit with ramps that are not as steep as its northern equivalent; Daley cuts a cake celebrating Chicago's 128th anniversary during the opening ceremonies

- Earlier, the Associated Retail Bakers of Greater Chicago whipped up a 70-pound cake to commemorate the city's incorporation in 1837, with the message "Providing Dynamic Leadership in Water Conservation and Inland International Shipping" written on it (Len misspoke "providing" as "proving"); film footage of the cake and accompanying celebration (with Daley cutting the cake) is shown; St. Joseph's Home for the Friendless received the rest of the cake

- Women's Bar Association of Illinois holds a meeting on the topic of reapportionment, and both political parties debate the issue; features film footage of a press conference given by Rep. Albert Hackmeister (R-Chicago), Minority Leader of the State House, who charges that Democrats want an "at large" election for both Senate and House in 1966; Democrat Daniel Doherty, asked by WGN's Steve Schickel if that's what his party wants, denies this to be the case

Commercial: 4-Way Cold Tablets - comparing its relief (nasal, aches and pains, sluggishness, and fever) to a regular cold capsule (just nasal relief) (voiceover by Phil Tonken, longtime Channel 9 staff announcer - WOR Channel 9 in New York, that is ;-) )

Len reads the following sports items:

- In the NHL, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs tie 2-2 as Canadiens try to creep up on league-leading Chicago Black Hawks; New York Rangers defeat Boston Bruins 4-3; WGN will carry contest between Black Hawks and Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday (the 6th) at 7pm (the Hawks lost that game 4-1)

- In college basketball, St. Louis University defeats North Texas 90-73 in Missouri Valley Conference game; St. Louis and Bradley are given bids to National Invitation Tournament

- Four college basketball teams advancing to semi-finals of Public League; film footage of Marshall-Harlan matchup (with Marshall winning 87-60), and other scores: DuSable beating Harper 98-58, Carver defeating Crane Tech 104-98, and Dunbar winning over Tilden Tech 72-52; semi-finals to be played the following Tuesday (the 9th) at International Amphitheater; Channel 9 will carry Illinois High School Tournament Finals on March 19th and 20th from Champaign

- In baseball, Chicago White Sox announce that pitcher Joe Horlen has arrived in Sarasota to sign his 1965 contract after a holdout; he signed for $21,000 but wanted $3,000 more, and general manager Ed Short didn't budge

- Film footage of the Cubs at their spring training camp in Mesa, AZ, with brief shots of coaches Bob Kennedy and Alvin Dark (this would be the final year of the Cubs' "College of Coaches," which ended upon Leo "The Lip" Durocher's being named manager in 1966), followed by shots of the pitching staff warming up including Dick Ellsworth (whose 1966 Topps card #447 infamously featured a photo of his late teammate, infielder Ken Hubbs, who was killed in a plane crash prior to the start of the 1964 season), former Milwaukee Braves aces Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl, and Larry Jackson (Buhl and Jackson would be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966 in exchange for Ferguson Jenkins who would become one of the Cubs' top fireballers into the early 1970's) (notice, among the pitching staff as then constituted, the absence of Ernie Broglio, who came to the Cubs in the infamously lopsided 1964 trade that sent future base-stealing legend Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals); also featured are infielder Ron Santo, utility player Leo Burke, and "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks

- In golf at the Pensacola Open, four men tied for lead after the first round: Jack Nicklaus, Doug Sanders, Kel Nagle and Dave Marr (all hit 68); tied for second are Billy Casper, Don Cherry (one and the same as had a hit with "Band of Gold" in 1956), Chuck Courtney and Billy Martindale; Arnold Palmer tied with fourteen others at 71; Gary Player and Ken Venturi tied with 26 others at 72; WGN (who else?) will air the final round on Sunday (the 7th)

Commercial: Calgon Water Conditioner - "Mommy's Choice" - gets rid of bathtub ring film on clothes - animation done in the style of children's drawings (in color)

Len reads the weather forecast for Chicago and vicinity, including snow; and closes the newscast with mention that it was a presentation of Channel 9 News, written and edited by Charles Schreiber.

Title card slides (in color):

Len Johnson and the News

A Presentation of WGN News - Portions of the preceding program were mechanically reproduced

Commercial: Wrigley's Doublemint Gum - "Doublemint Time" with Tommy & Joy - backed by orchestra (anyone know who Tommy and Joy are?) - "Double Your Pleasure" (in color) (tape cuts out in middle of this ad)

This aired on local Chicago TV early Friday, March 5th 1965 at 12:30am.

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This clip aired on Friday, March 5th 1965, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

EXCELLENT!! :) (I also noticed at the end of the newscast, it says, "Len Johnson and the news."

Another Grand slam!!!

Comment posted by Matt on Saturday, September 1st 2012 at 12:29pm.

The Cubs also got Adolfo Phillips in that trade with the Phils.

Great find, Fuzzy!

Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, September 1st 2012 at 8:56pm.

St. Joseph's Home For The Friendless? What an odd and sad name for an institution.
Comment posted by Erniebaud on Saturday, September 1st 2012 at 10:00pm.

Erniebaud, I suppose calling it the St. Joseph's Homeless Shelter would've been sadder than St. Joseph's Home for the Friendless to the folks trying to run the place.
Comment posted by OldTVNut on Sunday, September 2nd 2012 at 9:29am.

The "new" Nightbeat theme from the 70s did fit the program better, the theme on this show gives me visions of Donna Reed running down the stairs to answer the phone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnIC7j-xrUY

Comment posted by yarsdad on Sunday, September 2nd 2012 at 9:13pm.

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This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Saturday, September 1st 2012.
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McDonald's Hamburgers - "Our Kind of Place" (Commercial, 1967)


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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in McDonald's Hamburgers - "Our Kind of Place" (Commercial, 1967) by Pete on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 5:53am CT

I get McDonald's coupons all the time. I've even found a McDonald's out here in Vegas that accepts competitors coupons.


Comment posted in The Complete Al Green - His Greatest Hits (Record Offer, 1980) by Pete on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 5:50am CT

Here's a copy from Hi Records without the white border.

http://www.amazon.com/Green-Complete-Greatest-vinyl-record/dp/B00Q50Q8LY



Comment posted in Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits (Record Offer, 1981) by LaPrincess on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:13am CT

Interesting the two heavier rock hits he had with First Edition (Something's Burning and Just Dropped In)aren't on this collection. Lady always depressed me. My parents always liked him and my mom saw him in concert.


Comment posted in The Complete Al Green - His Greatest Hits (Record Offer, 1980) by LaPrincess on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:09am CT

This is a great album. No I don't have this but I like Al Green.


Comment posted in Star Beat Presents What's Happening! (Commercial, 1981) by LaPrincess on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:07am CT

I used to go to Erik the Red's and not only was I underage (and they never carded me) but I got in free. I've since heard the management, bouncer or someone else was told not to card or charge pretty ladies. I used to go with a male friend who later came out.


Comment posted in McDonald's Hamburgers - "Our Kind of Place" (Commercial, 1967) by LaPrincess on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 12:02am CT

Is it just me or did this seem like a 50's vibe, not a 60's?


Comment posted in McDonald's Hamburgers - "Our Kind of Place" (Commercial, 1967) by FieldGal44 on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 6:22pm CT

Interesting points by D4C. They've since pared down their menu choices in order to speed up service and boost the coffers, but I've never understood why they've never tapped into the coupon market.

I agree that "I'm Lovin' It" is long past its shelf date. The now-infamous 2004 documentary "Super Size Me" and the recent "pink slime" controversy certainly hasn't done the company any favors either.

Plus, as consumers we've become much more aware of what we put in our bodies nowadays, and even McDonald's is getting expensive (seriously, $4.10 Egg McMuffins?) I've saved oodles of money over the past year alone just by getting a Foreman grill and cooking my own meals that I can stretch out over a few days. (Then again, I live in San Francisco, so I'm not exactly teeming with options.)


Comment posted in McDonald's Hamburgers - "Our Kind of Place" (Commercial, 1967) by ChrisBCritter on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 5:02am CT

"Anytime I hear that tune, I have to sing along...

McDonald's is our kind of place,
They feed you rattlesnakes,
They throw food in your face,
It's such a happy place!"

I remember most of it as follows...

McDonald's is your kind of place
??????
They throw pies in your face
They steal your parking place
McDonald's is your kind of place
Milkshakes taste just like slime
Hamburgers are greasy grime
French fries aren't worth a dime
McDonald's is your kind of place
It's such a wrecked-up place
McDonald's is your kind of place!


Comment posted in McDonald's Hamburgers - "Our Kind of Place" (Commercial, 1967) by Detroit4Chicago on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 3:36am CT

Spot produced at a time when McDonald's was a much smaller company, even the growth potentials had a great future.

The "You Deserve a Break Today" campaign certainly was a boost; this "Our Kind of Place" was the beginning of it, I suppose.

My guess of the present "I'm Lovin' It" was made at a time (c.2006) when McDonald's was still relevant but company-wise had slow growth, even it was getting business from the Super Size and Dollar Menus. McDonald's was simple, but by the late 1990's, ideas like the McLean and the Arch Deluxe were man-of-failures. Changes had to come and when the new synergies (including the McCafe) were introduced, so did the "I'm Lovin' It" thing, done at a time when most of America's economy was rolling and heavy consumer spending in the mid 2000's was present. Self-gratification was the hip thing at the time, and McD jumped on it.

Although they McCafe was popular and profitable, I think what happened was that McDonald's was on a constant remodeling kick and changes to the menu. Around 2006, many of the MCD's that were older were remodeled with elaborate decor. Within less than a decade, many were demolished and given new bare bones outside architecture with somewhat posher accommodations inside (i.e.: plush seats, stool-side seating, etc) and double drive thrus for efficiency. I think that constant remodeling pushed the cost of food up, along with inflation. Plus, other fast food restaurants were cutting deals in the form of coupons, something that McD are shy on.

And "Please Have Your Payment Ready" is nice, it's also a turnoff.

Other than reasons aside, I now think the "I'm Lovin' It" thing is becoming dated, along with "What Happens Here, Stays Here" was a few years ago.


Comment posted in McDonald's Hamburgers - "Our Kind of Place" (Commercial, 1967) by Pete on Monday, March 30th, 2015 at 6:54am CT

Very cool commercial.


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