6 On The Move: Remember 'Dance Party' And 'Dr. Mazeppa Pompozoidi?'

Tuesday, January 15th 2013, 5:55 pm
By: News On 6

As News On 6 makes the move to the new Griffin Communications Media Center in the Brady Arts District, we look back at our history - 63 years of reporting news to the people of Oklahoma.

Joshua Brakhage, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- We've always done more than just the news here at News on 6 headquarters. Our sports team showcases the best athletes in Oklahoma, and Green Country turns to Oklahoma's weather experts when severe storms roll in.

But there are shows - that are part of our past - that don't exist anymore except for in the hearts and memories of Oklahoma's Own.

A lot used to happen here at 3rd and Frankfort. In the 63 years we've been on the air, these studios have hosted everything from game shows to dance parties.

Television came to Tulsa in 1949. KOTV signed on from America's largest TV studio, a studio we put to work right away. Every segment had a name, even if some weren't all that creative.

There were shows called "Know Your Golf" and "Sports Commentary."

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Harry Volkman gave the temperatures on "Whatever the Weather" and Bill Bottom hosted "How About Fishing." Some tuned in for "The Singing Peddler" and "Two Maids of Music."

There was "Drawing for Fun," "Cookin' for Fun" and "Lookin' at Cookin.'"

"They liked the recipes. We did a recipe a day and we would send the recipes to them. We printed those up on sheets and they could order them if they wanted them. It was a very popular show. We sent out a lot of mail," said Donnell Green, former KOTV host.

And in the 60s and 70s, Green Country kids came downtown to dance.

"In Tulsa, we had higher ratings than Dick Clark did and not because we were better," said Lee Bayley.

"We were local. They could turn on Channel 6/KOTV, and they could see kids from Bartlesville, Miami, Memorial, Edison, Hale, Booker T.Washington, McClain, all those high schools and see kids they know." 

Watch Videos From The KOTV Vault

Tulsa's answer to "American Bandstand" was popular for years, welcoming The Beach Boys, The Temptations, and Paul Revere and the Raiders to our downtown headquarters. 

When he wasn't hosting a "Dance Party," Lee Woodward was delighting younger kids at "King Lionel's Court," and Don Scott was a hit with the l'il cowboys with his western movies. 

A starving student, Gailard Sartain put himself through grad school at TU with a job running cameras at the KOTV studios.

But he abandoned his textbooks for a career in comedy, then he stepped in front of those cameras in "Dr. Mazeppa Pompozoidi's Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting." Sartain's wacky antics got him discovered and kept him on Channel 6 for years, as he went straight from "Mazeppa" to the cast of "Hee Haw." 

So Channel 6 was doing sketch comedy before "Saturday Night Live." Before "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars" - Channel 6 did it first.

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And decades before "The Talk" and "The View," ladies had their say on "The Woman's Page."

"People were fascinated by this thing that could bring them entertainment into their homes. And early on it basically was entertainment. 

It was live. It was here.

It was television - for and by Oklahoma's Own.