Wednesday, September 27, 2006

THE HAT SQUAD: RALPH STORY

From the L.A. Times obituary by J. Michael Kennedy:

Ralph Story, the veteran radio and television personality died Tuesday at his home in Santa Ynez after a long battle with emphysema. He was 86.

Story was the longtime host and narrator of "Ralph Story's Los Angeles," an Emmy-winning weekly magazine series that ran on KNXT-TV — now KCBS-TV Channel 2 — from 1964 to 1970. He was also a prolific producer, writer and lecturer on local and California history.

Story's engaging style earned him national exposure. He left KNX in 1956 to host a popular CBS television quiz show, "The $64,000 Challenge."

But his career as a TV game show host was cut short by the network scandals of the 1950s, with allegations that some of the quiz shows were rigged. Story was not implicated, and he returned to Los Angeles in 1960, rejoining KNX to anchor a daily news show called "Storyline," a four-hour broadcast that was a precursor of today's all-news radio formats.

In 1961, when KNXT inaugurated "The Big News," the nation's first one-hour television news broadcast, Story joined anchorman Jerry Dunphy, sports reporter Gil Stratton and weatherman Bill Keene as the main broadcast team. Olney, a former "Big News" reporter, said Story's "attitude of amused detachment could transmit devastating critiques and probing analyses without being harsh or mean-spirited, much less boring. He made serious journalism a pleasure to watch."

KNXT-TV called on Story in 1964 to host a new kind of television "magazine" series that would feature stories about the people, places, history and lore of Los Angeles. Called "Ralph Story's Los Angeles," it ran for six seasons and became a model for many successful magazine-style shows.

Producer Dan Gingold recalled Story's "ability to invest himself totally" in his work.

During the 1970s, Story co-hosted, along with Stephanie Edwards, "AM Los Angeles" on KABC-TV Channel 7.

"He was the mentor of a lot of lives," Edwards said.

Former Hollywood columnist Rona Barrett remembered Story for his unique style and concern for good journalism: "No one told a story on TV better than Ralph."

TV SERIES
"Alias Smith and Jones" (uncredited) .... Narrator
[As narrator, Mr. Story served the version of 'Alias Smith And Jones' which took place in an alternate TV dimension. In this world, Hannibal Heyes looked like Roger Davis rather than Pete Duel as in the main Toobworld.]

"ABC's Wide World of Entertainment" (1973) TV Series .... Host/Narrator

TV GUEST APPEARANCES
"The Name of the Game"
- Aquarius Descending .... Newscaster

"McCloud"
- Man from Taos: Part 1: Who Says You Can't Make Friends in New York City? .... Newscaster
[
As these two shows take place on opposite sides of the country, and these episodes were broadcast just a few months apart, here's how his similar roles probably play out:

The newscaster in both episodes is the same man. After finishing up his gig at the New York TV Station in September of 1970, he moved west to Los Angeles and was working at a TV station there by December of that year.

As he was already appearing as himself in Los Angeles hosting his own show, the newscaster must be considered a fictional character who only looked like Ralph Story.]

"The Lucy Show"
- Lucy Helps Ken Berry .... Himself
[As this episode took place in 1968, Ralph Story was appearing in his role as the host of 'Ralph Story's Los Angeles'.]

"Bewitched"
- Hippie, Hippie, Hooray .... Bud Le Beau
[I'm not familiar with this episode, but if Mr. Story was playing the newscaster who covered the disappearance of Serena from a jail cell, then it could be that Bud Le Beau was the same newscaster from that 1970 episode of 'McCloud' who later moved to Los Angeles as seen in an episode of 'The Name Of The Game'. And thus, as an honorary inductee, the character of Bud Le Beau would be eligible for inclusion in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.]

"My Three Sons"
- Soap Box Derby .... Paul Rankin

TV MOVIES
Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain (1989) (TV) .... Himself

GAME SHOWS AND TALK SHOWS
"A.M. Los Angeles" (1970) TV Series .... Host
"The $64,000 Challenge" (1956) TV Series .... Emcee (1956-1958)
"What Do You Have in Common?" (1954) TV Series .... Emcee

BCnU.....
Tele-Toby

1 comment:

Kiva J said...

I have been looking for the name of the instrumental trumpet theme that opened Ralph Story's Los Angeles. In a perfect world, I would be able to find a youtube of the opening video with the theme. Any ideas on where to find this info?