SHS Class of 58 - Elmira, NY  
  Return to Home Page

The TV We Grew Up On

Pictured above in all their glory are some of the stars of TV shows when we were kids: Memories of John Cameron Swayze, Ozzie & Harriet, The Honeymooners, Arthur Godfrey, The Millionaire, Kukla, Fran & Ollie, Perry Mason, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Milton Berle, Dinah Shore, Leave It To Beaver & Broderick Crawford.

How about some of yours? Click Here and let us know about them.

Gerry Bry-Nildsen -

I remember most of the shows everyone refers to, but my favorite as a 5 or 6 year old was always "Frontier Playhouse" which is mentioned several times as coming on from 6-7 on Mondays thru Friday! It was great. I had forgotten the description of the stagecoach which I now remember and thank you for pointing it out. I was thrilled by Tex Ritter, Johnny Mack Brown, The Trail Blazers(Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson, Bob Steele), Lash La Rue, Wild Bill Elliott, and probably more than any of them were the Rough Riders (Buck Jones, Ken Maynard and Grady Hatton). It was wonderful to see them say "So long Rough Riders" at the end of each movie! The likes of Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry had their own shows and were also good. The Durango Kid was great but I can't remember him on Frontier Playhouse. He was in the local 20 cent movie house! I may have forgotten some but it was all good stuff! Oh yeah, how about Whip Wilson?

Bob Johnson -

My all-time favorite of the early 50’s was “I Remember Momma” starring Peggy Wood as Momma and Dick Van Patten as Nels, the eldest son. Is there a way to track this series down?
Editor's Note: In fact, the series title was just "Mama" and was Dick Van Patten's debut as an actor on TV. You can track this series on the Internet Movie Data Base at

Alice West -

On Saturday mornings in the Fifties all the kids in our neighborhood would gather at our house for cartoons and serials we watched Sky King, Fury, My Friend Flicka, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Mickey Mouse, Howdy Doody, Cisco Kid, Gene Autry, TheJetsons, Casper, Captain Midnight, Lash Larue, Flash Gordon, Tarzan, Super Man (the only one) with George Reeves.

Oh, for the good old days, and I forget the days these were on but we watched Shirley Temple, The Little Rascles, The Dead End Kids, Topper, Spook Spectular, Yancy Derrenger, Laurel And Hardy, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello,The Alaskans. We watched Sugarfoot, Bronco, Kodiak, Cheyenne, Have Gun Will Travel, Any western we could find when we were together, we would peel potatoes and make homemade french fries. They were some of the best days of my life.

Daniel R. Esian -

Route 66, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside 6
Mr. Adams And Eve
, The Thin Man with Phyllis Kirk
Soldiers of Fortune, Sheena, The Tonight Show with Steve Allen

Dennis -

The Whirly Birds TV series. Does anyone remember Rip Tide and Father and Son?

Andrew Shuman -

How about the local church show, The Little White Church, from Conklin, NY? Lou Addelson Show, local Binghamton personality, that I vaguely remembered moved to Fargo, N.D. from Binghamton. I might have spelled his last name incorrectly. I believe there were local broadcasts from the Rainbow Lanes located in Endwell (bowling tournament shows).

Robert Gerhart -

How about Tales of Tomorrow. The original Dragnet was qute innovative. Kate Smith filled up a lot of daytime as did Ernie Kovacs. This was the Philadelphia area which included the pre-Dick Clark Bandstand with Bob Horn and somebody else as hosts. There was one called The Big Story about a reporter. Someone mentioned Frontier Playhouse. That was a Mon.- Fri. old Western movie show. In my mind I can still see the graphic of the stagecoach and hear the theme music.

Peter Buchanan -

Happened upon this site - *great memories* Yes, I loved watching "The Rifleman" with Chuck Connors - actually did some fancy (illegal) work on an old .22... how did I ever get thru life allright? Loved Broderick Crawford ; his big old Dodge Crown Royal, in "Highway Patrol" and of course Richard Boone as Paladin (Have Gun, Will Travel). I guess I've repeated what others said, but I didn't see "Highway Patrol" mentioned. Perhaps my old eyes just missed it. Thanks

Doug Host -

I used to love watching Westerns in the late 50's. One of the least mentioned ones was Johnny Ringo, starring Don Durant (who appeared in episodes of a lot of Western series programs in that era - including Wagon Train, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Maverick, Wide Country and The Virginian). My favorite part was the opening credits where he shot six bullets in a perfect circle, and then put a shotgun blast directly in the center of them. Amen for "Ringo, Johnny Ringo, his fears were never shown; the fastest gun in all the West, the quickest ever known!"

NSMyers -

Tales of Wells-Fargo with Dale Robertson.

Lynn Emerich -

Most of the shows I watched are covered. One more would be "Lights Out". The other I remember which we laughed our heads off at, was an infomercial for Charles Antel Formula 9 shampoo. This guy would shampoo a lady's hair while talking about all the gooey stuff some women used. It was on Saturday mornings. How about Wrestling from Rainbow, late at night - Don Eagle, Georgeous George, Argentine Rocco, and the midget tag teams.

Carey Quigley -

Yeah, most of those, along with Topper, Charlie Chan, Frontier Playhouse, and Chief Halftown.

HuronNCD -

I remember Howdy Doody coming on 5:30 until 6:00 then Frontier Playhouse from 6 until 7.
Commercials were one minute or less and fifteen minutes apart!

Baratta25 -

I just remember Fussie and Gussie but don't remember what show they were on. People laugh at me because when I think of the Everly Brothers, I think of Fussie and Gussie!

My Saturday morning line-up was Howdy Doody, Ruff and Ready, Circus Boy, Sky King.

Of course can't forget Micky Mouse Club..Spin and Marty. Can still remember the day my Winky Dink kit arrived. Since I can't remember what I ate last night, I guess Winky Dink has a special place in my heart.

J Dunn -

In Detroit, we had "Lunch With Soupy" This was Soupy Sales premier show I think. Hope you all know Soupy! He later was a big New York star. White Fang & Black Tooth were his giant dogs that we never really got to see. Pies in the face almost daily. Loved it.

Milton Berle had a lead in cartoon show that made all of us kids laugh but can't remember the name of it. Snarky Parker was the puppet piano player.

Bill -

There was another Saturday morning show I used to watch that I'm trying to find info about. I seem to recall it was about a Captain Zero, who could time travel. Not to be confused with Captain Midnight who flew a plane that looked like an X-1 and who had an assistant, Ichabod Mudd. Anyone else recall that show?

John Cherry -

I remember Winky Dink. I lived in Norfolk, VA when I was 3-5 yrs old and I watched him every time he was on. Don't have my Captain Midnight decoder ring any more, but wish I did. Anyone out there know how to find out the names of the cast of the Captain Midnight TV Show???? Thanks.

P.S. To Barb Madden. I watched all the shows you named and more. Thanks for the trip down memory lane....


I, too, enjoyed all the old TV shows.......Fury, Froggie, Engineer Bill, Sheriff John, I Married Joan, My Little Margie, Wagon Train, Raw Hide, Leave It To Beaver, Queen For A Day, Beat The Clock, American Bandstand and so many more. My family thinks I'm crazy because I like to watch them. I also like all the oldies but goodies music. It was just a more pleasant time then, not that there weren't bad times. I don't really care for the shows on TV now. Anyway I buy all the old movies, tv shows and cartoons I can find, I've have over 100 DVDs, so I watch them.

Richard -

Does anyone remember I Remember Momma starring Irene Dunn, set back in the early 1900s? I liked the episode especially around Christmas, when the family went out to the barn at midnight to hear the animals talk. And by the way Diane, I watched Buella every week.

John Smith -

On mornings I didn't go to school I'd watch re-runs of My Little Margie and Topper. After they were over The Sandy Becker Show would come on in New York on Channel 5. I know much, like where I left my car keys, but I remember WNEW, Channel 5's address as something like 205 East Sixty-Second Street, New York, NY from entering contests and sending in drawings. Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, Yancy Derringer, Sugarfoot. ("Sugarfoot, Sugarfoot, easy lopin' cattle ropin' Sugarfoot"), Cheyenne ("Cheyenne, Cheyenne, where will you be campin' tonight? Lonely Man, Cheyenne will your heart stay free and bright?")

Barbara -

My favorite shows were Paladin, Wyatt Earp, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Sky King. I wish they were still on. I do get to watch Wyatt Earp on Saturdays for 2 hours. It should be on more.

Tom Henderson -
Here's a few shows I didn't see mentioned:

1) The Ralph Carroll Show - on every weekday at 6:30 PM, and sponsered (in part) by Lou Rappaport's House of a 1000 Items. The show was on WNBF, out of Binghamton. You had to adjust the aluminum foil on the antenna wire to get it clearly. He always closed the show with this message:
"if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."

2) Fashions for My Lady with A. Murphy Drazen. Mondays at 7:00 PM on WNBF out of Binghamton. Every kid in the world hated this show. Ladies in dresses. Boring !!!

3) The Voice of Firestone - Mondays at 7:30 PM. What !!!! We gotta listen to opera??

4) Finally, a good show - The Tales of Wells Fargo, starring Dale Robertson. Great show for it's time. My dad and I always watched this one.

5) Then - The Restless Gun, starring John Payne. Another "horse opera" as my dad used to call all cowboy shows.

That's the Monday night line-up for WNBF back in the fifties. Jog your memories?

Thanx for a wonderful site for an Elmira fifties kid.

Bill Davies -

Does anyone remember a program called The Inner Sanctum? I think it was approx 1958 - 1960 ish and on quite late at night and was quite frightening, as I remember, to a kid of ten. I've asked loads of people but they all think I'm making it up. Please let me know I didn't dream it.

Sandy Stowell -
I am looking for a copy of Queen for a Day 1955 or 56. My 85 year old mother was on this program.

Susan -
How about The Stranger? "Into every life there comes a stranger who leaves his mark and then passes on." I don't remember the actor.

Kathryn McCullough -
Just came across your site. What a trip down memory lane!

I liked the original Mike Hammer series with Darren McGavin (I think it was from the Fifties). Also remember Peter Diamond.

Watched The Rootie Kazootie Show, Bertie the Bunyip (with Sir Guy de Guy and Fussie and Gussie), and Willie the Worm (with Doy Doy) - Saturday morning kid stuff.

I also remember Frontier Playhouse, loved the Life of Riley . . . ."what a revolting development this is" . . . with Wm. Bendix, Marjorie Something-or-other, Joan Blondell (Riley, Peg, Honeybee) and his sidekick "Jimsy" (Blondell's husband).

Also, I Married Joan with Jim Backus (can't remember who played Joan), and something called Those Whiting Sisters (these little memory glitches are beginning to get on my nerves!).

James Broderick -
Too Young To Go Steady - only remember the mother, Joan Bennett

Bluezman (Charlie) - CSMYTH@HVC.RR.COM
Blurbs, mostly from what's left of my memory..."Look! Up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane it's...   "Where in history are we going today, Professor Peabody?"
"I'll tell you as we start up the Wayback Machine."   "Who was that masked man?"....
"Hi Yo, Silver!".
"There are eight million stories in the Naked City...This is one of them."   "Hey kids, what time is it?"   "Hey, Poncho!" "Hey, Cisco!"   " 'Have gun will travel,' reads the card of a man..."   "Holy mackerel, Andy! We's all got to stick together in dis heah thing...remember, we is brothers in that great fraternity,... The Mystic Knights of the Sea."   "His name was Bat, Bat Masterson...."   "Cap...tain, his Video Rangers!"   "Ceicle?" "Yeah, Beanie"   "Plunk your Magic Twanger, Froggie!" "Boing!" (smoke) "Hiya kids, hiya kids, hiya, hiya, hiya!"   "....with Ronald Ray-gun." "Brought to you by Twenty Mule Teem Borax"   "Welcome to the inner sanctum (sound of creaking door)".   "To the moon, Alice, right to the moon!"  

If you remember the blurb, you'll remember the show it came from. Hoping that they are happy memories.
P.S. How many of you still drink Ovaltine?  

Diane -
Does anyone remember watching Sky King on Saturdays? How about even earlier times when there was a show called Buella. Hope I spelled that right! I can't seem to find anyone who remembers that show.

Bob Rocker-
some memories from Bob. I still have my Hopalong wrist watch, Captain Midnight decoder but I no longer have the magic TV screen to interact with Winky Dink. Anyone else watch that show?

Michael Brewer -
writes to us about his favorites.
The Rifleman
, Have Gun Will Travel, The Whirlybirds, and Yancy Derringer were among my favorites.

Clara Underwood -
The Big Story
brought to us by White Rain.

Tom Chenevert of Dunstable, Ma -
writes about his favorites:
I liked among all the others previously mentioned on the site State Trooper with Rod Cameron, Boston Blackie with Kent Taylor, Dick Tracy with Ralph Byrd, Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges,  Tales of Texas Rangers, The Range Rider with Jock Mahoney, Cowboy G-Men with Russell Hayden and Jackie Coogan The Crusader with Brian Keith, The Lineup with Warner Anderson and Tom Tully, The Cisco Kid with Duncan Renaldo, Kit Carson with Bill Wiliams, Wild Bill Hickock with Guy Madison, Wyatt Earp with Hugh OBrien, Meet McGraw with Frank Lovejoy and Mike Hammer with Darren McGavin.   

Barb Madden,
writes us about the shows that she enjoyed:
American Bandstand, Route 66, Hawaiian Eye, Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, Lassie, The Lone Ranger, The Whirly Birds, The Blackhawks, The Real McCoys, Father Knows Best, I Love Lucy, M Squad, Car 54 - Where Are You, The Fugitive, The Flying Doctor, Sea Hunt, The Naked City, The Texas Rangers, Fury, My Friend Flicka, The Howdy Doody Show, The Kraft Mystery Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Have Gun Will Travel, The Donna Reed Show, Zorro, Superman, Queen for a Day
(that was a game show) and finally The Twentieth Century, narrated by Walter Cronkite, Wagontrain, and Gunsmoke."In closing I'd like to extend a sincere congrates and kudos to those that have put this web site together. Having grown up in the Fifties, it brings back terrific memories of simpler and more fun times." 

What shows do you remember? Let us hear about them and we'll add more to our collection.
Click Here and give us some of your favorite shows of the fifties.

copyright 2005 SHS Class of 58
All Rights Reserved