Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Early Television - Part 2

When television started in the late 1940s, the sets had channels 2 through 13 - no remote - and you “clicked” through the channels to find the one you wanted. No instant going to a channel like we have today. In most TV markets, this was enough channels to satisfy the demand. In Kansas City, Missouri, for instance, we had one channel at first and then quickly grew to three. Channels 2, 4, and 7 became CBS, NBC, and ABC as time went on in major markets across the United States. Independents carried programs from all networks depending on what they wanted to show.

As the demand grew for more channels, another frequency was developed called UHF - Ultra High Frequency. These would be channels above number 13 and you had to have a converter attached to your set with a special antennae to receive these channels. These stations were “dialed in”. No clicking - just turn the dial like you did on the radio to the position that brought that station in the best.

From September 1971 to December 1982 I sang bass with the Watchmen Gospel Quartet mostly in Southern California. Our first TV appearance came on October 15, 1973 on a new station which appeared on UHF Channel 46 called Trinity Broadcasting Systems. It was a two and a half million watt station located in Santa Ana with call letters KBSA. This was a religious station that used our kind of music. Paul Crouch was General Manager and Jim Baker was President and Pastor On The Air. Their evening program was called PTL (Praise The Lord) and features gospel music along with speaking and interviews.

Another local quartet, The Californians, had recommended our group to the station and they had us on several times. In fact, we were the featured group on their Open House when they moved into better quarters. We provided the music for a banquet for Melodyland Christian Center and the event was videotaped for later broadcasting on TBN. Ann and I went to Catalina Island for a couple of days and stayed in the Zane Grey Pueblo. They had one (1) television and that was in the lobby. I knew the program was going to be on one night and we went in to the lobby to see it. Another couple came in to relax and I had the program on. I told them this quartet was very good and they would enjoy it. He looked at the screen - then to me - then back to the screen realizing that it was me on the tube! That was fun!

Dennis Zimmerman, Miles Collins, Roy Scott, Dick Moore, & Rick Moore (guitar)

This television company changed channels from 46 to 40 later and is now known as TBN, Trinity Broadcasting Network.

An Orange, California church called Brean Baptist Church took over the UHF channel number 46 and The Watchmen sang on it several times also.

When cable came to our homes, Channel 46 became Fox News and TBN is still on Channel 40.

For those who still use an antennae, your days are numbered. In February 2009, a converter is needed to receive programs on that set. Or you can go modern and get cable. Think of all the antennas on the roofs that will be coming down!


Rick Moore said...

I remember the night that picture was taken. I had driven up from Point Loma for the show, and had to drive back to San Diego when it was over.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, Dick! You should run off a copy for small group members. CP & Nancy