Original content by Dave Conover, foreword by S. Blue
WDRB-TV Channel 41 wasn't the only station we picked up on the old, perpetually dusty color set in our living room on Elm Street in New Albany, Indiana, but it might as well have been. Aside from watchiing the list of school closings to the strains of Bellavia on WHAS channel 11, there was little reason for us kids to ever change the channel away from our favorite 41.
It seems that most of my fondest tv memories are associated with that UHF titan of the 1970s, WDRB. You could generally count on seeing Abbot and Costello on any given Sunday morning, made better with a cream-filled doughnut fresh from Honeycream Bakery on Vincennes Street. The weekday lineup included Speed Racer, Presto the Magic Clown, Spiderman, and Ultraman. I even liked the very strange "Hillarious House of Frightenstein". All these shows paled, however, when compared with Saturday night.
My sister Jane and I are huddled on the couch, lights off, our shadows flickering on the wall behind us. It's a little chilly because the thermostat is turned way back. It was the middle of the fuel crisis, after all, and we were conserving like everyone else. I'm in patched corduroys with Kool-aid red lips munching a big bowl of popcorn, and "The Man Who Reclaimed His Head" is playing out in all its black and white glory. Or it might have been "Dracula's Daughter", or "Fire Maidens From Outer Space", but the point is that it was scarey fun. The place to find these masterpieces of cinematic nightmare was on channel 41 on Saturday nights, and the show was called "Fright Night".
Fright Night was the "Shock Theater" movie program that ran from 1971 to 1975 on WDRB TV-41 in Louisville, Kentucky. When the independent channel 41 went on the
air in February of ’71, it ushered in a new --to my generation-- era of
locally-produced television programming in a time when network
television had come to dominate the other stations in the region. For a
brief but wonderful time, local kids were treated once again to
afternoon children’s shows like Funsville, hosted by the lovable Presto the Magic Clown, and we got our first
personal exposure to Abbott & Costello, the Three Stooges,
Ultraman, the Tarzan movies of Johnny Weissmuller and so many other
cultural icons through WDRB’s inventive, movie-based weekend programs. It was a great time to be a kid, and when Fright Night first aired on March 6, 1971, it got even better...
Fright Night Theme - "Spell of the Unknown" [good quality 1.3M mp3] [high quality 2M mp3] provided by Dave Conover