If you grew up in Dallas/Ft. Worth in the 1970’s there were many local TV programs that left you with lasting memories. The tunes are what stuck with me the most (no surprise to those who know me).
Weekdays at 7am on Channel 11 (Saturdays too I think) we had Slam Bang Theater, featuring Icky Twerp plus all the Three Stooges and cartoons they could pack into an hour. The intro theme song was a rousing march followed by a spirited “Hey Kids – good morning!” from the network announcer. You can take a trip down memory lane at IckyTwerp.net. That tune stayed in my head through the years, so a while back I dug up the clues to find the origin of the theme.
The tune is called “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble” from a 1959 LP called “Bill Cullen’s Minstrel Spectacular.” The famous game-show host puts on his white tuxedo and guides the listener through what it was like when the old minstrel show pulled into town on a paddle-wheel riverboat. Or rather, it’s an idealized, white-washed 1950’s nostalgia version of a piece of Americana that most of us try to forget, I suppose. More about the album here. The minstrel show’s contribution to American musical theater (Broadway in particular) is fascinating stuff, but that’s another story.