Monday, October 6, 2008

Gary Flinn on Mr. Magic

Gary Flinn, Flint's historian extraordinaire, has a nice piece on WJRT Channel 12 in The Flint Journal that's worth checking out:

"In 1960, Earl Frank Cady (just Frank Cady on-air) began his fondly remembered run as 'Mr. Magic.' The show aired until the colorful "Bozo" replaced it on Labor Day 1967 — the day the station converted to full color. Cady played the role of Bozo, too.

"On 'Mr. Magic,' he'd played other characters, such as Clyde Clunker and his cousin Lulubelle — a homely woman who in one surviving black-and-white video lip-synched a performance by novelty singer Mrs. Miller. A popular ending on the show was Mr. Magic getting a pie in the face.

"Cady, as Bozo the Clown, had a 'peanut gallery' of children who participated in games for prizes from toy companies. He pitched products such as Bozo bread and Bozo milk. Cady also hosted Michigan Polka Party in the mid-1960s, featuring the local Michigan Dutchmen band and dancers from local high schools."

27 comments:

  1. I loved Mr. Magic. Didn't Frank Cady's daughter also have a show, "Raydean and Friends"? I was always fascinated by the sound of Raydean (sp?) cutting construction paper. I think they must have held a mic right down to her scissors. I dimly remember watching my big brother, Randy Gearhart, in the peanut gallery of either Mr. Magic or Raydean and Friends. And it was the highlight of the year when our Girl Scout troop was on the Bozo show. Thanks for taking me down memory lane this morning!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article Gary!!!!

    I can remember those shows like it was yesterday.

    I can remember seeing Bozo bread on the store shelves and asking my Mom to buy a loaf of it because Bozo was telling all of us kids about how good it taste.

    I can remember getting a three dollar bill with Mr. Magic's picture on it.

    And, when I wrote a letter to Rae Dean and Friends -- I can remember getting a postcard back with their picture on it.

    Those were the days.

    I can also remember when Channel 12 used pictures of places around the Flint and Tri-Cities area with their station's logo on it when they did their top and bottom of the hour station indentification. One of the attractions that they used their station identification slide was of the Longway Plantitarium(sp) and for a long time I thought that the Plantitarium was Channel 12's building. I discovered it wasn't Channel 12 when our elemetary class at Lewis went on a field trip to Longway.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My cousin's girl scout troop was on Bozo. My cousin won some nutty race, and she was told that she had won a year's supply of 'Ka-Boom!' (a cereal, as I recall)... she turned to the side, imagining she was looking away from the camera (when in fact she was looking right into it), and made a gag-me face. I was only about 7 but I sure remember that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My brother made his television debut on Mr. Magic playing "Wipe Out" on guitar in 1967. I can still see him in his blue shirt with red polka dots. It was a proud moment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My sister also got to go on Bozo's show. I was really bummed I couldn't go.

    I just have to share my favorite Seinfeld moment when George meets Jon Favreau who plays a clown at a kids party:

    George (G): Bozo?
    The Clown (TC): No.
    G: B.O.Z.O?
    TC: sorry, no
    G: You've never heard of Bozo the clown?
    TC: No!
    G: How could you not know who Bozo the clown is?
    TC: I don't know. I just don't.
    G: How can you call yourself a clown and not know who Bozo is?
    TC: Hey man, what are you hassling me for. It's just a gig, it's not my life. I don't know who Bozo is -- What, is he a clown?
    G: Is he a clown... What are you kidding me!?!
    TC: Well, what is he?
    G: YES, he's a clown!
    TC: Alright, so what's the big deal? There's millions of clowns!
    G: Alright, just forget it.
    TC: Forget it? ME!?! YOU should forget it. You're living in the PAST man. You're hung up on some clown from the SIXTIES man!!
    G: Alright very good, very good. Go fold your little balloon animals, Eric. Eric - HAH! What kind of name is that for a clown!

    Season 5, Episode 20 "The Fire"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Who was that cowboy who was in a bunkhouse and sang that song about "Oh, I'm going down the country, going to have a lot of fun - got a nickel in my pocket just to buy some bubble gum?" Or words to that effect?

    And why do I remember this?

    Cousin making face upon receiving box of cereal, though - that was classic! She was very expressive.

    ReplyDelete
  7. GillianL

    That cowboy was none other than Kenny Roberts -- who hosted a kid's show daily on Channel 5 and you pretty much have the lyrics to that song that he sang on the show every day. And if you can remember that far back -- when Kenny sang that song he was surrounded by kids who jumped up and down as he performed the song.

    I got a chance to be one of those kids that jumped up and down with Kenny on Channel 5. There was a telethon of some sorts that Channel 5 was doing and he was a part of the local cut-ins that Channel 5 was doing from the Durrant Hotel. Other celebrities at that telethon included Michael Landon (who was doing "Bonanza" at the time) and Joe E. Ross ("Tootie" from the tv show "Car 54, Where Are You?").

    I could not have been more than ten years old at the time and as much fun as I had jumping up and down on TV with Kenny Roberts -- what I remember most from that day was Joe E. Ross (with his hand on my shoulder) talking to me as we walked from one end of the huge ballroom (that Channel 5 was using as a studio) to the other end.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the great memories. I am another jealous sister that saw her sister on the Bozo Show with her Brownie troop. I got my mom to buy Bozo Milk and bread as well....When I saw mr Cady's obit in the Journal i cried that day...More of my childhood slipping away!
    RoadsideDinerLover

    ReplyDelete
  9. My sister Brigid got to go on the Bozo show as a Brownie or a Girl Scout - I remember being excited about watching her on T.V. Man, how we loved that song "Wipe Out"! She had it on a 45 and we'd play it on our parents' 1950's hi-fi, along with some of those 45's we'd cut out of the back of cereal boxes - you remember those - "The Archies," "The Monkees," etc.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, Rich! I thought Kenny Rogers, but knew that wasn't it ... I can't believe I remember the words to that song! I did not, however, remember the kids jumping up and down. The Detroit Bozo, if I'm recalling correctly, was less lame than ours ...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wasn't Rae Dean Dizzy Dean's daughter? Anybody remember Johnny Ginger show? wasn't he dressed as a bellhop or something? always told kids to be 'clean plate club' and held up a clean dinner plate?

    ReplyDelete
  12. GillianL

    I think the 2nd verse went like O sing a song the folks all know and always keep in time..if your in love with a pretty little you'll win her every time.

    I have no Idea why I remember it. I grew up on the east side on Bennett Ave, what a fun time remembering the past!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was: Oh, sing a song the folks all know, you'll always keep in style. If you're in love with a pretty little girl, you'll win her by a mile.
      He also sang Bimbo.
      Bimbo, Bimbo where you gonna go-e-o; Bimbo, Bimbo what you gonna do-e-o; Bimbo, Bimbo does your momma know you're goin down the road to see a little girly-o.
      I especially remember this one because my brother's name is Tim, so you know what I changed Bimbo to.

      Delete
    2. Oh my, I just found this site because I did a search for the lyrics I half- remembered from a song my father used to sing to me as a child (Bimbo, bimbo). I mean I remember him singing this to me when I was standing up on his lap, wearing diapers -- this would've been in the late 70's! Oh mothers, oh fathers, remember your slightest whim, your fancies and follies, your happiness and sadness, all this is not just yours, it makes up your children's souls. This isn't a song to me; it's part of who I am. Stumbling on the actual song for the first time -- that it's a song, not just something my Daddy sang -- is like discovering a law of nature.

      Delete
  13. That must have been the same timeframe, because Michael Landon made an appearance at Atwood stadium, got my picture taken w/his arm 'round my sholder. Ha a huge cast on his wrist and enough slickum in his hair for 5 men...Who remembers Capt. Muddy? my Cousin Matt's Cubscout troop went on his show. I can't remember his name, but he worked at WNEM as a newsman. He and my Friend Roberta Ray used to come into Petko's all the time. Saw that Roberta is now a sitting Judge. I googled up Johnny Ginger-Gailan Grendel-and he's still performing. He appeared in the 3 stooges last movie, as Billy the Kid...

    ReplyDelete
  14. I worked at WJRT-TV from June, 1964 to November, 1969 when I left to get married. Rae Deane was not Frank Cady's daughter. Her last name was Gerkowski. There was no live audience for her show. Rae Deane died of a heart condition in 1973 at age 41. She was the sweetest person. Those were some of the happiest years of my life.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, I remember "The Kenny Roberts Show". In fact I was on it too, maybe the same one you were on Rich! All I remember is it was a special broadcast from the Durant Hotel, and they had handicapped children on, as my sister was one. Somehow my Mother got me on too. What I remember is people crammed in everywhere, and not too much fun. His show was on 1961-1966. I was born in 1953, so I wasn't very old, and don't have a clue what year this special was from.

    Yes, watched Captain Muddy(Waters, as in Chuck)

    I found this blog site searching for the name of the instrumental played during the Hula Hoop segment on Bozo (WJRT-12)It wasn't Wipeout. But it's stuck in my head, and I need help finding out the name.

    Here's some of my memories:
    When "Mary Poppins" came out in 1964, we loaded up the neighborhood in 2 cars, and headed down to the Capitol. The line snaked around the block, but we got in. I remember enjoying it very much.
    First date in 1969, and went to a Diner, (similar to "Mel"s Diner"), which was on 12th st. and Fenton rd.
    I think they tore it down the next year.
    Us kid's in the 60's loved the drive in, especially the US23, not for the movies so much, but for the playground they had. Dad would pull in, and off we'd go. Insurance costs to protect from lawsuits took care of that by the late 60's.
    Back to Kenny Roberts. Listen to his novelty songs, they are pretty good. "I never see Maggie alone" is a catchy favorite of mine, and you can hear it on YouTube.
    I miss the 60's, the great TV, the even greater music. A great time to grow up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The varsity drive in... the food was good..nice place during the day I went there with my grandma but had a rep as a wild pick up joint at nite...kids had a lot of fun I guess...

      Delete
  16. The title "Salt Water Taffy" is stuck in my mind as being Bozo's hula-hoop song. I could be way off but it's a lead I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous:
    Thanks for the suggestion on the Bozo song. After searching on that title, I did find a song called "Saltwater Taffy", out in 1963 by Morty Jay & the surfin' cats. I downloaded it, and it could be the Bozo Hula Hoop song. It's been so long now, I only remember I liked it, and it was an organ instrumental, which this one is. If you want to hear it, my e-mail is dahur1@q.com
    Just let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My name is Tom Hlbrook, I am a historian researching the history of Bozo the Clown. I am doing some research into the career of the late Frank Cady. If anyone can be of help with any information,...it would be a blessing.

    Please contact me. I am looking to contact co-workers as well as family. The research is in need of photos of Mr. Cady both in and out of characters, articles, ads for his shows, promotional material, obits,...

    Fans, family and friends may contact me at; bozo_history@yahoo.com
    Thank you,
    Tom Holbrook
    "Bozologist"
    Author of "The Bozo Chronicles"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom,

      Mr. Cady's oldest son, Kim, passed away this September. His daughter Kathy Cady and youngest son, Kevin F. Cady, are both on Facebook. Mrs. Cady is 83 now and naturally took her son's death hard. Perhaps contacting Kevin or Kathy would be a blessing for Mrs. Cady since it's on her husband.

      I don't know the family. I was stationed with Kim Cady in the USMC. I hope this information helps you.

      Delete
  19. I remember my friend Barry Wade from Flushing being picked to be the "Butchie". He picked a girl for the winner of the Hula-Hoop contest. We gave barry such a hard time about it. Why did you pick a girl barry? This went on for weeks

    ReplyDelete
  20. Rae Deane was Ray Gerkowski's daughter. Mr. Gerkowski was a conductor for the Flint Symphony Orchestra.

    One of the nation's most famous Bozos, Bob Bell, was at WGN-TV in Chicago (Superstation WGN). He was born in Flint and began his radio career in Flint. The voice of Krusty The Clown on the Simpsons is said to have been inspired by the voice of Bob Bell as WGN-TV's Bozo The Clown.

    ReplyDelete
  21. RAE DEANE GERKOWSKI is correct! She was a grand daughter of baseball player ,Elmer Flick, HOF. Not related to Dizzy Dean.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have not heard the song for many years but had pleasure of a business dinner with MR Cady abt 40 yrs ago..He stated the Hoola Hoop song that became so popular on the show was from a 45 pulled out of the back...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I still have the pic of my son when he was abt 4 with Bozo..aka Frank Cady

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting.
www.teardownbook.com