Ever think we’d see the end of radio? Many of us remember when radio personalities were as important as the artists they played, and competition between stations raised the bar on creative programming.
Consolidation, cable TV and the internet all played a role in the diminished importance of over-the-air programming. There’s still great radio, much of it on satellite or online, but let’s not forget the folks who made radio great.
Why isn’t there a legitimate statewide broadcasters hall of fame? A lot of major names have worked here in radio and TV. Jack Paar, Soupy Sales, Casey Kasem, Nancy Dickerson and Alan Freed, to name just a few, went on from Cleveland media to national prominence. Even more stayed here. We should preserve their legacy and their important part of our media history. It’s time for that hall of fame.
There were a couple at one time in Northeast Ohio, but they didn’t last. Maybe it’s time for a respected institution like the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Ohio History Connection in Columbus, or an independent panel of historians, academic types and broadcast professionals to establish a real hall of fame that’s aimed at documenting these important accomplishments in a serious and, most importantly, impartial manner.
Let’s also preserve the artifacts, audiotape and videotape that still exist for future generations. The banner welcoming the Beatles to Cleveland in 1964 is sitting in a basement. Ernie “Ghoulardi” Anderson’s personal effects were auctioned off on eBay. Tapes and other memorabilia often find their way to the curbside when estates are left behind. Libraries could be great repositories. Like the idea? Let me know. The email is listed below.
Whatever happened to movie palaces?
I remember when the really big first-run films would open first downtown. I saw “The Sound of Music” at the Palace Theatre at a weekday matinee....
Pop Culture Chronicles
Opening Day, Drive-Up Restaurants and … Wizard World?
We’re finally shaking off Old Man Winter. When the Indians’ equipment trucks head West, you know more daylight, warmer weather and the opening of drive-up restaurants are right around the corner.
For my wife and me, it’s pop culture convention season. Now let me make this clear. We stand in line for tickets just like everyone else, but we stand in a lot of lines because there are so many of them. Most are just an hour or two away, and most have a Cleveland connection.
The Wizard World show at the Cleveland Convention Center in March is huge, and there’s always plenty of star power. There’s Wizard World Columbus in June, and both shows are similar to the San Diego Comic-Con International.
What started out as comic book conventions are now about TV shows, pro wrestling, movies and more. You see Lou Ferrigno, the guy who played the Incredible Hulk, at a lot of these. He used to live in Columbus and he visits friends when he travels to Ohio.
Which brings us to movies. Last issue I mentioned Cinevent 50 in Columbus, and I got a couple of emails asking what it was about. It’s one of the oldest film conventions in the country, an annual event that marks 50 years this Memorial Day weekend. Morrie Everett from Cleveland sets up his movie poster auction there that brings people in from around the world.
Just over the state line in Mars, Pennsylvania, is Monster Bash. There are two of them, one in June and one in October.
I’ve said before that so many Clevelanders show up there you think Mars is in Northeast Ohio. Promoter Ron Adams convinced Joe Flaherty from the old SCTV show to make an appearance in October....