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Little Bit O’ Jazz Television Promo

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1950s

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TAMI Tags
  •  Lou Hanlon, host of Little Bit O’ Jazz, gives a glimpse into the types of radio shows aired on KTBC-FM under Lady Bird Johnson’s leadership 
  •  Lady Bird Johnson purchased the KTBC-FM radio station in 1943 
 
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This short promo advertises the KTBC-FM radio program, Little Bit O’ Jazz. Contrary to the title, host Lou Hanlon jokes, the nightly show features a lot of jazz music. The promo was broadcast on KTBC-TV. As the only commercial television station in Austin from 1952 to 1965, KTBC-TV often took to the airwaves to promote the shows on its associated radio station. Broadcasting live-music sessions and spinning records from local musicians, stations such as KTBC-FM and KAZZ-FM helped to establish the Austin music scene and its reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. Special thanks to Dea Radovancevic and Katelyn Russell for their help cataloging this film.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
 
A particularly notable moment in his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
 
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
 
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.