Ralph Story’s Backyard – July 16, 1953 – CBS Radio – KNX, Los Angeles – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Sadly, Ralph Story died in 2006 – he was such an indelible figure in the life of Southern California that it just wouldn’t be Los Angeles without him. He was a fixture in L.A. life since the late 1940s when he assume morning duties on KNX. From there, he went on to do various shows before branching out to television in the late 1950s. And those of you of a certain age, living in Los Angeles in the early/mid 1960s remember vividly Ralph Story’s Los Angeles, a show that mixed the more interesting parts of L.A. with the historic parts of L.A. which made for some riveting TV.
This particular show is interesting. Ralph Story’s Backyard was an afternoon show done for KNX which featured Story, surrounded by sidekicks and musical accompaniment – and even though the premise was quaint, even by 1953 standards, Story managed to pull off a few notable moments. Like this one from July 16, 1953 where he has as his guest the notorious UFO follower George Adamski, going to great lengths to explain his encounters with Extraterrestrials and his rock-steady belief that we aren’t alone and we’ve been visited hundreds, if not thousands of times by visitors from outer space.
There was a time that Adamski was taken seriously – and those who subscribed to the UFO/Alien Visitor theory though Adamski just as credible as anyone else at the time. This was 1953 – we were knee-deep in the Cold War, Science Fiction was a huge genre in film, TV and books – it served as a distraction – and Adamski’s description of the Aliens as Blond and Nordic drew raised eyebrows, even then.
Granted – there are extremely annoying parts to this show, and I am warning you that they occasionally break out into a song for no apparent reason. Still, this was the state of entertainment in the early 1950s before all-News – Top-40 – Talk and Pundits – it was quite an innocent time, actually.
So go easy when Roberta Lynn breaks into song with Beyond The Blue Horizon when talk turns to Flying Saucers.
That was entertainment.