Uncle Al, Rod Serling, Q102, WKRP 'Living On The Air' At Public Library

Nov 14, 2017

From the "Uncle Al Show" to WKRQ-FM and "WKRP in Cincinnati," memorabilia from Cincinnati's rich broadcasting legacy will be on display at the main Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County downtown through January.

"Living on the Air in Cincinnati: Cincinnati's Broadcasting History," a joint production of the local Media Heritage archives and the library, features 44 display cases throughout the library with photos or items such as:

--The 1926 Gibson banjo played by Bonnie Lou, who performed on WLWT-TV's "Midwestern Hayride" in the 1950s and '60s, Ruth Lyons' "50-50 Club" and the "Paul Dixon Show."

--The original Rudy and Teaser puppets used by Larry Smith first on WCPO-TV's "Uncle Al Show" in the 1950s, and on Smith's WXIX-TV shows in the 1960s and '70s.

Larry Smith with Hattie the Witch in 2008.
Credit John Kiesewetter

--A 1961 record album by "Uncle Al" Lewis, who hosted the "Uncle Al Show" for 30 years with his wife, Wanda "Captain Windy" Lewis.

--Q102 promotional items provided by Chris O'Brien, the WGRR-FM morning host who started here at WKRQ-FM in the 1970s.

-- A Rod Serling script for the “Melody Showcase” variety show on WLWT-TV, where he started his professional TV writing career in 1950 long before creating "The Twilight Zone" for CBS.

--Some Channel 4 items from the early 1950s before WLWT-TV moved to Channel 5 (and WKRC-TV moved from Channel 11 to Channel 12).

Visitors also will see Ruth Lyons' "Christmas Marching Song" sheet music, a Paul Dixon "knee tickler," and items from the "Bob Braun Show" and "WKRP in Cincinnati," says Mike Martini, Media Heritage president.

"It should be a fun exhibit that folks visiting downtown over the holidays will enjoy—and it’s free," he says. The display cases are located throughout the main library, including the atrium and the Joseph S. Stern Jr. Cincinnati Room.

The library exhibit runs from Wednesday, Nov. 15, through Jan. 31, 2018.

Media Heritage also has much more Cincinnati broadcasting memorabilia on exhibit at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting, 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester Township. The museum --  which also includes the new Crosley exhibit,  VOA control room and antique radios – is open 1-4 p.m. weekends.