San Antonio Rose on Google Print

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Dang it, Bobby! I've got some serious political blogging to do and you go and distract me.

Bobby at Tulsa Topics took advantage of a sleepless night to go searching through Google Print -- Google's attempt at making dead-tree knowledge searchable.

He finds this: San Antonio Rose, a biography of Bob Wills by Charles Townsend.

I searched the text for KVOO* and found an interesting story about the sponsorship of the Texas Playboys' daily half-hour broadcast in 1935. Wills bought the time from the station ($12,000 for the year), then worked out a deal with a flour company:

Wills did not actually sell the show to the Red Star Milling Company. He wanted them to develop a new flour, to be labelled, appropriately, Play Boy flour, and advertise it only on his radio program. With such a procedure, they could determine just what results the show got. The company was to pay Wills a royalty for each barrel of flour sold. The contract was signed, and Play Boy flour was marketed for the first time in November 1935. In twenty-four months, Play Boy flour was selling as well as brands that had been on the market for forty years.

That's just a taste -- there was Play Boy Bread, performances at grocery store openings and bakers' conventions, and, in sacks of Play Boy flour, a picture of one of the Playboys and his favorite recipe. And there's even a song written by a fan in tribute to Play Boy flour.

(*That KVOO, 1170 on your AM dial, changed call letters and formats three years ago, and is now KFAQ, on which you can hear me Monday mornings at 6:10. One of KFAQ's FM sister stations kept the KVOO call letters. I wish the AM blowtorch had kept KVOO, too. Given what the letters stand for, KVOO seems appropriate for a news/talk station.)

MORE on Google Print: Eldon Shamblin remembers his early days with Bob Wills in The Jazz of the Southwest: An Oral History. And there was a sort of Texas Playboys farm system, which you'll read about in Southwest Shuffle: Pioneers of Honky-Tonk, Western Swing, and Country Jazz.

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Michael Bates was talking about Bob Wills, but he dropped in this paragraph that resonated with me: KVOO, 1170 on your AM dial, changed call letters and formats three years... Read More

1 Comments

D.Schuttler said:

I do miss the old AM KVOO when it came to news and weather. They had a top notch team going and I was able to even keep up with Tulsa news in the evenings, when visiting in the Amarillo area.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 17, 2005 12:48 AM.

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