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Texas Longhorns Joke Interviews (1971)

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1971

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  •  Linebacker Randy Braband interviews broadcaster Cactus Pryor about life in the press box 
  •  Offensive lineman Julius Whittier jokes about his relationship with Head Coach Darrell K Royal. Whittier was the first African American to play for the Longhorns. 
  •  Wally Pryor, known as the “Voice of the Longhorns,” chats with fullback Steve Worster 
  •  Offensive end Dean Campbell comments on his short stature 
 
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  • About the video
  • Gordon Wilkison Gordon Wilkison
  • Cactus Pryor Cactus Pryor
  • Wally Pryor Wally Pryor
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In this series of joke interviews, members of the Texas Longhorns football team takes a humorous look back at the 1970 season. First, broadcaster Cactus Pryor explains the dangers of the press box. Next, offensive lineman Julius Whittier jokes about his relationship with Head Coach Darrell K Royal. (Whittier was the first African American to play on the team, making his jest about Royal insisting he “come in the back door” a particularly pointed quip.) Then, Wally Pryor chats with fullback Steve Worster about his NFL prospects following Texas’ loss in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Finally, offensive end Dean Campbell comments on his short stature.
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.
Richard S. "Cactus" Pryor was a comedic television and broadcast personality from Austin, Texas. Cactus, an Austin native, was born in 1923, straight into the entertainment business. His father owned the Cactus Theater on Congress Avenue (hence the nickname), and starting at just three years old, Cactus made stage appearances before the shows began. Cactus attended the University of Texas and served in the US Army Air Corp. 
 
When he returned to Austin from his service in 1944, Cactus joined the broadcasting team at Lady Bird Johnson's KLBJ radio station, where he worked until 2008. He joined the world of broadcast television at KTBC in 1951 where he was program manager and hosted a variety of television programming, including a football program with Darrell K Royal and many celebrity interviews. Cactus appeared in two films with his friend John Wayne, Hellfighters and The Green Berets. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he became a sought-after speaker and event host, famous for his roasts of entertainers and politicians, most of whom he counted as close friends. Cactus was also known for his disguises. He would appear at functions in character, often pulling a fast one on the crowd as he charmed them first in disguise, then again as he revealed himself and used his earlier conversations to entertain the crowd. As an active member of the Headliners Club of Austin, Pryor starred in many humorous television news satires alongside Texas politicians, some of which can be seen in his film collection, as well as the Gordon Wilkison Collection and the Wallace and Euna Pryor Collection. He was nationally known, but kept Austin his home, helping put the city on the map in the 1960s and 1970s. 
 
Cactus Pryor announced to his KLBJ listeners in 2007 that he had Alzheimer's disease, and Austin's "original funnyman" died in 2011.
Known to many as the “Voice of the Longhorns,” Wally Pryor served as the announcer for UT sports from 1953 until 2002. While his voice was certainly recognizable he also played an active role as a producer – for KTBC, amongst others – and regularly served as an emcee for various events. Wally regularly worked as a producer for his older brother Richard “Cactus” Pryor. The films in the Wally Pryor collection represent a range of films from home movies, to various pieces he produced, films featuring himself, and several films featuring Cactus Pryor.