Dr. Demento 

At Sunday nights at 10pm, it would start up with "The doctor is in" and then the familiar voice would start up with "wind up your radios".

I was a bizarre kid and listening to 2 hours of Dr. Demento every week didn't help.  Classics like "They're Coming to Take Me Away", "Pencil Neck Geek", "Fish Heads", and "Dead Puppies" certainly didn't do anything to help me fit in in school.  Especially since every Monday morning I would be groggy after staying up to midnight to hear the Funny Five.

Dr Demento orBarry Hansen, is doing his show nationally since 1974 although he is now on internet instead of radio.  As he left radio in 2010 but has found a home on the internet.  The good doctor gave Weird Al Yankovic his start and gave him the format to become a star.

The songs he featured are underground classics.  He has released several albums showcasing his wacky tunes.  Below are some of his favorite songs that he turned from obscurity into cult favorites.

Saturday Morning Cartoons 


From the late 60s into '90's, we had the Saturday morning block of cartoons.  Before The Cartoon Network or even DVDs, kids had our time.  We stressed in school all week.  Mom and Dad dominated the family TV through the week.  Saturday mornings were for us kids.  It was our time to unwind.  It was a bowl of cereal and a few hours in front of the TV.  We had our buddies - Fat Albert and the gang.  Our mysteries - Scooby Doo.  Our music - The Monkees.  Our variety show - Bay City Rollers.  Our adventures - Super Friends.  Our sci go - cartoon Star Trek.  Our sitcoms - The New Gilligan's Island.  Even our sports - The cartoon Harlem Globetrotters. 

In the 60s and 70s, they all seemed to play music.  The Archie's had a number one smash it hit - Sugar, Sugar. 

In the 80s, it became commercilized.  They sold cereal and toys.  In the 80s they were toys like G.I. Joe and The Transformers.  Kids were directly marketed to.  We were taught too...we had School House Rock.  We learned Civics with I am a Bill.  Of course, we learned grammar with Conjunction Junction What's Your Function. 

As we aged...some made it to real life movies....Scooby Doo, Super Friends (Justice League) , Archie's ( River Dale). and The Fat Albert Movie. 

As cable TV brought on 24/7 cartoons....the novelty died.  But for a few decades, us kids had our own land on Saturday mornings.  It was our world...our time...our TV.

THose long gone candy bars 


Ahhh growin' up in the 70's.  I was born a chocoholic.  I remember in Cincinnati in late 60s my brothers Mel or Gary taking me to King Kwik for a candy bar.  In the early 70's, it was walking to Village Dairy or Joe's Texaco in Cumberland, Md with Shawn and Damon  In the mid 70's, it was riding bikes in Proctorville to Charlie's Market with Jeff and Forrest.  It was all about the chocolate to me. 

They were a few candy bars that I fondly recall that are no longer around. 

In Cumberland, my favorite was the Marathon Bar.  It came out in 73.  It was 8 inches of ooey gooey chocolate covered caramel.  Mars made it and advertised it as "the candy bar that you can't eat quickly.". I am not sure what killed it off but I would bet it was the messiness.  It was hard to eat without coming away with brown hands,. In the summer, the candy would disintegrate into the wrapper.  It finally totally disintegrated around 81. 

In the 70's I vaguely remember The Powerhouse Bar.  It was chocolate fudge, caramel, and roasted peanuts.  It was around since 50s and left around 87 or 88.  Mars made it at one time and so did Peter Paul. 

I removed a real light and fluffy candy called Chocolate.  It was around in 70s and 80s.  It was never my first choice but then again, I never met a candy bar I didn't like. 

One of my favs in the 80s was Mars Summit Bars.  It was a Cross between a cookie and a candy.  I love them.  They melted to easy and I read somewhere that led to there downfall. 

I never cared much for Reggie Jackson the baseball player.  When he played in Oakland, he said if he played in New York, they'd name a candy bar after him. 
So when he went to the Yankees in 76, the Curtis Candy Company created Reggie.  It was peanuts and caramel and covered in chocolate.  I wasn't a big fan but I liked it more than I liked him. 

What was some of your favorite long gone candy bars?

I Want My MTV 

Ahhhh the Summer of 81!  Fresh out of high school.  What to do, what to do?  Well, on August 1st my problem was solved.  The Buggles came crashing onto my screen with "Video Killed The Radio Star" and suddenly, my TV and days and nights were filled with music videos.  24/7....My life had changed.  No more high school...music videos anytime I wanted.  Life was good. 

My new best friends were Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, JJ Jackson, and Alan Hunter.  Those were the MTV VJs that played The Rolling Stones, The Cars, Billy Idol, and all of my classic rock heroes.  I was a young metal head and MTV played Saxon, Iron Maiden, and bands local radio would not touch. 

And who could forget The MTV Moon Man at the top of the hour and the VJs teasing which bands were up and coming.  And the strange commercials that occasionally would not have sound...I never quite figured that out. 

After work or college, late at night, or as background music to a game of quarter bounce, MTV was always close to me.  The years flew by and it seemed MTV played fewer and fewer videos until finally Music Television no longer played videos.  VJs came and went and gave away to realty television. 

Every now and then Money for Nothing by The Fire Straights or Modern Love by David Bowie will play on an oldie station and I close my eyes and I see the.videos.  Then it all comes back...the Moon Man, Billy Idol saying "I Want My MTV",  the world premiere video of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and my crush...VJ Martha Quinn bouncing around in a t shirt in a video of J. Geols Band's "Centerfold.".....and suddenly I am 18 again...and the world is simple again...and no one wore masks....except The Moon Man.


Quisp: 70's Sugar 

Alien Quisp flew into Earth in 60's and 70's.  After a 30 year absence Quaker brought the cereal back in limited stores and on internet.  My favorite cereal as a kid.

Stuckey's: A classic roadside slice of Americana 

The good Ol' days...road trips...family vacation.  Loading up the big ole Chrysler Newport with my parents and brothers and heading to the home of The Gateway Arch...St.  Louis.  Well, my grandparents lived in East St.  Louis.


The trip was long and often uncomfortable but I'd keep my eyes peeled out on the road looking for Stuckey's.  Stuckey's totally fascinated me.  The amazing souvenir/ c-store started as a pecan road side stand.  The pecan candy took off and led to an interesting roadside stop where you never knew what you would find.


I'd wait all trip looking forward to what Interesting candy and souvenir I would pick.  Stuckey's left but are back.  I haven't been to one of the 115 out there now but the thought of Stuckey's takes me back to the old road trips...fa.ily, souvenirs, and pecan candy.  How I'd like to pile into the old Newport and visit Stuckey's with my family one more time.

Mister Softee Cooled Off Our Summers 

As a little boy growing up in Cincinnati, Mister Softee's song was definitely music to my ears.  I would wait all day for that sound.  Something about Mister Softee's takes me back.  I saw him again in some parts of Cumberland in the seventies but it was the sno-cone man who ruled that town.  I only have seen Mister Softee's since in New York.  If I heard that sound again, I'd be put there on the side of the road with my money in hand.

Growing Up With McDonald's 

Ahhh McDonald's...sure...they are still all over town.  But as a kid... McDonald's was so much more.  It was McDonaldland.  A mythical land headed by a clown. 

We grew up with Ronald McDonald, The Hamburgler, Mayor McCheese....Grimace.  Grimace emerged as The Evil Grimace.  He had 4 arms to steal more milk shakes.  He came back in 74 as a good guy.  He was a big simple foil to Ronald McDonald. 

McDonald was retired in 2008.  The characters vanished.  Ronald was still around for a few more years.  McDonald's backed off on Ronald around 2016 because of the killer clown scare.  With the clown image scared by scary clowns, McDonald's backed away from Ronald. 

I remember the old red, white, and yellow restaurants from being a kid in 60's Cincinnati. Soon after we moved to Cumberland in the early 70s, they built a new brown building.  McDonald's then grew throughout the 70s with their new brown restaurants. 

To me, McDonald's will always be a find memory of my youth.  Mc Donald's still markets to kids...but it isn't the same without Ronald.


Topp's Baseball Cards taught us baby-boomers many skills 

Baseball Cards were not just collector's items when I was growing up.  They taught us young boys many skills.  One was the art of negotiation.  We learned how to negotiate and make deals by endless hours of trading cards.


My generation also "flipped" cards.  This was a form of kiddie gambling.  Each flipper would flip cards high into the air.  If your card landed with picture up and the other guys was down...you won the cards.  This was many future poker players first exposure to gambling.


Baseball cards also taught many of us "boomers" stalking tactics.  We would hound players at games or in malls or even send them cards in the mail to get them autographs.

Baseball cards were our toys.  We employed our imaginations and spurred our creativity by inventing countless number of games.


We learned to "pimp" up our cars by pimping up our bicycles by putting spokes in the wheels of our bikes.  Many Mickey Mantles and Willie Mays cards were sacrificed to pimp up bikes....today's card collector's cringe at the thought.

Many baseball fans got their start collecting cards.  Topp's helped baseball become our national past time.  Sadly, when Topp's lost their Monopoly...the popularity of cards and the game waned.


When cards became worth money, it seemed to take the innocence out of them.  I still remember seeing the first "pack" of spring and the excitement of realizing that cards were finally out after a long winter of waiting on them.  Baseball and baseball cards were my first love....another innocent thing ruined by money as the cards became valuable.





Local Children's TV Shows of 60's, 70's, and 80's 

Back in the old days stations tried to have some local programming in daytime before syndicated shows in evening and network programming at night.  I lived in 3 different markets that had popular local programming for kids.  I was born in Cincinnati in 1963 and grew up with the legendary Uncle Al Show in the morning.

George Clooney made an appearance in a skit at 8 years-old in 1970.  Here is a tribute to the wonderful career of Uncle Al Lewis.


Another Cincinnati show that my brother and I grew up watching on WXIX 19 in Cincinnati was The Larry Smith Puppets Show.  The stars were puppets, of course.  Hattie the Witch, Snarfie R. Dog, Nasty Old Thing,Hattie the Witch, Snarfie R. Dog, Nasty Old Thing hung out every weekday afternoon and played cartoons.  

Here is a clip featuring a Halloween special made in 1970 featuring Hattie The Witch and another WXIX on-air personality Cool Ghoul of Scream-In.  The Cool Ghoul(Dick Von Hoene) was known for his trademark shout and "Bleah, bleah, BLEAAAHHH!" and his inimitable tongue-fluttering "Bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl..."

When I moved to Cumberland, Md in 1970, I became a big fan of the Washington, Dc station Channel 20.  They had a block of afternoon kid shows hosted by Captain 20.  Captain 20 was first an astronaut and then an alien.

Tony Alexis was the second Captain 20

He was replaced by Dick Dyszel and became an alien from outer space.

Dick Dyszel also played Bozo The Clown on the morning kids show.

Dyszel was also Count Gore De Vol on Creature Feature.


When I moved to Huntington, WV in 1976, I discovered the local show Mr. Cartoon featuring Jule Huffman as Mr Cartoon.  Beeper was the sidekick and they entertained a studio full of children and played cartoons in between.

Now, most kids tune in Cartoon Network or The Disney Channel for their entertainment but back in the day local channels created their own characters in a quest for cheap, marketable kids entertainment...an in the process legends were born.  Every market had their own local characters and played classic cartoons.